Discretionary and assistance funds

We receive funds from SAAS and from the University to assist eligible students who are facing financial difficulties. You may qualify for a grant if:

  • your income is less than your essential expenditure;
    or
  • something unexpected has happened which you could not have foreseen and could not budget for.

Discretionary and assistance funds cannot be used to pay tuition fees.

Fund allocation guidelines

Our basic guidelines for allocating funds:

  • These funds are a supplement only and not intended to be a primary source of funding.
  • You must be able to show that you are experiencing or facing financial difficulties.
  • We need evidence of your income and expenditure for all fund applications.
  • You must have taken out your maximum support entitlement from other sources first
  • You must be fully enrolled at the university to apply for any of the funds/support available.

Funds you can apply for

Full-time Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish Students

Discretionary Fund

You are eligible for the Discretionary Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time: undergraduate, postgraduate taught, or postgraduate research course (but not a nursing course)
  • you have applied for all funding available to you from SAAS, Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland, or the Scottish Social Services Council
  • you have taken out your full funding entitlement 

The maximum award from this fund is in the region of £2,000. Please note that your award may be lower.  

Applications for the Discretionary Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Coronavirus Fund

This fund is for students whose finances have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, quarantine, or lockdown restrictions. You must be facing an exceptional and unexpected financial need, which has led to a shortfall in your finances.

Applications to the Coronavirus Fund might relate to the cancellation of external funding awards, significant loss of financial support from family or a partner, unplanned living costs, and continuation charges for those students who need to extend their course/placement due to COVID-19 or other living or study-related costs for which funding is no longer available. Students who now must meet unexpected accommodation costs due to quarantine rules or self-isolation are also able to apply for assistance, where this has led to a shortfall in their finances.

You are eligible for the Coronavirus Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time: undergraduate, postgraduate taught, or postgraduate research course
  • you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are able to demonstrate this if required
  • you have applied for and are in receipt of at least some of the funding available to you from SAAS, Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland, or the Scottish Social Services Council
  • you are currently residing in Scotland for your studies

The maximum award from this fund is £2,000. Please note that your award may be lower.

Applications for the Coronavirus Fund will close for the 2021/22 academic year at:

  • 12 pm on Friday 29th April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship”

Accommodation Enhancement Fund

You are eligible for the Accommodation Enhancement Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time course at the University of Stirling
  • you have applied for, or are currently living in, the cheapest available university accommodation suitable to your needs

The maximum awards for this fund are:

  • £1,200 for undergraduates
  • £1,500 for postgraduates, estranged students, and students with experience of care

Please note, this fund is administered by the Money Support Services on behalf of Accommodation Services. Any award will be deducted from outstanding accommodation charges. Your award may be pro-rated by Accommodation Services based on your individual situation.

Applications for the Accommodation Enhancement Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship”

Childcare Fund

You are eligible for the Childcare Fund if:

  • you give consent to be assessed for the Discretionary Fund before being assessed for this fund
  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time undergraduate, postgraduate or TQFE course but not a nursing course
  • you receive undergraduate tuition fee funding from SAAS or have taken out the full postgraduate loan from SAAS
  • you have taken out the full entitlement of all support available to you (e.g. SAAS bursary, lone parent grant
  • you are in receipt of the childcare element of Universal Credit or Tax Credits if applicable, (and free childcare places, if applicable)
  • you have formal, registered, childcare in Scotland

Applications for the Childcare Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • 12pm on Friday 27 May 2022 for all continuing undergraduates and postgraduates

Lone Parent Childcare Grant

You are eligible for the Lone Parent Childcare Grant if:

  • you receive the SAAS Lone Parent Grant
  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time undergraduate or TQFE course but not a nursing course
  • your annual childcare costs are £1,215 or less
  • you have formal, registered, childcare in Scotland

You are not required to be assessed for the Discretionary Fund to apply to this fund. If you only wish to be assessed for the Lone Parent Childcare Grant, just complete the Childcare section of the application form.

Applications for the Lone Parent Childcare Grant will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • 12pm on Friday 27 May 2022 for all continuing undergraduates and postgraduates

Part-time Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish students

Discretionary Fund

You are eligible for the Discretionary Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a part-time: undergraduate, postgraduate taught, or postgraduate research course (but not a nursing course)
  • you have applied for all funding available to you from SAAS, Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland, or the Scottish Social Services Council
  • you have taken out your full funding entitlement

The maximum award from this fund is in the region of £2,000. This is the maximum award for full-time students and awards made to part-time students are on a pro rata basis dependent on the total credits undertaken in the academic year.   

