If you don’t have enough money to cover your essential living or study costs, we may be to help you; Sheila King, Head of Advice & Money tells us more …
I’m responsible for managing Cardiff University’s Financial Contingency Fund (FCF) and below I’ve set out what FCF is, who can apply, the application process and further support available – you can come and chat informally with myself, or one of my colleagues, about the fund.
What is FCF?
The FCF is a pot of money, approximately £400,000 per year, that the Welsh Government provides Cardiff University to help support its students. The fund is typically available to help students:
- who have an unexpected crisis
- who are considering leaving university
- who need help to cover study costs
- who are running out of money before the end of term.
Successful applicants are awarded a non-repayable amount of money to help support them and satisfy their essential needs.
Who can apply?
Cardiff University students from all years and all degree disciplines can apply regardless of their family’s income or financial circumstances.
Most students will be eligible, but to be considered you must meet certain criteria:
- Be a UK-funded student (in receipt of the maximum student loan available to you if an undergraduate)
- Be either full-time or part-time studying a minimum of 50% FTE (25% if disabled)
- Be a fully registered undergraduate or postgraduate student on a full-time higher education course (or within the first six months of the writing-up period for a PhD)
- Have had adequate funding in place at the start of your course
- Undergraduates: you must have applied for the maximum student loan you are entitled to and received the first instalment.
- Postgraduates or self-funding students: you must have made provision to cover your tuition fees and basic living costs for the duration of your course.
- Students wishing to apply to the fund for help with diagnostic dyslexia test only should collect a shortened application form from the Disability and Dyslexia service.
Who has received the FCF before?
Here are a few examples of students who I have worked with and who have been successful in receiving the FCF:
James is a third year student who receives the minimum loan. His parents pay his rent and he has tried to keep his overdraft at bay through summer and part-time work. Despite having no major expenditure, he has found that his overdraft has gradually increased during his degree and he is now unsure how he will pay for food to the end of term. His parents are unable to help any further. James should apply to FCF
Nia is in her first year and receives a small grant and a loan. She has now worked out how to budget within her means, but in her first term she went a little overboard with her spending and is still trying to reduce her overdraft from that time. She now needs to pay the deposit on a house for next year but does not have enough overdraft to cover the costs. When she applies to FCF, the staff talk through her finances and help her work out how she can manage and help her get back on track.
Rhys is back from a year studying abroad. He found the year really useful but it meant he could not work to build up cash for his final year. He is also unable to find part-time work which fits around his course. He is worried how he will survive to his next student loan, especially because he has a field trip at Easter. Rhys should apply to FCF
Saira is in her final year. She was surprised that the student loan is reduced for final year students so hadn’t budgeted accordingly. Her parents’ income has increased slightly so she no longer receives the bursary or maintenance grant. There has also been an unexpected crisis in Saira’s family and she has had to travel home a few times this term. Saira is struggling to find money for food or bills. Saira should apply to FCF.
What doesn’t FCF cover?
The FCF is unable to help with lifestyle choices such as running a car, gym membership, holidays, phones or digital TV. Students receive funding through loans and grants or parental contribution. You are expected to supplement this income with part-time or vacation earnings, savings and careful budgeting.
How do I apply?
If you’d like to apply you need complete the application form and budget sheet, available on the Intranet, and return it with all evidence to the Advice & Money Team.
Forms must be handed in personally and checked with a member of staff, which will take 15-20 minutes.
Please be aware that you can only submit one application per academic year. Also, If your circumstances change after you have applied, you should submit a letter asking for a review of your application, providing an up-to-date bank statement and details of any changes.
Drop-in and see us!
My team and I are here to help you, we are offering FCF specific drop in sessions throughout March, so if you have any questions about any aspect of FCF then please call in and see us.
- Wednesday 4 March, 12.30 – 4pm at 50 Park Place
- Wednesday 11 March, 12.30 – 4pm at 50 Park Place
- Wednesday 18 March, 12.30 – 4pm at 50 Park Place
- Wednesday 25 March, 12.30 – 4pm at 50 Park Place
Alternatively, you can drop in and talk to one of the team between 9am – 4pm at 50 Park Place, Cathays Park Campus (Mon – Fri) and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus (Mon – Thurs); OR contact us via email, telephone.
What happens once I’ve applied?
All applications are considered carefully:
- We look at the total income that should be available to you and deduct reasonable expenditure. This is a hardship fund so only certain expenses can be included.
- If we require additional information we will e-mail you at your university e-mail account
- If all information is supplied you will normally receive the decision within a week
- During term time, payments are made every two weeks.
Hopefully you will be successful and receive the support you need
I’ve supported hundreds/thousands of students over the years …
“I don’t know how I would have got through university without the help from the FCF. thankyou!”
… and may well be able to help you, please do drop in for an informal chat.
Sheila King, Head of Advice & Money
Your Student Life, Supported.
Advice & Money I Careers & Employability I Counseling, Health & Wellbeing I Disability & Dyslexia