Extra money for those who need it

Find out if you might be eligible to apply for some extra money to help plug the gap in your finances.

You may be able to get some help if:

  • you've planned your budget and your funding isn't enough to cover your essential costs, or
  • something unexpected happens and leaves you struggling financially.

NTU COVID-19 Hardship Response

You may be worried if your financial circumstances have changed due to COVID-19. We have funds available to help you if you're experiencing financial hardship.

We've also received extra funds from the Office for Students (OfS). This increases the support we can offer if you're in financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The funds we have available depend on your study level and fee status.

  • Discretionary Hardship Fund
  • Postgraduate Hardship Fund
  • International/EU Hardship Fund

If you're in financial hardship, it's important that you apply by the deadline of the specific fund. As part of your application, you must let us know if your difficulties are directly linked to COVID-19.

NTU Undergraduate Discretionary Hardship Fund (DHF)

The Discretionary Hardship Fund is an amount of money provided by the University. It's to assist eligible UK home undergraduate students who are:

  • facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, or
  • in financial difficulties because their funding doesn't quite cover their essential living expenses.

What help is available?

If you're eligible, a non-repayable grant is paid from the Discretionary Hardship Fund. This is  to supplement your main source of funding for your undergraduate course. It offers some support in meeting any shortfall between your income and expenditure.

The fund cannot:

  • meet your shortfall in full
  • make up for an absence of funding
  • compensate for a failure to make adequate financial provision for your studies.

Financial support may be available if your circumstances change during the academic year. This could be due to COVID-19 restrictions, for example.

Am I eligible to apply and receive help?

To be eligible to apply, you must meet all the follow criteria:

  • You are studying at least 25% of an equivalent full-time undergraduate programme.
  • You're fully enrolled and attending your course (including remote learning).
  • You satisfy the residence criteria to be classed as a UK 'home' student for fees and funding purposes.
  • You've applied for the maximum maintenance loan you're entitled to during the 2020/21 academic year.

To get help from the Discretionary Hardship Fund, you must:

  • submit the main DHF application form, a supplementary COVID impact form and required evidence
  • show a shortfall between your annual income and expenditure. This will be assessed against the standard hardship fund assessment criteria.

Be aware that our assessment may not match your own calculations.

  • We only allow essential expenditure.
  • We use a combination of standardised figures and caps on expenditure. This ensures fairness and consistency.
  • We often assume certain types of income if we think you can reasonably access it.
  • If you have savings, this will also be taken into consideration.

See the guidance notes with the application form for more information. Please note that during 2020/21 we have in amended our assessment criteria. This is to recognise the additional financial challenges students face during the pandemic.

When do I apply?

You can apply at any time up until Friday 14 May 2021.

You do not need to be facing an immediate financial crisis to apply to this fund.  The fund can sometimes respond to one-off emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. However, the assessment normally considers your financial circumstances over the whole academic year.

  • Applications close on Friday 14 May 2021.
  • You must submit all required evidence by Wednesday 19 May 2021.

This is so we can assess all applications and process all payments by the end of the academic year.

After this time, some continuing students may need support during the summer vacation. If you are unable to take up paid work due to caring responsibilities or your health, you may be eligible to apply for support from our summer vacation hardship fund.

How do I apply?

Follow these essential steps to apply to the Discretionary Hardship Fund.

1. Complete the 2020/21 Discretionary Hardship Fund online application form.

2. Complete the supplementary COVID-19 impact form. You need to submit this even when there's been no obvious financial impact. If there has been a clear impact, give details, and provide evidence where possible.

3. Use our DHF 2020/21 additional evidence upload form to provide any additional or outstanding evidence. You'll need to do this if:

  • you weren't able to supply all the evidence when you submitted your application
  • we contacted you directly to request more.

To access this form on Microsoft Teams, you'll need to log in with your NTU ID.

We no longer accept evidence submitted by email.

Your application can be significantly delayed if you don't supply the correct evidence. Read our DHF supporting evidence guide for help getting this right.

We can only assess your application when we're received:

  • your completed application form
  • your completed supplementary COVID form
  • all the supporting evidence we've requested.

See our DHF application process flowchart to find out how long this should take. Remember that it can take even longer at peak times.

What happens next?

Once we receive your application, we'll check we have all the necessary information. This includes what you've told us about the impact of COVID-19 on your finances.

We'll contact you through your NTU email address if we need:

  • any more information
  • to refer you to our advice team for further discussion of your financial situation.

We'll then go through our standard assessment procedure. We'll calculate the shortfall between your annual income and essential expenditure.

If there's a shortfall, we'll use this figure to decide the annual level of support available from the DHF. Please note that the fund can only offer a contribution towards any shortfall.

When considering income and expenditure, please be aware of the following.


  • You must declare actual income from all sources.
  • The figure we use in the assessment may be different to what you declare. We disregard some sources of income but assume others.
  • You must declare any savings. These will count as income available to you.
  • We assume some sources of income. These can include:
    • potential earnings from employment
    • parental contribution for those not entitled to the maximum student finance
    • certain welfare benefits where there is a clear eligibility.


  • We can only consider essential expenditure.
  • We don't take into account what you spend on tuition fees. The DHF is not able to pay for these.
  • To keep things fair, we standardise most living costs in the assessment. This includes things like food, bills and socialising. We do this because they're common to all students.
  • Living costs can vary from student to student. We place an appropriate limit on the amounts allowed in the assessment. This ensures costs are reasonable. Living costs include things like accommodation, travel, and course costs.
  • We check the pattern of spending on your bank statements. Where we identify concerns, we'll refer you for further advice on managing your money.

When will I hear if I am eligible to receive any money?