The Discretionary Fund application will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Coronavirus Fund

This fund is for students whose finances have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, quarantine, or lockdown restrictions. You must be facing an exceptional and unexpected financial need, which has led to a shortfall in your finances. 

Applications to the Coronavirus Fund might relate to the cancellation of external funding awards, significant loss of financial support from family or a partner, unplanned living costs, and continuation charges for those students who need to extend their course/placement due to COVID-19 or other living or study-related costs for which funding is no longer available. Students who now must meet unexpected accommodation costs due to quarantine rules or self-isolation are also able to apply for assistance, where this has led to a shortfall in their finances.

You are eligible for the Coronavirus Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a part-time: undergraduate, postgraduate taught, or postgraduate research course
  • you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are able to demonstrate this if required
  • you are currently residing in Scotland for your studies
  • you have applied for and are in receipt of at least some of the funding available to your from SAAS, Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland, or the Scottish Social Services Council

The maximum award from this fund is £2,000. Please note that your award may be lower. This is the maximum award for full-time students and awards made to part-time students are on a pro rata basis dependent on the total credits undertaken in the academic year. 

Applications for the Coronavirus Fund will close for the 2021/22 academic year at:

  • 12 pm on Friday 29th April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Care experienced students, estranged students and student carers

As well as being eligible for the funds above, you may also be eligible for an additional bursary of £300 or £500 from the relevant hardship fund.

If you are staying in University maintained accommodation you may be eligible for an award of £1500 (undergraduate students) and an award of £1800 (postgraduate students). This award would be deducted from your total accommodation costs.

EU and International students

Student Assistance Fund

You are eligible if at least one of the following categories apply to you:

  • you are a fully enrolled nursing student from the Republic of Ireland, the EU, or overseas
  • you are a fully enrolled undergraduate or postgraduate student from the Republic of Ireland, the EU, or overseas
  • you are fully enrolled on the Access to Degree Studies programme and currently in the spring (January-May) semester
  • you are not eligible to apply for a student loan, grant, or to the Discretionary and Childcare Fund

or

  • You have experienced sudden and unexpected financial difficulties as a direct result of the political situation or a crisis in your home country (including natural disaster and war). The crisis must have taken place after you register on your programme and paid any deposit required.

The maximum award from this fund is £600. Please note that your award may be lower. This is the maximum award for full-time students and awards made to part-time students are on a pro rata basis dependent on the total credits undertaken in the academic year.

Applications to the Student Assistance Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Coronavirus Fund

This fund is for students whose finances have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, quarantine, or lockdown restrictions. You must be facing an exceptional and unexpected financial need, which has led to a shortfall in your finances.

Applications to the Coronavirus Fund might relate to the cancellation of external funding awards, significant loss of financial support from family or a partner, unplanned living costs, and continuation charges for those students who need to extend their course/placement due to COVID-19 or other living or study-related costs for which funding is no longer available. Students who now must meet unexpected accommodation costs due to quarantine rules or self-isolation are also able to apply for assistance, where this has led to a shortfall in their finances.

You are eligible for the Coronavirus Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on an undergraduate, postgraduate taught, or postgraduate research course
  • you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are able to demonstrate this if required
  • you are currently residing in Scotland for your studies

The maximum award from this fund is £2,000. Please note that your award may be lower. This is the maximum award for full-time students and awards made to part-time students are on a pro rata basis dependent on the total credits undertaken in the academic year.

Applications for the Coronavirus Fund will close for the 2021/22 academic year at:

  • 12 pm on Friday 29th April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Accommodation Enhancement Fund

You are eligible for the Accommodation Enhancement Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time course at the University of Stirling
  • you have applied for, or are currently living in, the cheapest available university accommodation suitable to your needs

The maximum awards for this fund are:

  • £1,200 for undergraduates
  • £1,350 for nursing students
  • £1,500 for postgraduates, estranged students, and students with experience of care

Please note, this fund is administered by the Money Support Services on behalf of Accommodation Services. Any award will be deducted from outstanding accommodation charges. Your award may be pro-rated by Accommodation Services based on your individual situation.

