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.

Fund allocation guidelines

Our basic guidelines for allocating funds include:

  • These funds are not intended to be your primary source of funding – they are a supplement only.
  • 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 registered at the University to apply.

The funds

Discretionary Fund

This fund is now closed. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

You eligible for this fund if:

  • you are fully enrolled on a full-time or part-time undergraduate or postgraduate course but not a nursing course
  • you have applied for all funding available to you from SAAS, Student Finance or the Scottish Social Services Council
  • you have taken out your full funding entitlement
  • you are PhD student who is classed as a home student for your tuition fees

The maximum award from this fund is £1400.

Childcare fund

This fund is now closed. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

You are eligible to apply to this 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

Lone Parent Childcare Fund

This fund is now closed. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

You are eligible to apply to this fund 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 £1215 or under
  • 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 Fund, just complete Part 2 of the application form.

Nursing and Midwifery Discretionary Fund

This fund is now closed. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

You are eligible to apply to this 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

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
  • are care experienced or estranged from their family
  • have caring responsibilities

The maximum award from this fund is £500.

Student Assistance Fund

This fund is now closed. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

You are eligible to apply to this fund if:

  • you are a fully enrolled nursing student and have taken out the full nursing bursary from SAAS or loan from Student Finance
  • you are a fully enrolled nursing student from Ireland or the EU
  • you are a fully enrolled undergraduate or postgraduate student from the EU
  • you are a fully enrolled international undergraduate or postgraduate student
  • you are fully enrolled on the Access to Degree Studies programme and currently in the spring semester (January - May)
  • 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 your register on your programme and paid any deposit required.
  • Please refer to the International Student Crisis assistance section on the webpage for further information
  • The maximum award from this fund is £500

International Student Crisis assistance

This fund is now closed. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

You are eligible to apply to this fund if:

  • you are an International, European or EU student
  • you have met with the Money Adviser to discuss the crisis
  • you have experienced sudden and unexpected financial difficulties as a direct result of political or social crisis in your home country (including natural disaster and war)

The crisis must have taken place after you registered on your programme and paid any deposit required. You must provide evidence that you started your programme with sufficient funds to support yourself and pay your tuition fees, and that these arrangements have been affected by unforeseen circumstances and events beyond your control. This evidence would normally be a record of having previously paid fees and accommodation bills successfully, and documentation verifying the change in circumstances.

Where a sponsor has suffered a crisis and the application is for support with tuition fees, you must provide evidence of the sponsor paying fees up to the point of the crisis.

You must provide evidence that you have a package of funding in place to meet your commitments, to which this fund may make a reasonable contribution.

You apply for this assistance through an application to the Student Assistance Fund.

University Accommodation Enhancement Fund

This fund is now closed. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

You are eligible to apply to this fund if:

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

The maximum awards for this fund are:

  • £1200 for Undergraduates
  • £1350 for Nursing students
  • £1500 for Postgraduates, Care Experienced and Estranged students

How to apply

We will assess you for every fund (Discretionary, Student Assistance, Nursing & Midwifery, and University Accommodation Enhancement) you are eligible to apply to under one form.

Please read the guidance, FAQs and evidence notes on the Money Support page before starting the online application form below.

It takes on average 25 minutes to complete the application form. Please make sure you have enough time to complete the form before starting your application as there is no option to save or return to it. Your application will NOT be registered with the Money Team until you submit your completed application. Forms cannot be edited by you or the Money Support Team once you have submitted it.

If you also wish to apply to the Childcare Funds, please complete Part 2 of the online application form after submitting Part 1.

Student Money Support Funds 20 21 Privacy Notes Guidance FAQs

All the 20/21 hardship funds are now closed. Applications for the 21/22 academic year will open in September 2021. If you are currently experiencing a financial crisis, please contact the Student Services Hub (01786 466022 or Live Chat) to make an appointment with the Money Advisor.

If you require this form in a different format and/or require assistance completing the application form, please contact the Student Services Hub on 01786 466022 or ask@stir.ac.uk.

Please note that all funds are limited and may run out before the closing date.

What happens once you have submitted your application?

1. Once submitted, a Hub Adviser logs your application and you will receive a link to your personal evidence upload folder, via your University email account.

The folder will be named with your user ID, your student number, full name (e.g. JS22-1234567-John Smith) and will come from ask@stir.ac.uk. Please do not click on any link that is not from ask@stir.ac.uk and/or named the way the file is in the above image. If you are unsure about your personal evidence link please contact the Student Services Hub.

Please upload all your evidence within 48 hours of receiving your link.  We will NOT be able to proceed with your assessment if you have not uploaded all the required evidence.

Please contact the Student Services Hub if you do not receive your link within 5 working days of submitting your form.

2. Once you have submitted all your supporting evidence, we aim to assess your application within 8 weeks.

3. Applications are assessed in the date and time order they are received. We cannot fast-track any assessments.

4. We will notify you of our decision by email. While your application is in process, please check your University email regularly.

