Hardship Fund

The Hardship Fund can support you if you are experiencing unexpected or unforeseen financial difficulty, including if you have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and are from a low-income household.

We’ll give you a grant of up to £1,000 to enable you to continue your studies at the University of Essex. You don’t need to pay this money back and you can use it to support:

  • Living costs – to assist with core living costs
  • Residential costs – to assist with the cost of rent/accommodation
  • Equipment/digital support – to assist with digital, IT equipment or to secure access to internet
  • Childcare costs – provides additional financial support towards childcare costs


To be eligible for the Hardship Fund, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • you have a low household income (up to £35,000)
  • you are a fully registered UK, EU or international undergraduate or postgraduate student studying at the University of Essex for academic year 2020-21
  • you are studying a full-time course or substantial part time course (at least 50% of full-time equivalent)
  • you had previously made adequate provision to cover all of your fees and living costs, but are now in demonstrable need or financial support as a result of unexpected exceptional changes in financial circumstances
  • if you are requesting support for childcare, your child/children must be aged 11 years or younger and you may apply for a maximum of up to three children

Full details

Please read the full terms and conditions carefully before applying.

2020-21 entry

How to apply

All funding applications from 2020-21 must be submitted via Blackbullion, please see instructions below:

  1. Create an account with Blackbullion using your Essex email account or login if you already have an account. (Note: Make sure you select the ‘University student’ option, rather than ‘applicant’ when you register) Don’t worry if your course is not listed on the application form. You can still register and apply without selecting a course
  2. Click the ‘Funds’ tab and select ‘Hardship Fund’ button
  3. Read the guidance and follow the instructions to complete the online application form and submit all the required evidence as outlined on the guidance document
  4. Submit your application and evidence

We suggest watching the useful video below before submitting your evidence:

Other Support

The University and other external organisations offer financial support to get you through your studies, check out other ways of funding your University for current students at the links below:

UoE offers a range of additional welfare support and guidance.