Applications for the Accommodation Enhancement Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for continuing undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Full-time Scottish, English, Welsh or Northern Irish undergraduate nursing students

Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund

You are eligible for the Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a pre-registration nursing course
  • you have taken out the full nursing bursary from SAAS or full loan entitlement from Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland

Due to very limited funds, priority will be given to students who:

  • have at least one dependent child
  • are lone parents and receive the SAAS Single Parents Allowance Grant, Tax Credits or the Child element of Universal Credit
  • have experience of care or estranged from their family
  • have caring responsibilities
  • are in their final year
  • have no dependents but live independently and are responsible for their own living costs
  • have been financially impacted by COVID-19

The maximum award from this fund is £600.

Applications to the Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund application will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for undergraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Coronavirus Fund

This fund is for students whose finances have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, quarantine, or lockdown restrictions. You must be facing an exceptional and unexpected financial need, which has led to a shortfall in your finances.

Applications to the Coronavirus Fund might relate to the cancellation of external funding awards, significant loss of financial support from family or a partner, unplanned living costs, and continuation charges for those students who need to extend their course/placement due to COVID-19 or other living or study-related costs for which funding is no longer available. Students who now must meet unexpected accommodation costs due to quarantine rules or self-isolation are also able to apply for assistance, where this has led to a shortfall in their finances.

You are eligible for the Coronavirus Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on an undergraduate, postgraduate taught, or postgraduate research course
  • you have applied for either part of or all funding available to you from SAAS, Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland or the Scottish Social Services Council
  • you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are able to demonstrate this if required
  • you are currently residing in Scotland for your studies

The maximum award from this fund is £2,000. Please note that your award may be lower.

Applications for the Coronavirus Fund will close for the 2021/22 academic year at:

  • 12 pm on Friday 29th April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for undergraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Accommodation Enhancement Fund

You are eligible for the Accommodation Enhancement Fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time course at the University of Stirling
  • you have applied for, or are currently living in, the cheapest available university accommodation suitable to your needs

The maximum awards for this fund are:

  • £1,350 for nursing students
  • £1,500 for estranged students and students with experience of care

Please note, this fund is administered by the Money Support Services on behalf of Accommodation Services. Any award will be deducted from outstanding accommodation charges. Your award may be prorated by Accommodation Services based on your individual situation.

Applications for the Accommodation Enhancement Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 29 April 2022 for all final year undergraduates
  • Applications are open for undergraduate students who are in financial crisis or hardship

Applying for the funds

We will aim to assess your application within three to four weeks. Applications will be assessed in the time and date received. We cannot fast-track any assessments.

Please use the internal student site to make your application to the funds. You will find more information on the application process alongside links to apply for the various funds.

Unhappy with a decision?

If you disagree with our decision on your application, there is an appeals procedure. Find out more about why some applications are refused. If you need help filling in a form, especially if you have a disability or dyslexia, please talk to an adviser.

 

Additional support

Isabella H. Stevens Loan Fund

Mr Stephen E. Stevens established the Isabella H. Stevens Student Loan Fund in memory of his wife to assist students in financial difficulty.

Isabella H. Stevens Loans can be used to support all forms of financial expenses to help complete your studies successfully.

The Isabella H. Stevens Student Loan Fund is interest-free, and you are only required to repay the loan in full once you graduate and earn over £17,000. It is your responsibility to let us know when you are in a position to repay the loan. The Isabella H. Stevens Loan will not impact or appear on your credit report.

Loans are awarded based on financial need and are determined by the assessment of your income, expenditure and personal circumstances outlined in your Student Money Support application.

If successful, you will be offered a loan amount of £300 or £500 - the amount offered will depend on your deficit/personal circumstances. You can decide how much you wish to borrow (e.g. offered £500 but only wish to accept £250 etc.); however, you cannot borrow more than the maximum loan offer.

Applications for the Isabella H. Stevens Loan Fund will close at 12pm 22 July 2022 if it is not depleted before this date.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Isabella H. Stevens Loan Fund you must:

  • be fully enrolled on a part-time or full-time undergraduate degree programme
  • have already applied and been assessed for either the Discretionary Fund, University's Childcare Funds, Student Assistance Fund, Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund, or the Coronavirus Fund
  • have already demonstrated that you are in financial hardship

How to apply

We will aim to assess your application within 24 hours of the evidence deadline (or 72 hours for weekends and public holidays). Applications will be assessed in the time and date received. We cannot fast-track any assessments.

Please use the internal student site to make your application to the funds. You will find more information on the application process alongside links to apply for the various funds.

Digital Poverty Scheme: Long-term Loan Laptop

Digital poverty is when those on low incomes can't afford, or access suitable electronic learning equipment. This includes (but is not limited to): a computer device such as a laptop or tablet, other hardware necessary such as a keyboard, mouse or headset or any other connectivity equipment.

