What is the Financial Assistance Programme and Why You Should Know About It

Megha Roy, your International Students' Officer, shines light on the Financial Assistance Programme and how it can be useful to you!

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What is the Financial Assistance Programme and why you should know about it.

The Financial Assistance Programme is the name for the University’s Hardship Funds. This is a fund set up by the university to support students who are in financial difficulty, and it is used according to the student’s needs when they apply.

Why is it important to know about Hardship Funds?

Hardship funds are created to provide financial aid to students who are struggling and is a resource meant for our students to use.

Knowing the details about this fund can be helpful as this can give every student a brief idea of how to seek help if going through financial problems. Moreover, students will know about the kind of support university has already established for them.

Keeping in mind that we all are facing a pandemic situation and Cardiff university has a fairly large number of international students from all over the globe among which many are struggling, it’s a good time to put light on this fund to help reach students in times of need.

How can apply for the hardship fund/financial assistance??

All you need to do is click this link and you will be taken to the page which has every detail about application process through which you will be able to apply.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long will it take for the me to get the money from the fund if I am eligible??
- If all information is supplied, you will normally receive the decision within 10 working days.
2. What financial matters of international students can be helped with from the fund??
- You must be in financial need - usually as a result of unexpected circumstances.?
- The hardship fund is not a funding body and cannot be used in place of a scholarship etc.?
- It cannot be used to pay fees but is there to support with living costs.?
3. As an international student who is studying remotely in my home country am I allowed to apply to this fund??
- Yes, international students who are studying from their home country are able to apply for the fund.?
4. What amount of money can I get from the fund at a time?
- The amount that you may be given is assessed on a case-by-case basis and is tailored to the individual’s circumstances.
- You may receive a contribution to your costs and not the full amount that you think you require.
5. Do we need to return the money we take from the fund??
- No, the money does not need to be returned.
6. What paperwork is required to apply for the fund??
- Details are on the Intranet page and staff would be happy to receive emails regarding whether any nonstandard paperwork may be acceptable.?
- In most cases we need?a completed?application form, providing?three?months' most recent bank statements showing an up-to-date balance for?all?accounts that you hold.
- There are more details in the?guidance notes?and?terms and conditions.
7. Can this money be used to pay my tuition fees?
- We calculate hardship funds based on your living costs needs and do?not consider fee debt as part of any fund awarded to you.
- All hardship awards are paid directly to you (we will not pay outstanding accommodation or fee debt).
- While we have no control over how you spend the money, we do advise using the money to support your maintenance rather than paying fees.
Can I apply more than once?
- Yes you are able to apply more than once if you are still in financial hardship, but there is an expectation that you have managed your finances and sought to maximise your income in other ways.

Eligibility Criteria Table

Fully Registered Student In financial need Full-time study Part-time student (minimum 50% and 25% if disabled) Adequate funding available at the start of the course *
PhD (first twelve months of the writing-up period) ELIGIBLE ELIGIBLE ELIGIBLE ELIGIBLE

Example Scenarios Of Students Who Got Help From The Hardship Fund

  1. Student A applied to the Financial Assistance Programme as she was having trouble accessing the required funds from her home country due to political unrest. The funding is available, but the student cannot access it through no fault of their own. Student was awarded short term help to cover this unexpected scenario and was invited to come back to us should the situation remain the same. We would look to cover essential costs at this time.
  2. Student B lost their job as a result of the pandemic and relied on this income to cover their living costs. They have the majority of funding for fees and rent but need some help with general costs. Short term help was offered to cover the period that the student was struggling to find work. Student B was invited to return to us should they not secure employment or find alternative income. It was understood that the student had limitations on the number of hours that they can work due to visa restrictions.
  3. Student C applies to fund towards the end of the term as they have not budgeted effectively with funding; overspent or not realised length of time needed to budget for, sometimes not realising that they need to cover 4 months of rent and have only budgeted for 3. The student would be offered short term limited help to cover basic and essential costs until the next loan instalment is paid. Student would be invited to attend Individual Action Plan to discuss budgeting and finances so they can plan better for the future and to highlight areas they can save money or reduce spending.

***Please note – Students are required as part of the terms and conditions to have the necessary funding prior to attending. FAPA cannot cover tuition fees. In the event a student cannot cover their tuition fees and they are self-funded they should contact Fees to discuss a payment plan and International Student Support/Student Funding and Advice Teams to discuss possible options around taking a break in studies.


In addition to the Financial Assistance Programme, the University has been given money by the Welsh Government to support students with additional expenses that have come about as a result of COVID 19. Registered students who are on degree programmes can access the COVID-19 STUDENT SUPPORT FUND through their SIMS account and receive a one off and non-repayable £350 payment. If you have received £350 or more from the University accommodation residences fee rebate then you will not be able to access additional money through this particular fund.

To be eligible you must:

  • be an undergraduate or postgraduate
  • a full time or part time registered Cardiff University student
  • not have received more than £350 from the?University accommodation residences fee rebate.

The application process is quick and simple:

  • Go to SIMS
  • Select the expenses you are struggling to meet (e.g., rent, utility bills)
  • Select the main reason(s) for struggling to meet your expenses (e.g., lost income, additional costs, lack of part-time work)
  • Provide your bank details - for the payment to be made into.
  • We may only ask for more details of your financial situation if you are one of the small percentage of students that we audit.

*The fund will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. The fund is limited and will close once all money has been awarded.

Find the terms and conditions here.


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