Student Support Fund policy
Student Financial Support (SFS) administers the Student Support Fund at the University of York. The Student Support Fund offers limited financial support to students who are experiencing unexpected financial difficulties. Other financial support from the University may be available.
This policy has been written with the University's legal duties under the Equality Act 2010, and the University's obligations under relevant data protection legislation including the General Data Protection Regulation, in mind. This policy operates in conjunction with the University's commitment to promoting widening participation.
Further information on the application and assessment processes can be found within the Student Support Fund Guidance.
1.1. Responsibility for the administration of the University of York Student Support Fund sits with Student Financial Support (SFS), based in Student and Academic Services.
1.2. Director of Student Administration and Academic Affairs is responsible for the overall delivery of services within SFS. Responsibility over administrative procedures sits with the Student Administration Manager for SFS. Procedures are regularly reviewed and updated where necessary.
1.3. Students applying to the funds are responsible for ensuring that the information they provide as part of the application process is factually correct. Where it is discovered that students have knowingly provided inaccurate or incorrect information, SFS reserves the right to withdraw the student’s application and/or withhold any further financial support.
We will treat applications to all funds as confidential. In limited circumstances, we may share details of an application internally. By applying to the funds governed by this policy, students are confirming they agree to their applications being shared in the following way, if required:
2.1. We may refer students to the Student Advisers before a decision on their application can be made. This is to ensure that the University is offering the best possible support to the student and/or because further information is required. In these instances, SFS will share an overview of the student’s application with the Student Advisers for their meeting with the student. We will only share other information with the Student Advisors with the student’s written permission.
2.2. On occasion, SFS may seek further information from the student’s academic department for clarification (for example, to confirm meeting dates or assessment requirements).
2.3. In the event of an unsuccessful application to the Student Support Fund, we may share the outcome letter with the Student Advisers should the student contact them for advice. This is to ensure that the University can offer the best possible support to the student.
3.1. Data Storage: Applications and supporting documentation are held securely electronically on SFS’s online cloud. Access to this cloud is restricted to members of SFS.
Information on the awards made will be held within the University’s databases on Agresso and SITS for financial reporting.
3.2. Data Sharing: Where we share data internally, as outlined in section 2, we will do this securely via named, time-limited access on the staff-only online cloud.
If we request information regarding the student’s academic standing, we will do this via email and no information from the application form will be divulged.
3.3. Retention of Data: We will retain successful applications to the fund for six full academic years from the end of the academic year in which the application is made. We will retain supporting documentation for one full academic year from the end of the academic year in which the application is made. For reporting purposes, we will also keep a basic record confirming that an application was submitted.
If a student withdraws their application, or the application is closed due to no response from the student, we will destroy the application and any supporting information immediately. For reporting purposes, we will keep a basic record confirming that an application was submitted, and later removed, within the form’s responses spreadsheet.
The Student Support Fund will be open for a limited period of time. Individual exceptions will be considered.
For undergraduate students, applications will open in the first week of October and close in the first week of June.
For postgraduate taught students, applications will open in the first week of October and close in August.
For postgraduate research students, applications will be open all year round except during the first month of their studies. This is because these students can begin their studies at any time during the academic year.
Application opening dates will be available on the Student Support Fund webpage.
The levels of funding available within the Student Support Fund for undergraduate home students depend on the terms of the Access and Participation Plan for the current academic year. (Where the University is in a position to supplement the budget beyond the terms of the Access and Participation Plan, additional funds may be ring-fenced for students meeting specific criteria).
The level of funding available within the Student Support Fund for postgraduate and international students is from donations or allocations by YUSU and GSA at the University of York.
Funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis following an application process.
In assessing students for awards, we will follow strict eligibility criteria to ensure that all awards are made in a way that is equitable and fair, making the best use of the funds that are available.
6.1. Eligibility Criteria
6.1.1. Being currently fully-registered or within the continuation period on a degree-awarding programme (with the exception of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships) at the University of York, including full-time and part-time, sandwich courses, and periods of placement, providing the degree is a minimum of one year in length.
6.1.2. Students with a shadow record at the University (i.e. students receiving funds from a grant held at York, such as a Centre for Doctoral Training, but registered to study elsewhere), are not eligible. Students on a Hull York Medical School (HYMS) programme who are registered at the University of York are eligible. Those registered at the University of Hull are not.
6.1.3. Part-time students must be studying at least 25% of a full time course. Any award will be pro-rated to match the intensity of the course.
6.1.4. Having taken out the full entitlement of student support before applying to the Student Support Fund. This includes taking out the maximum tuition fee and maintenance loans available to them from their funding provider, and making full use of any interest and charge-free overdraft facility attached to their bank account(s).
6.1.5. Where a student’s parents/sponsors have refused to complete a financial assessment form which prevents students from taking out more than the non-means-tested element of the loan, they may still be eligible for support. SFS will contact applicants to advise.
6.1.6. Being able to demonstrate they made realistic and sufficient financial provision before starting their studies (including applying to their funding provider for support prior to advertised deadlines).
6.1.7. Being normally resident in the UK for the duration of their studies.
6.1.8. Leave of absence
Home undergraduate students who are on an approved leave of absence from the University for any reason, except where leave of absence is due to progression issues, may apply for support during the leave period.
Students on a leave of absence who are struggling financially are expected to explore other avenues of support, including applying for external sources of funding that may be available to them, or speaking with their landlord about rent deadlines. Students on leave of absence may seek assistance with any of the above by speaking with a Student Adviser by completing the Self-Referral Form.
More information is available in the Student Support Fund Guidance, section 1.2.5 Leave of Absence.
6.1.9. Exchange rates
Students are not eligible to apply for financial support on the grounds that the difference in exchange rates between the home currency and the GBP has left the student with less money than planned for the current academic year, or that there is an economic crisis in their home country.
Students are expected to consider other options, such as leave of absence or deferral.
6.1.10. Online and distance learners
Students studying online only or by distance learning are not eligible to apply for financial support. Students are expected to consider other options, such as a leave of absence or deferral.
We will ensure that all assessments are made in a way that is equitable and fair, making the best use of the funds that are available. We will follow our two-stage assessment process. More information is available in the Student Support Fund Guidance.
For all applications, it may take up to four weeks from when we receive all supporting evidence for the student to receive the outcome of their assessment.
When an application to the Student Support Fund or the Summer Vacation Fund has been deemed successful, we will convey successful outcomes via an outcome letter sent to the student’s University email address. We will usually make awards as non-repayable grants. In limited circumstances we may offer an award as an interest-free loan. If a student is facing financial difficulties because funding has been delayed, we might suggest an emergency loan as a better option.
We will advise students that if they are disappointed with the outcome of their application, they can contact either YUSU or Graduate Students' Association for advice.
We will advise students that if they believe their application has not been assessed correctly in line with the published guidelines and would like it reviewed, they should email firstname.lastname@example.org with their reason for requesting this.
We will not review applications on the basis that students are dissatisfied with the result, or that the award made is below the maximum award level, or if we receive a request to review more than two weeks after the date shown on the outcome letter.
We will use a two-stage review process; more information is available on the University Student Support Guidance webpage.
We will notify students of the outcome of their request for a review within 12 working days of receipt.
For enquiries directly related to these funds, contact:
Student Financial Support
+44 (0)1904 324043
(Office hours, Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
For other financial queries, you can find the relevant contact details on our contacts webpage.
For help and advice, including information on budgeting and alternative sources of support available, please contact our Student Advisers via the online Self-Referral Form.