You'll get an email from us confirming we have all the evidence we need for your application.

We aim to assess all applications within 15 working days of you receiving this email.

It can take longer at peak times. This year especially, more students are experiencing hardship due to the pandemic. We're receiving many more applications than usual, and this affects our response time.

We'll email you at your NTU email address when we've assessed your application. We'll let you know the outcome. If you're eligible, we'll pay your award into your account within a further 5 to 10 working days.

Response times for assessment and payment will differ if:

  • you're referred to us in an emergency situation.

Who do I contact about it?

Have you submitted your DHF application yet?

  • If you haven't, email financial.support@ntu.ac.uk for information. We'll be able to answer questions about eligibility and the application process.
  • If you have, email hardshipfunds@ntu.ac.uk with your query. We'll be able to tell you about your application and the supporting evidence you need.

Please read the 'When will I hear if I am eligible to receive any money?' section above. Only get in touch to check the progress of your application if you haven't heard from us inside the relevant timeframe. This allows us to concentrate on assessing applications and getting awards out quickly.

NTU Postgraduate Hardship Fund (UK home students)

You must make financial provision for your postgraduate studies. You need to be able to cover:

  • your fees
  • you living costs.

Start thinking about this well before your course starts.

Our Student Financial Advice Service can support you with this financial planning. Our advisers can help you set our your budget for the year. This will show you, month by month, what money you will have coming in and what expenses you need to meet. You'll be able to see if there are any months where you may not be able to meet your costs. You can then look at your options to cover any gaps.

You may also find it useful to check out our:

Sometimes the unexpected happens. You may be able to apply for support from the Postgraduate Hardship Fund. This is an amount of money we provide to assist eligible UK home postgraduate students.

We've amended our assessment criteria for 2020/21. We recognise the extra financial challenges students may face during the pandemic.

Complete the 2020/21 Postgraduate Hardship Fund online application form.

We ask for evidence when you submit your application. We might also contact you directly to ask for more. If you can't provide it them, you must:

Only once we have all the evidence will we be able to assess your application.

To access both the above forms on Microsoft Teams, you'll need to log into the form with your NTU ID. For improved online security, we no longer accept evidence sent via email.

The deadline for applications is Friday 25 June 2021. You must submit all required evidence needs by Wednesday 30 June 2021.

Email hardshipfunds@ntu.ac.uk for more information.

NTU International / EU Hardship Fund

You may be eligible for emergency funding to contribute towards short-term living costs.

You must be:

  • an International or EU (for fee purposes) student
  • facing sudden unforeseen financial hardship
  • fully enrolled on a full-time award-bearing course
  • studying here in the UK.

We give priority to students in their final stages of study.

Please be aware that the fund is limited. We aren't able to support cases of ongoing financial hardship.

If you're an international student studying on a Tier 4 / Student visa, you must prove:

  • you made adequate provision for your tuition fee and living costs prior to coming to the UK, and
  • your current financial hardship is due to an unexpected change in your circumstances.

Contact int.hardship@ntu.ac.uk for more information.

NTU Summer Vacation Hardship Fund

We set aside limited funds each summer to assist certain UK home undergraduate students who:

  • are not in their final year
  • are not living in their parental home
This could be because:
  • their permanent home is in Nottingham
  • they must remain in Nottingham during the summer vacation for their studies
Those who may be eligible for support include the following.
  • Students unable to take up paid employment due to illness or disability.
  • Lone parents with dependent children who have support needs. This must be during the part of the summer vacation where they have little or no entitlement to benefits.
  • Care leavers, former foyer residents. and estranged students who are under the age of 25.
  • Students unable to take up paid employment because they have work to complete. This includes compulsory academic commitments they must complete before progressing to next year.

We understand that some students may have difficulty finding suitable paid employment. We cannot consider applications in these circumstances, except from those considered vulnerable.

Help with finding work is available from the University’s Job Shop.

If you're eligible, you can submit your application from June 2021.

If you've applied for the DHF, you may potentially meet the criteria for the summer vacation fund too. If so, we'll email you at your NTU email address, explaining how to apply. We'll send you further information and a link to the online application when the fund opens.

Please note that we'll only contact you if you consented to it at the time of your original application.

Awards from the fund aren't paid until after the end of term.

Think you could be eligible? Email hardshipfunds@ntu.ac.uk to contact the fund administrators.

Nottingham Law School Hardship Fund

You may be eligible for the Nottingham Law School Hardship Fund if you are on one of these courses:

  • LLM LPC – studying on a full-time or part-time basis
  • LLM Bar Professional Training Course
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • Graduate Diploma in Law – Distance Learning

Email hardshipfunds@ntu.ac.uk to ask for details of the Nottingham Law School Hardship Fund.

Support funds for further education students

If you're on a further education course at our Brackenhurst Campus, there are several funds you can apply to if you have a low household income.

Educational grants from trusts and charities

Many trusts and charities offer aid and assistance to students in financial difficulty. You should investigate every possible source of funding. You should also be aware of the relevant application deadlines and eligibility criteria.

Applying to trusts and charities can be a time-consuming process. It requires patience and perseverance. Also, it rarely offers an immediate source of assistance. We urge you to seek advice from financial.support@ntu.ac.uk if your needs are more immediate.

Be sure you fulfil the trust or charity's basic criteria before you make your application. A successful application requires several things to come together well. Here are a few steps you can check to ensure your application is successful:

  • check you meet the criteria of the funder
  • fill out the application form correctly
  • be clear in your supporting statements
  • show that your circumstances match their required criteria
  • make it explicit if you're in one of their stated priority target groups
  • provide all the necessary supporting information and evidence.
  • Last updated: 01/03/2021