Students talking in the student union

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 in financial difficulty, the University Support Fund may be able to help.

The fund provides limited financial support to those students who are in financial difficulty and are unable to meet basic living costs or students that have experienced unforeseen events or a change in their financial situation. Applying to the fund is simple and can all be done online.

Awards don't need paying back and are based on a means test of a student’s income and expenditure. Please note that all payments are down to the discretion of the Student Finance Centre and the fund should not be seen as a main source of income or a replacement for parental support but is intended to act as a safety net for those students in hardship. 

Who can apply for the support funds

All home, EU and international undergraduate and taught postgraduate students can apply to the fund but the assessment procedures and award amounts will vary based on the student’s status.

Home undergraduate students

In order to be eligible to apply, you must have taken out the full maintenance loan available to you.

Postgraduate/international students

You must demonstrate that you have put sufficient funding in place to cover your tuition fees and core living costs when applying.

What costs the University 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  
  • Non compulsory items such as gym memberships, or car costs (unless you have a child or other caring responsibilities)

How to apply to the University Support Fund

You will need to complete an application form and provide photocopied evidence of your income and essential expenditure. As a minimum we need 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 hall’s invoice.
You may be asked to attend an interview regarding your application if we need to discuss it further with you.

To apply for the fund please download the application form below and email it to the Student Finance Centre.

Please Note:  Incomplete applications cause delays. Please read all guidance notes carefully before submitting your application. If you need any assistance to complete this form please contact the Student Finance Centre

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

Trust and Charity Funding

If you're finding it difficult to meet certain costs while at university you might be able to apply for help 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.

The following links may help you:

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 or 023 9284 3014.

Contact the Student Finance team

Get in contact with the team via:

  • Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 3014 
  • Email:
  • In person: Drop-in - you may need to make an appointment to see one of our advisers

Opening times are Monday to Thursday, 8.30am – 5.00pm, Friday: 8.30am – 4.00pm, and the centre is closed on Saturday and Sunday and bank holidays.