If you are studying at Cardiff University and in financial struggle, you may be eligible to apply for the Financial Assistance Programme …
As a student you may face financial hardship at some point during your university life. This might happen due to different reasons such as unwise budgeting or unexpected change of personal circumstances. If this happens, remember you’re not alone! As part of Cardiff University you are eligible to apply for FAP (Financial Assistance Programme) which aims to provide all students with advice and support to improve their money skills and financial competency so that they remain in their programme of study. The Cardiff University Financial Assistance Programme replaces the Financial Contingency Fund which ended in August 2015.
Can I apply?
In order to apply you must comply with these eligibility conditions:
- You must be fully registered at Cardiff University as a full-time or part-time student.
- Students must be registered on a higher education course.
- Students must have in place the minimum financial support as required by the scheme at the start of the course. In other words, if you are a home student you must have taken out the maximum student funding available and even received their first instalment. Alternatively, if you are an EU or International student you would have been expected to have sufficient funding in place to cover costs of accommodation, tuition fees and general living and travel costs.
- You must demonstrate you are in financial hardship. This is usually bank statements or for instance some sort of evidence that demonstrates that you are estranged from your family and cannot receive paternal support. So, your application must be fully supported by official evidence of all relevant circumstances.
What shall I do?
The application process is very straightforward. All you have to do is a complete the application form and return it with all supporting evidence to the Advice and Money team. To be sure your application is assessed correctly you need to include a full account of your circumstances and any relevant factors.
When you hand in your application form a member of staff will review your application to ensure you have provided the required supporting evidence – this normally takes 15-30 minutes.
You can download a Financial Assistance Programme Application Form 2015-16 from the University Intranet or request a hard copy from the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place, Cathays or Cardigan House, Heath Park. If you require any help completing the application, please contact the Advice and Money team.
Normally only one application will be accepted per academic semester. If your circumstances change after you have applied, you should submit a new application form with updated supporting evidence clearly marking that it is a second application.
How does it work?
Each application is assessed on the individual circumstances. Financial hardship must always be demonstrated before an award can be made. An assessment will determine any shortfall between the assumed funds available to the student over the academic year and the reasonable expenditure for a student in the particular circumstances. Therefore, FAP is only able to help with essential living or study costs. It is unable to support lifestyle choices such as running a car, holidays, and phone bills.
Furthermore, students are expected to supplement their student funding with pre-university savings, part-time or vacation earnings as well as exercising careful and prudent money management skills. Support and advice on developing money management skills whilst at university is offered to students to help them identify and improve their money skills for now and their future.
How will I be funded?
Payments are normally made every 2 weeks during term time by BACS payments, however in emergency circumstances advance payments can be made. The maximum award is normally £3500, though it should be noted that this level of award is only payable in exceptional circumstances.
Students can re-apply if they have a significant change of circumstances by completing a new application form and providing updated evidence. Nevertheless, Financial Assistance Programme awards are discretionary payments and there is no automatic entitlement. An award in one year does not indicate you will qualify for an award in future years. All applicants must provide fully evidenced details of their financial position. Awards will normally provide support until the next student funding or student loan instalment.
If you have applied and believe that the award received does not reflect their situation there is an appeal process. Firstly, you should contact the Advice and Money team to book an appointment to review your application. During this appointment, an adviser will check your details are correct, and ensure you understand the assessment process. If you are still concerned about the assessment, you can ask to be re-assessed by another adviser.
Finally, an appeal in writing can be made to the Director of Student Support & Wellbeing, 50 Park Place, CF10 3AT. This must be received within 10 days of your re-assessment notification and should detail the grounds on which you think an error has been made in your assessment.
So, always remember in spite of any personal or financial circumstances, you will have the support of Cardiff University Student Support Advice and Money team! You can book an appointment by telephoning (029) 2087 4528, emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping by at the Student Support Centre, 50 Park Place, Cathays or Cardigan House, Heath.
Advice & Money Team
Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.
The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.