Get extra financial support at university: discretionary funding

Last updated: 20 July 2017

If you have financial difficulties while studying, you could get extra money from your university. They can give you money from a 'discretionary fund' (sometimes called a 'hardship fund').

Depending on your circumstances the funding may be a loan or a grant. If it's a loan you'll have to pay it back and if it's a grant you won't.

You can't use discretionary funding instead of getting money from your family or to pay your tuition fees.

This additional funding can be used for:

  • accommodation costs
  • transport costs
  • a financial emergency

How to apply

Apply directly to your university. They may have extra rules about who is eligible.

You can speak to your university student services or your local NUS about applying.


To get discretionary funding you must be:

  • over aged 16
  • using all the financial support available from the government, for example your full student loan
  • registered with the university
  • studying a full-time, part-time or distance learning course

You also need to meet a set of conditions known as residency criteria

If you're studying nursing or midwifery with a full SAAS bursary different rules apply. Speak to the student finance officer at your university.