Are you currently, or have you ever been in a position where you have struggled for money? I have. Thankfully today I am out of the woods, but that’s all thanks to Cardiff University’s Financial Contingency Fund (FCF). Read on to hear how it helped me, and how it can help you. Liam Havard shares his story …
What is FCF?
You may or may not have heard of the Financial Contingency Fund. It is a fund administered by the Advice and Money Team, located on the top floor of the Student Support Centre, 50 Park Place (they also have an office in Cardigan House at the Heath Park Campus). The purpose of the fund is to help home students with essential living costs should they come into unexpected money problems. It helped me out a great deal.
Last year, during my second term, I ran into a crisis. I completely utilised all forms of money which I had. My student loan and grant were used up; my bursary from Cardiff University too, and I could not find a part-time job anywhere, so I had no income. I was not in a very good position as you might have gathered, so with nowhere to turn for financial help I did a LOT of online research – mainly via Google. “Grants for students”, “Student in need of income”, and “Money for Cardiff University students” were some of my searches. It was not easy to find the financial support I was looking for, but luckily this research paid off as information about FCF on Cardiff University’s website appeared on the search engine, opening a window for me to get the support which I desperately needed.
Why was I in this crisis? Well my expenditure was much higher than my income, partly because I was not responsible enough with my money (we’re all guilty of this), but mainly because of high rent, housing agency and bond fees, bills, credit card and overdraft charges, and general university equipment and material. It’s expensive being a student, right?
How it can help you
FCF can make awards of non-repayable grants to students who really need it. It is worth applying to should you need help – from experience, it certainly helped me. I have applied for money through it twice and both times my applications were successful. I was awarded two emergency grants – 1 of £350 and another of £50. However, there is scope for larger awards depending on the situation. Being a student often results in getting bogged down in financial problems, so it is no wonder many students like myself look for support from FCF. However, many of you out there are not aware of the FCF – at the time I wasn’t either, so the next time you need money help I would definitely recommend checking out FCF and talking to the Advice & Money team.
How to apply
The application process is fairly simple. You can download and print off an application form from the University website; alternatively you can pick up an application form from the Student Support Centre’s reception at 50 Park Place or Heath Park Campus (or get one from the FCF office on the top floor of the Student Support Centre). Next, fill it out to the best of your knowledge and attach all the required documents; such as 3 months worth of bank statements, student finance entitlement letter, bursary information, evidence of rent costs and anything else indicated on the form or that you feel is relevant
You can drop in between 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday and you will be seen by the next available adviser from the Advice and Money team. They will review your application with you and make sure they have all the information needed to complete an assessment.
Don’t let money problems interfere with your studies and your time at Cardiff University. This service helped me and it could help you too. It was created for students, so get in touch with them and find out how they can help you. They are a really helpful and friendly bunch, so don’t be shy!
Call in and see the Advice & Money team at their FCF drop-in sessions Wednesday afternoons in March 12.30-4pm at the Student Support Centre, 50 Park Place.
Their contact details are as follows:
- Email: FCF@cardiff.ac.uk
- Telephone: 02920 875207
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Advice & Money I Careers & Employability I Counselling, Health & Wellbeing I Disability & Dyslexia