Student with friends in the Student Union building

Get help from the University Support fund

Support Fund grants can help cover emergency costs such as urgent bills and food supplies

If you're facing financial difficulties while studying, the University Support Fund can help.

The fund offers grants to students in financial difficulty, which don't need paying back. During the pandemic, if you are still at home or on campus you can apply and we can help with rent and living costs for those affected by the lockdown and restrictions. It's simple and can all be done online.

Who the University Support Fund can help

Any undergraduate or postgraduate (taught) students can apply to the Support Fund for help with certain emergency costs.

Postgraduate research students (PGRs) can also apply to the University Support Fund for emergency costs arising from Covid-19.

What costs the Support Fund can help with

The fund can help you meet costs for things like:

  • Rent
  • Bills
  • Food
  • Medical costs, such as prescriptions of contact lenses
  • Some study related travel costs - for example commuting between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth
  • Course related costs for part time students such as childcare

The fund cannot be used to help pay for:

  • Tuition fees
  • IT equipment - there’s a University Laptop Loan scheme to help you with equipment needs 
  • Non compulsory items such as gym memberships, or car costs (unless you have a child or other caring responsibilities)

How to apply to the Support Fund

Applications are assessed on your eligibility, income, and expenditure. 

You will be asked for your Student Finance England notification letter (if applicable), three months up-to-date bank statements from all accounts including savings, and a copy of your tenancy agreement or halls invoice. In most cases successful awards are paid by electronic transfer to your bank account.

If you would prefer you can request a form by emailing studentfinance@port.ac.uk. You may be contacted by phone or email regarding your application if we need to discuss it further with you. 

More information on eligibility and gathering evidence is available in the application guidance notes.

Unsuccessful applications

We assess all applications in line with our fund guidelines. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application there is a review procedure. Reviews will normally only be considered if a piece of information was either not known or not taken into account in the original assessment.

Other sources of help

Futures Fund

This fund is made up of donations from Portsmouth Alumni, and provides support for students who lack sufficient funds to be able to make the most of their time here. This can include non-compulsory course related costs such as equipment, projects or field trips.

To apply for the Futures Fund you need to make an application to the support fund explaining what course related costs you would like help with and demonstrating that you cannot meet these costs yourself. We will then look at whether we can make an award from the fund.

To find out more, contact the Student Finance Centre on studentfinance@port.ac.uk.

Trust and Charity Funding

If you're finding it difficult to meet certain costs while at university you might be able to apply for assistance from a charity or trust. Most organisations apply very specific criteria, such as age, residency, religion and/or course type, and only have limited resources available. It's rare that an organisation will be able to support you in the form of a full scholarship. You'll usually need to show that you have tried all other sources of financial help, and that you are able to source the rest of the money needed to complete the course.

To find funding you may find it useful to search:

Family Action - Family Action have an Educational Grants Search facility, which helps you identify appropriate charitable funding for education or training based on your circumstances and needs.

Scholarship Search - This is another online database which you can search by organisation or subject

Portsmouth Food Cycle

Portsmouth Food Cycle offers a community meal for those in crisis. They welcome students as volunteers to support with the preparation of meals every Tuesday and Thursday evening. They are equally happy for students to simply benefit from a free meal during a difficult period

Get advice from the Student Finance Team

The Student Finance team is also able to help you in a number of ways if you are in need of financial support while studying at the University. The team can:

  • Help you identify and apply for funding - We can speak to Student Finance England or another national funding body on your behalf if you are having issues
  • Money management and budgeting advice - We can give you the advice you need to help you put together a budget plan
  • Help with scholarships and bursaries - We can explain any eligibility criteria and help you with the application process

Contact the Student Finance Centre at studentfinance@port.ac.uk or 023 9284 3014.

The Student Finance Centre has temporarily relocated to University House due to Covid restrictions. The best ways to get in contact with the team are:

  • Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 3014 
  • Email: studentfinance@port.ac.uk
  • In person: by appointment only in emergencies - please contact us to arrange a time

Opening times are Monday to Thursday, 8:30am–5:00pm, Friday: 8:30am–4:00pm, and the centre is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

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