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What's new this Academic Year

Each academic year we review the support that we offer to students and may make changes to reflect the changing needs of our student population, meet the demands on our hardship budget and improve processes. There are a number of factors that impact how we distribute funds from the Hardship budget, including, the number of applications we receive in an academic year and University driven initiatives such as the Access and Participation Plan. As such, we don’t recommend that students rely on support offered through the Hardship Fund in any given academic year as it could change, and award levels are likely to fluctuate from year to year.

 


The Hardship Fund (Formerly known as the Access to Learning Fund)

The changes that have been made to the Hardship Fund (formerly known as the Access to Learning Fund) in 2020/2021 are as follows:

Changes to the Application Process

In 2019/2020, there was one application form for all Financial Support funds and bursaries. The Harris Bursary Fund was a separate application.

 In 2020/2021, you will need to complete individual applications for the following funds:

Changes to Evidence Submission

In 2019/20 there was no requirement for students to do anything prior to submitting an application for support from the Hardship Fund (formerly known as the Access to Learning Fund).

In 2020/2021, any student that wishes to apply for support from the Hardship Fund, will need to complete the Budgeting module on Blackbullion prior to submitting an application.

Applications for standard support from the Hardship Fund that are submitted without completing this module will be automatically declined. If you have an emergency financial situation, please contact The <i> to speak to an advisor before submitting an application so that we can advise you on the best route for support (01772 895000). If you are not already registered with Blackbullion, please register today using your UCLan email address. The Budgeting module can be found in the Uni Life section of the Blackbullion Library.

Changes to Triage Appointment System

In 2019/2020, a triage appointment was mandatory for all new applicants to the Hardship Fund (formerly known as the Access to Learning Fund) or any returning applicants with a change in circumstances since their last application.

In 2020/2021, we will only offer a triage appointment to students with complex cases. It is therefore important that you give us as much information as possible about your financial circumstances in your application so that we can ensure that you are asked to provide all relevant evidence. Failure to do so, may cause delays in the processing of your application and result in an incorrect decision or award.

Changes to the Hardship Fund Assessments and Awards

In 2019/2020 the maximum award that could be paid from the standard Hardship Fund (formerly known as the Access to Learning Fund) was £3500 for students with dependents.

In 2020/2021, the maximum award that will be paid from the standard Hardship Fund will be £2500. In addition to the hardship fund, students with dependants will still be able to apply for the Dependants Bursary.

Changes to the way your income is assessed

In 2019/2020, the calculation of applications to the Hardship Fund was very complex and included ‘assumed income’ figures and ‘disregarded income’ figures which were difficult for students to understand.

In 2020/2021, we have removed both the ‘assumed income’ and ‘disregarded income’ figures and will instead use a student’s true income figures. This will be offset for students with a proven inability to work to ensure that these applicants are not disadvantaged.

Changes to Postgraduate and Self-Funded student assessments

In 2019/2020, Postgraduate and Self-Funding students were not required to show that they had made provision to pay their Tuition Fees from their Postgraduate Loan or other income.

In 2020/2021, Postgraduate students will be expected to have made provision to pay their Tuition Fees and this will be included in the calculation as a ‘minimum required provision’ where the level is not met through employment or another type of income.

Any awards that are owed to Postgraduate or Self-Funding students who have outstanding tuition fee debt to the University will be retained against what is owed before any payments are made directly to a student.

Please note: The minimum required provision, composite living costs and disability premium figures that we use in our Hardship Fund Assessments are reviewed each year and are taken from reputable sources such as The National Association of Student Money Advisors (NASMA) or in line with current UK benefits.

 


Carers Bursary

The changes that have been made to the Carers bursary in 2020/2021 are as follows:

Changes to the Application Process

In 2019/2020, there was one application form for all Financial Support funds and bursaries.

  • Applications to the Harris Bursary Fund were separated

In 2020/2021, you will need to complete individual applications for the following funds;

Changes to Evidence Submission

In 2019/2020, students did not need to provide their bank details or evidence for the Carers bursary until it was requested from them by email.

In 2020/2021, students will need to enter their bank details for their nominated account and upload their supporting evidence as part of the disclosure process for student carers support.

Changes to the Disclosure Requirements

In 2019/20, students could receive the Carers bursary without disclosing their caring responsibilities to our Wellbeing team.

In 2020/2021, students will have to declare and evidence their caring responsibilities to our Wellbeing team via the Student Carers Disclosure form to receive the Carers bursary

Changes to the Carers bursary Assessments and Awards

There have been no changes to the eligibility criteria or award amounts in 2020/2021. These remain the same as they were in 2019/2020. 

 


Dependants Bursary

The changes that have been made to the Dependants bursary in 2020/2021 are as follows:

Changes to the Application Process

In 2019/2020, there was one application form for all Financial Support funds and bursaries.
Applications to the Harris Bursary Fund were separated.

In 2020/2021, you will need to complete individual applications for the following funds;

Changes to Evidence Submission

In 2019/2020, students did not need to provide their bank details or evidence for the Dependants bursary until it was requested from them by email.

In 2020/2021, students will need to enter their bank details for their nominated account and upload their supporting evidence as part of the application process for the Dependants bursary.

Changes to the Assessments and Awards

There have been no changes to the eligibility criteria or award amounts in 2020/2021. These remain the same as they were in 2019/2020.
 


Estranged Student/Vulnerable Young Persons Bursary

The changes that have been made to the Estranged Student/VYP bursary in 2020/2021 are as follows;

Changes to the Application Process

In 2019/2020, there was one application form for all Financial Support funds and bursaries.
Applications to the Harris Bursary Fund were separated.

In 2020/2021, you will need to complete individual applications for the following funds;

Changes to Evidence Submission

In 2019/2020, students did not need to provide their bank details or evidence for the Estranged Student/VYP bursary until it was requested from them by email.

In 2020/2021, students will need to enter their bank details for their nominated account and upload their supporting evidence as part of the disclosure process for support.

Changes to Disclosure Requirements

In 2019/20, students could receive the Estranged Student/VYP bursary without disclosing their circumstances to our Wellbeing team.

In 2020/2021, students will have to declare and evidence their estrangement to our Wellbeing team via the Estranged Students disclosure form to receive the Estranged Student/VYP bursary

Changes to the Assessments and Awards

There have been no changes to the eligibility criteria or award amounts in 2020/2021. These remain the same as they were in 2019/2020.
 


Harris Bursary

The changes that have been made to the Harris bursary in 2020/2021 are as follows:

Changes to the Application Process

In 2019/20, the Harris Bursary application was a separate web-based application form.

In 2020/21 students will not need to complete a separate application. Students are now required to complete a standard Hardship Fund application form via CareerEdge. Within which there will be a section to complete if you would like to be considered for the Harris Bursary. If you are assessed to be in extreme financial hardship when your financial support application is reviewed, and the assessors feel that you would benefit from a Harris Bursary award, your application will be presented to the panel who will make the final decisions.