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Exceptional Support Fund

Information on funding support for students experiencing financial hardship during their course.

Studying at university can bring with it financial challenges. The Exceptional Support Fund (ESF) is available to eligible students experiencing financial hardship during their studies who have exhausted all other means of funding. A grant of up to £3,000.00 per academic year will be available to help students who can show that there is a shortfall between their income and expenditure which they are unable to manage by their own actions.

Students applying for ESF must have first applied to their university for any hardship or other available funding. You can still apply for ESF even if your application to university was rejected as long as you have approached them for help. Your university must endorse and sign your ESF claim form before it can be submitted to us. Any claims that have not been countersigned will not be considered. 

You can apply for ESF at any point throughout he academic year, there is no closing date. 

Useful information

We have put together a handy guide to help you complete your ESF application form. Please read through this before submitting your application as it contains essential information about the types of evidence and supporting documentation you must provide with your claim:

ESF Application Guidance

Don't forget to attach your student coversheet to your application form as this helps us allocate the form and any evidence to your account.

If this is your first application for an element of LSF you will need to send us a copy of your student finance letter as evidence you're in receipt of funding. Please note we are unable to return this letter. 

When you’re applying for ESF, please make sure you mark your bank statements to highlight any payments referred to in your application. This will help us to assess your claim and reduce any subsequent queries and delays. Once we have received your application and all relevant evidence we will pay successful applications within 30 working days.

This document explains your student journey when applying for ESF:

ESF student journey