To combat digital poverty, the University has invested in a bank of laptops that students can borrow on a long-term basis for the entire academic year. Please note that the only digital equipment that University can currently provide is loan laptops. If you cannot access or afford other electronic learning devices and/or connectivity equipment, please note this in your personal statement within your application form (Q.18), as we may be able to assist with these items at a later date.

The Digital Poverty Scheme will remain open all year.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Long Term Loan Laptop you must:

  • be fully enrolled on a University of Stirling course
  • be able to demonstrate that you are in financial hardship 
  • not be eligible for a laptop through Disabled Student Allowance
  • be able to collect the laptop from Information Services at the University

How to apply

We will aim to assess your application within 24 hours of the evidence deadline (or 72 hours for weekends and public holidays). Applications will be assessed in the time and date received. We cannot fast-track any assessments.

Please use the internal student site to make your application to the funds. You will find more information on the application process alongside links to apply for the various funds.

Short-term Loan

If you are experiencing a financial emergency, you can apply for an interest-free short-term emergency loan.

Loans are intended for one-off costs, or emergency situations, rather than ongoing expenses. If you are struggling to budget for your ongoing expenses please visit our managing your money page. You may not be awarded if you can access other resources to tide you over the emergency. 

You will need to provide any evidence relevant to your emergency, along with bank statements for every account you hold covering the last two consecutive months. You will have one hour from the time you submit your application to upload your evidence. We aim to assess your application within 24 hours of you applying (or the next working day if you apply on a Friday or a University or bank holiday). University and bank holidays will delay processing and payment.

Repayment

If awarded, you will be responsible for repaying the loan in full six weeks after your application date.

How to apply

The Short-term Loan application will remain open all year.

We will aim to assess your application within 24 hours of the evidence deadline (or 72 hours for weekends and public holidays). Applications will be assessed in the time and date received. We cannot fast-track any assessments.

Please use the internal student site to make your application to the funds. You will find more information on the application process alongside links to apply for the various funds.

Rental Guarantor Scheme

The University of Stirling Rental Guarantor Scheme has been established to enable students to secure privately rented accommodation by providing a UK-based guarantor. If relevant eligibility criteria is met, the University of Stirling may act as a UK-based rent guarantor for your rent (up to a maximum of £600 per calendar month) if you cannot find an alternative UK-based guarantor.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you are a fully enrolled full-time student at the University of Stirling who cannot obtain a UK-based guarantor to secure a private accommodation tenancy and have at least six months of your course left.

Students who are currently, or who have previously been, listed as a debtor (academic or non-academic) to the University of Stirling will not normally be eligible to apply for the scheme.

Priority will be given to:

  • Overseas, EU, and continuing students
  • Students with experience of care
  • Students who are estranged from their families
  • Students with low household income (less than £18,999 per annum); and
  • Students with exceptional circumstances.

The scheme:

  • is not open to part-time students
  • guarantees rent only up to a maximum of £600 per calendar month. 
  • does not include additional contractual financial liabilities

How do I apply?

The Rental Guarantor Application will remain open all year.

Once you have found and secured a place you want to live and have obtained a tenancy agreement (that this should not be signed yet), you can begin the application process. You can find the link to the Rental Guarantor Scheme application form and more details on the application process on the internal student site.

After you apply

Your landlord is required to sign and return the legal paperwork by Royal Mail Next Day Delivery. Due to this, we will require your application form and evidence at least 7 working days before your entry date.

Once the guarantee with the landlord has been agreed your tenancy will operate as normal; you should pay your rent directly to the landlord by bank transfer. If you cannot pay your rent you must immediately email the Deputy Head of Student Support at the University of Stirling (ask@stir.ac.uk) stating the reasons for non-payment of rent together with the amount due and the due date, so that the University is aware that the guarantee may be called upon.

If the University is required to pay your rent, the rental paid will be treated as a debt you owe to the University, and this will need to be repaid.

Period Poverty

If you are experiencing period poverty, a range of free period products are now available to order from the online student shop.

In addition, there are period products available in a variety of locations across the campus, where you can pick up the products of your preference, without having to ask for them. Details of all the locations are shown on the free period products webpage.

Internal links

Some of the links in this guide go to pages on our internal student site, which you should be able to access if you are logged in with your University email address.

If you are having trouble accessing these pages, please contact the hub.