LSESU Hardship Funds


Managing your money can be a challenge at the best of times, but if you're experiencing unforeseen financial problems then it can start to impact on various aspects of your life.

The Students' Union has a Hardship Fund and a Childcare Fund that aim to help students who are experiencing a financial shortfall, usually through unexpected events or a change in personal circumstances.

There are various criteria you can apply under – however, if you are unsure whether or not you are eligible then you can talk in confidence with one of our Student Advisers about your individual situation using the contact details above.

To apply to any of our hardship funds, please complete our application form (and obtain the specified supporting evidence) and return it to the Advice Service (in person to the LSESU Reception, 3rd Floor, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre or via email: A Student Adviser will then be in touch to arrange an appointment.

Hardship Fund

The Students' Union has a Hardship Fund set up to give students in a number of different circumstances fairer access to higher education and the possibility to remain studying when they may not otherwise be able to do so.

The Hardship Fund is available to all LSE students – including international and postgraduate students – who are facing financial difficulty or are incurring unexpected costs. 

The main priority areas for funding are: council tax liability (up to £500); emergency housing and homelessness (up to £1,500); immigration (up to £800); medical costs (up to £1,000); repeating students (up to £1500); small claims and legal costs (up to £500); and support for choice in unplanned pregnancies (up to £1,000) and general hardship (£1,000).

The Hardship Fund will also take into consideration any other applications showing serious, short-term financial hardship. Where a discretionary award from the fund would relieve serious short-term financial hardship and would prevent a student from having to withdraw from their studies, this would be taken into consideration.

Examples of circumstances that would be considered for the LSESU Hardship Fund:

  • Cost of termination or pre-birth costs in the case of an unplanned pregnancy
  • Help towards rent if you are facing eviction
  • Help towards unexpected medical costs such as an operation or medication

How is the Hardship Fund allocated?

Each case is judged individually however awards are normally only made when financial hardship was unforeseen. The Funds 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.

Please note: The hardship fund has almost run out of money for the academic year. If you are interested in applying, please email to enquire about the status of the fund before completing the form.

Childcare Fund

This is a means-tested fund intended to assist LSE students who incur additional costs as a result of childcare. Maximum award: £2,500

Applications must include supporting evidence pertaining to the fund. This can include three months of bank statements, utility bills, travel costs, childcare costs, evidence of debts, cost of living, medical evidence and documentation. Specific details of the evidence you will need to submit can be found in the explanation notes of the application form.

Graduation Gown Support Fund

Graduation is an amazing occasion and one of the most joyful times of the year. But despite the jubilation, graduation can also be a stressful time full of obligatory expenses.

The Graduation Gown Support Fund will waive the gown hire fees for any student with expressed hardship and will be available for undergrads and postgrads graduating in July and December 2019.

Those wishing to apply should read the guidance document for information regarding eligibility and how to apply. Once you’ve read through this, please complete this application form and email it across to, along with any corresponding evidence.

When can I apply?


July Graduation Ceremony

  • Applications for Graduation Gown Support Fund open on 12 March 2019.
  • The deadline for submitting an application is 12 April 2019.

December Graduation Ceremony

  • The application dates for the December ceremony will be announced nearer the time