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 are 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.

Read our Discretionary and Assistance Funds Allocation Guidance.

Funds you can apply for

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

Discretionary Fund

You are eligible to apply 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). Students must be on a course leading to a degree or postgraduate qualification;
  • you have applied for and taken out all funding available to you from SAAS, Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland, or the Scottish Social Services Council;
  • you are from another country and satisfy the SAAS residence conditions to be treated in the same way as a UK student for student funding purposes.

The maximum award from this fund is in the region of £1,800. Your award may be lower.  

Applications for the Discretionary Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 26 April 2024 for all final-year undergraduates;
  • applications for all other undergraduate and postgraduate students will close at 12pm on 19 July 2024;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

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:

  • £1,409 for undergraduates
  • £1,585 for nursing and paramedic students
  • £1,761 for postgraduates, estranged students, and students with experience of care

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 26 April 2024 for all final-year undergraduates;
  • applications for all other undergraduate and postgraduate students will close at 12pm on 19 July 2024;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

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 or paramedic science 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.

Postgraduate social work students in receipt of SSSC funding can apply to SSSC for a Childcare Allowance of £70.00 per week towards childcare costs.

Applications for the Childcare Fund will close at:

  • 12pm on Friday 26 April 2024 for all final-year undergraduates;
  • 12pm on Friday 24 May 2024 for all continuing undergraduates and postgraduates;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

Read our Fund Fact Sheets for information about the assessment process:

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 or paramedic science 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 26 April 2024 for all final year undergraduates;
  • 12pm on Friday 24 May 2024 for all continuing undergraduates and postgraduates;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

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 or paramedic science course). Students must be on a course leading to a degree or postgraduate qualification;
  • you have applied for and taken out all funding available to you from SAAS, Student Finance England/Wales/Northern Ireland, or the Scottish Social Services Council.

The maximum award from this fund is in the region of £1,800. 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 26 April 2024 for all final-year undergraduates;
  • applications for all other undergraduate and postgraduate students will close at 12pm on 19 July 2024;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

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.

To be assessed for the above bursaries you need to register with the Widening Participation Point of Contact. Further information, including the Point of Contact Registration Form, can be found on the Care experienced students page and the estranged students and student carers page.

If you are staying in University maintained accommodation you may be eligible for an enhanced award. This award would be deducted from your total accommodation costs.

EU and International students

International students who are in the UK on a student visa, are required to have sufficient funds available to them to cover their full tuition fee and living costs for the duration of their course. The university is understanding of unexpected issues which can have a negative impact on students’ funding. For such extreme situations, students can apply for financial support through the Student Assistance Fund.

We do not provide any financial support towards the payment of tuition fees.

Student Assistance Fund

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

  • you are a fully enrolled nursing or paramedic science student from the Republic of Ireland, the EU, or international;
  • you are a fully enrolled undergraduate or postgraduate student from the Republic of Ireland, the EU, or international;
  • 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 but 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 26 April 2024 for all final year undergraduates;
  • applications for all other undergraduate and postgraduate students will close at 12pm on 19 July 2024;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

Read our Discretionary and Assistance Funds Allocation Guidance.

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:

  • £1,409 for undergraduates
  • £1,585 for nursing students
  • £1,761 for postgraduates, estranged students, and students with experience of care

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 26 April 2024 for all final year undergraduates;
  • applications for all other undergraduate and postgraduate students will close at 12pm on 19 July 2024;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

Access students

You are eligible to apply to the Student Assistance Fund if you are fully enrolled on the Access to Degree Studies Programme and are currently in the spring (January-May) semester.

The maximum award from this fund is £300.00. Your award may be lower. This is the maximum award for part-time students.

Applications to the Student Assistance Fund will close at 12pm on 26 April 2024.

 

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

Paramedic, Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund

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

  • you are fully enrolled on a pre-registration nursing or paramedic science course
  • you have taken out the full paramedic, nursing and midwifery 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 the cost of living crisis

The maximum award from this fund is £600.

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

  • 12pm on Friday 26 April 2024 for all final year undergraduates;
  • applications for all other undergraduate and postgraduate students will close at 12pm on 19 July 2024;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

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:

  • £1,409 for undergraduates
  • £1,585 for nursing students
  • £1,761 for estranged students and students with experience of care

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 26 April 2024 for all final-year undergraduates;
  • applications for all other undergraduate and postgraduate students will close at 12pm on 19 July 2024;
  • applications may close before these dates if funds are depleted.

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.

Disagree with a decision?

Applicants who disagree with the outcome of their application are required to meet with a Money Adviser before making any formal request for reconsideration of the decision. In most cases, a conversation like this will allow applicants to present information not included in the original application, which could make a difference. 

Applicants will be required to bring with them a completed Spending Review document which will be used as the basis for discussion with the Money Adviser.

Appointments to speak with one of our Money Advisers can be made via the Student Services Hub.

If, after speaking with a Money Adviser, an applicant still wishes to formally query their award, their reasons for disagreeing with the decision should be submitted in writing to the Deputy Head of Student Support Services within 28 days of notification of the award outcome being made. Such correspondence can be submitted via ask@stir.ac.uk where it will be forwarded appropriately.

Find out more about the appeals procedure and 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 19 July 2024 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, or Paramedic, Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary 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.

Marion Gibbs Housing Studies Internship Support Fund

The Marion Gibbs Housing Studies Internship Support Fund has been established in memory of Marion Rae Gibbs (29 July 1964 to 7 December 2022) who was at the very centre of Scotland's housing sector. For over 30 years, her life's work was focused on those in the most housing need; people affected by homelessness, overcrowding and those in unsuitable, unsafe or temporary accommodation. Marion made an indelible contribution to the world of housing and homelessness.

Read more about Marion Gibbs and her contribution to housing and homelessness.

The fund has been established to provide financial support to students undertaking our internship route (TX044-HOUINT), specifically in relation to module HOUP007 – Contemporary Housing Practice, as a fund to help students with the costs of undertaking their work experience placements and events/visits associated with this module.

The Marion Gibbs Housing Studies Internship Support Fund can be utilised in a ‘preventive’ way to avoid hardship, as well as to alleviate hardship. This could include travel and subsistence costs associated with work experience internships and possibly cost of living support if the internship is unpaid.

Awards from the fund are in the form of grants and do not require to be repaid. Awards range from £100 to £500.

Applications for the Marion Gibbs Housing Studies Internship Support Fund will close at 12:00pm, 19 July 2024 if it is not depleted before this date.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Marion Gibbs Housing Studies Internship Support Fund you must:

  • be fully enrolled on the MSc / PG Dip Housing Studies (with internship) programme (TX044-HOUINT);
  • be registered for module HOUP007 – Contemporary Housing Practice, and preparing to undertake the work experience placement element of the course;
  • be able to demonstrate that you will struggle financially during your internship activities i.e., travel costs, loss of earnings etc.

How to apply

Please use the internal student site to make your application to the fund. You will find more information on the application process on the internal student site webpage.

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

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. The only digital equipment that University can currently provide is loan laptops. 

Eligibility

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

  • be fully enrolled on a University of Stirling course 
  • 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

To apply, please contact Information Services by emailing them at information.centre@stir.ac.uk or alternatively, visit them in person at the Library on campus.

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. 

If you have an outstanding short-term loan that has not been repaid in full, we are unable to accept another application and make another loan award.

You will need to provide any evidence relevant to your emergency, along with bank statements for your main everyday account covering the last 3 consecutive months (the full 3 months immediately prior to the date you submit this application). Please have this evidence uploaded within one hour of submitting your application. 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:

  • International, 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. 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, 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.