It is expected that students will secure the necessary funds to cover their fees and living costs before arriving at Oxford. However, if you find yourself in financial hardship while enrolled on your course, the University and its colleges have a number of funds available to support students.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties you should take the following steps:
1. If you are a Home/EU student, you should check you have applied for all government funds to which you are entitled.
For undergraduate and PGCE students, this relates principally to the maintenance support and/or tuition fee support as well as any extra support available, as outlined on the Gov.uk website.
For graduate students, this relates principally to Master’s or Doctoral loans, as well as government allowances and benefits available to students who have extra needs, such as students with a disability or student parents who may be eligible to claim child benefit, tax credits or universal credit.
2. Speak to your college
If you are in financial difficulty you should usually approach your college or hall in the first instance. Colleges understand the financial constraints students experience and will be able to offer advice on the support that you may be eligible to apply for, including any relevant College Hardship Funds.
3. Assess your financial situation
Each year a number of students apply for assistance without looking to see what action they can take to improve their financial situation first. Assess where you are spending money and whether it is necessary, for instance by looking at your bank statements. You may also find it useful to refer to the Managing your finances webpage. The University is committed to helping students in financial difficulties but cannot offer assistance where this is caused by excessive and unnecessary expenditure.
4. Check your eligibility to apply for hardship funds provided by the University
Students in financial difficulty may be eligible to apply to the Oxford Hardship Fund (OHF), a centrally-administered Fund which assesses students for support according to their fee status, providing assistance through grants and/or loans. Students should ensure that they check the eligibility criteria and the deadlines in place when considering applying for this support.
Students whose finances have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic should contact their college hardship officer for further guidance on applying to the COVID-19 Hardship Fund (CHF) from the start of Michaelmas term, as it is not possible to apply to the Oxford Hardship Fund in conjunction with the COVID-19 Hardship Fund.