5. Any award (apart from the University Accommodation Enhancement Fund) will be paid into the bank details you have stored on your portal page. It is your responsibility to make sure these details are correct. The Money Support team/Finance Office will NOT be responsible for any awards that are paid into the wrong bank account.

Additional support

The University of Stirling Rental Guarantor Scheme

The University of Stirling Rental Guarantor Scheme has been established in order 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 6 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 who are care experienced
  • students who are estranged from their families
  • students with low household income (less than £18,999 per annum); and
  • students with exceptional circumstances

Please note that the scheme is not open to part-time students.

How do I apply?

Once you have found and secured a place you want to live and have obtained a tenancy agreement (please note that this should not be signed yet), you can begin the application process.

Please complete the Stirling Rental Guarantor Scheme application form and provide the following supporting documentation to moneytriage@stir.ac.uk

  • unsigned tenancy agreement, with no joint or several liability
  • two months’ worth of bank statements for your bank account from which you have been paying your rent
  • evidence of your funding arrangements for the current academic session (for example, SAAS/Student Finance/other scholarship award letter)
  • reference from your current or previous landlord (including halls of residence) if applicable.

Deadline

Please submit your application by 30th April 2021.

How will the scheme work?

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 notify the Head of Student Guidance and Wellbeing at the University of Stirling by email on 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, please note that the rental paid will be treated as a debt you owe to the University and this will need to be repaid.

How can I find out more?

You can find out more by contacting the Student Money Support team at the Student Services Hub (01786 466022, ask@stir.ac.uk or Live Chat through your portal page).

Short-term emergency loan

If you are experiencing a financial emergency you can apply for an interest-free short-term emergency loan. You will be asked to provide supporting evidence along with bank statements.

Loans are intended to meet one-off needs rather than ongoing expenses and may not be awarded if you can access other resources to tide you over the emergency.

What can I get an emergency loan for?

Applications can be made for the following essential items:

  • food
  • gas (if on a pay as you go meter)
  • electricity (if on a pay as you go meter)
  • nappies
  • toiletries (please contact the Students' Union if you require sanitary products as these can be distributed free of  charge)
  • travel costs (to campus and/or work)

Items/circumstances where you will NOT be able to get an emergency loan

The following items are on-going costs and should be included in your annual/monthly budget:

  • rent payments
  • large bills (e.g. quarterly utility bills, MOTs etc.)
  • debt repayments

or if:

  • you or your partner have access to an agreed overdraft
  • you already have an outstanding emergency loan
  • You have already received three emergency loans within the academic year

Please contact the Student Services Hub to make a Teams appointment with the Money Adviser if any of the above apply to you.

Repayment

You will have 8 weeks to repay the loan in full. You can do this by:

1. repaying your loan through your portal page or by contacting the Income Office (income.office@stir.ac.uk) before or on the agreed repayment date.

or

2. Submitting an application to the Student Money Support Funds. If you receive an award from the funds, part or all, of your loan will be repaid before any monies are paid into your chosen bank account. If your award is less than your loan amount, or you do not receive an award, you will be responsible for clearing the balance by the agreed repayment date, as detailed in point 1 above.

How to apply and the process

1. Complete and submit the Short-Term Emergency Loan application form. You are required to enter all of your household income. Please have this information to hand before starting the application form.

2. Send an email to moneytriage@stir.ac.uk with your name, student number and Emergency Loan in the subject line.

Please attach any supporting evidence of your emergency to the email along with PDF bank statements for every account you hold covering the last two consecutive months (e.g. if you apply on 10th November we require statements from 10/09/20 - 10/11/20). If you have a partner that lives with you, we will also require statements for EVERY account they hold.

3. We will assess your application and notify you of our decision by email with 24 hours of you submitting your application and email (or the next working day if you apply on a Friday). Please note that bank holidays will delay the processing and payment.

4. If you are awarded, we will send you a loan memo along with your decision notification. Please complete and return the memo as soon as you receive this. Please note any signed memos returned after 12 pm will fall into the next day’s payment run.

5. Your loan will be paid into your chosen bank account 48 hours from returning your signed loan memo or the following working day if retuning your signed loan memo on a Friday. Please refer to point 3 regarding bank holidays.

Please note the following:

1. We may need to contact you regarding your assessment should further information be required. Please check your phone regularly.

2. We cannot complete your assessment if supporting documentation (if applicable) and bank statements for every account held are not submitted.

Digital poverty

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 which students are able to borrow on a long term basis for the full academic year. To be eligible for a loan laptop you must be in financial hardship, be able to demonstrate this and NOT in receipt of Disabled Student Allowance which covers the purchase of a laptop.

Please note that it is only laptops that the University is able to provide.

How to apply for a long term loan laptop

If you are experiencing digital poverty, please complete an application to the relevant hardship fund (you will find the eligibility criteria for each fund at the top of this page) and make sure you answer all the digital poverty questions. Please provide as much information about your personal circumstances in the personal statement section of the application form.

The Money Support team will assess your need based on your annual income and expenditure. This assessment will identify if you meet the criteria for a long term loan laptop. If successful the Money Support team will notify you of this and refer you to the Information Centre.

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.

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.