Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic there are a couple of changes that you should be aware of:
Hardship Fund– now supporting students without access to a computer.
The Hardship Fund is here to help if you have fallen into unforeseen financial hardship and are therefore unable to meet essential living costs (such as rent, bills, food, etc.). This includes if you have fallen into hardship because of COVID-19.
In addition to this, we have added a new, temporary category of support to help those students who do not have access to a computer at home. This is in response to the School moving all assessments online and is designed to ensure that no student who cannot afford a computer is disadvantaged by this decision.
It is important to note, however, that:
- The Hardship Fund is means-tested. We will need to see fully completed application forms along with relevant corresponding evidence (such as bank statements) in order to ensure that only students who genuinely cannot afford a computer are made an award
- The maximum award we will make for a new computer is £200
- The fund is there exclusively for those who do not have access to a computer. It is not there to replace old, but functional models
- Our Hardship Fund is not limitless. Each award made takes away money from someone else who might need it. Please therefore be considerate of others and only apply if you do not have a computer and genuinely need one for this summer’s online assessments
Important notice for students receiving LSESU Hardship Fund awards on a monthly basis
Ordinarily the LSESU Hardship Fund Panel would only make awards in instances where the award made would be sufficient on its own to resolve the hardship. If insufficient, the Panel would need to be satisfied that there was a plan in place to ensure that the hardship would be resolved with the award. The reason for this criteria is because the Hardship Fund is limited in size and therefore does not have the capacity to cover those in long-term financial hardship, only those whose needs are short-term and either immediate or imminent.
Given the uncertainty surrounding the current pandemic, we appreciate that it is difficult to accurately assess when applicants' financial situations will return to normal. For that reason we have taken the decision to temporarily relax the above criteria in Coronavirus-related applications. In practice this means that for those in the most extreme situations we are making awards on a month-by-month basis, even where it might not be clear when the applicant's financial situation will return to normal.
It is, however, important to clarify that a permanent relaxation of this criteria is financially unsustainable. Subject to us having enough money in the budget, we will continue to operate this criteria relaxation until the end of July. However, at that point there will be a review to decide whether to extend that criteria relaxation to August for another month or to return to the original hardship criteria. Any extension will subject to monthly review from August onwards.
We would therefore advise all students currently receiving a month-by-month award from us to work on the premise that there is a high likelihood that we will return to our normal hardship criteria from August onwards. If you feel you will continue to need long-term support beyond the end of July (or beyond your period of registration as a student, whichever is sooner), it is advisable to begin to look into what sources of support might be available to you.
For UK-based students you will be able to find some guidance on Gov.uk, Citizens Advice and Money Saving Expert.
The LSE Financial Support Office also has a hardship fund that can support students in financial difficulties.
Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF)
Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19, the LSE has postponed this July’s graduation ceremonies.
Once new dates have been agreed, this page will be updated with the timeline for GGSF applications.
Being a student in London can be financially tough at the best of times. Add into the mix an unexpected change in circumstances and you can quickly go from just about managing to struggling to make ends meet.
For students in circumstances like these, the Students’ Union Advice Service has a couple of funds that you can apply for:
- The Hardship Fund (which also includes a childcare category)
- The Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF)
The Hardship Fund is a means tested fund designed to help students who have fallen into short-term, unforeseen hardship to continue with their studies and complete their degree course.
Am I eligible to apply?
Any LSE student registered on a full degree course can apply for an award should they encounter financial hardship that is impacting upon their ability to continue their studies.
Please read the Hardship Fund Guidance Document for full eligibility criteria.
What areas of support can you help with?
Whilst we consider each case on its individual merits, the main categories from which we would usually consider making an award are:
- Emergency housing and homelessness
- Immigration costs
- Medical costs
- Right to choose costs
- Repeating students
Examples of circumstances that could be considered for the LSESU Hardship Fund:
- Help towards paying rent if facing eviction
- Help towards unexpected medical costs such as an operation or medication
- Help towards paying childcare costs
- Cost of termination or pre-birth costs in the case of an unplanned pregnancy
For more details, please read the Hardship Fund Guidance Document.
How do I apply?
Those wishing to apply should first read the Hardship Fund Guidance Document for information regarding eligibility and application criteria. Once you’ve read through this, please complete the Hardship Fund Application Form and email it across to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with any corresponding evidence.
How is the Hardship Fund allocated?
Each case is judged individually however awards are normally only made when financial hardship was unforeseen. The Hardship Fund Panel will look at your current shortfall, as well as your anticipated income over the year. Your circumstances will be carefully considered alongside the supporting evidence you provide. If you have any questions about a decision made then please contact your adviser.
Graduation is an amazing occasion and one of the most joyful times of the year… if you’re not in financial hardship.
For those who unfortunately are, the Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF) might be able to help by waiving the full gown hire fee.
Those wishing to apply should read the GGSF Guidance Document for information regarding eligibility and how to apply. Once you’ve read through this, please complete this GGSF Application Form and email it across to email@example.com, along with any corresponding evidence.
When can I apply?