Managing your money and maximising your income is a big part of everyone's lives especially students who may be on a limited income.
It is always best to face your financial concerns at the earliest opportunity so that advice can be given quickly and so that you have the best opportunity to deal with the problem and find adequate solutions.
Managing Your Money
Many students face financial difficulties while they are at university so careful budgeting is essential to avoid running out of money and getting into debt.
Student Funding (undergraduate):
If you are entitled to Student Finance funding then please be aware that these payments are paid termly and not monthly so making sure that the money you receive lasts for the period needed is really important.
Make sure you have claimed your maximum entitlement to this funding and have been financially assessed and that you understand what amount of funding you may be entitled to as an undergraduate student.
Student Funding (postgraduate):
If you are entitled to Student Finance funding as a postgraduate student then it is very important to understand what funding is available and to make sure that this will not only be enough for your living costs but also your tuition fees.
Privately Funded Students:
If you fund your studies yourself then make sure that you are confident you can pay the fees and your living costs with the funds you have and that you have a realistic financial plan in place.
As well as the funding via Student Finance you can also check to see if your univesity offer any extra bursaries or scholarships:
University of Kent
University of Greenwich
It may be that your student support will not be enough to cover your essential living costs so you may need to consider income from other sources such as part-time work, savings, parents, hardship funds, etc.
The first step to understanding your financial situation is to work out a budget so that you clearly understand what you have coming in and what you need to pay out for. Your priorities should normally focus on rent, utility bills (if not covered via your rent), food, travel, and course costs (like books, photocopying, course excursions, etc).
It is always important to work out the costs of your priority outgoings so that you know how much money you have left to spend on more interesting things!
Each university will normally have hardship funds that you can apply to if you are in financial difficulty or have an emergency situation. These may be in the form of grants (non-repayable) or loans (repayable).
The University of Kent have a hardship grant called the Access to Learning Fund (ALF) and the University of Greenwich have the Greenwich Hardship Fund. If you study with the University of Greenwich you can apply here or if you study with the University of Kent you can apply here.
If you are in an emergency financial situation and you haven't received any Student Finance funding then University of Kent students can consider applying for a Kent Emergency Student Loan (ESTL).
Alternatively if you are in an emergency financial situation and have received your Student Finance funding then University of Kent students can consider the Kent Emergency Student Loan (KESL).
If you are a University of Greenwich student please visit the Medway Student Centre and ask to speak to the Finance Team who will be able to advise you on any emergency loans they may offer.
Your eligibility for funding via Student Finance England (SFE) can depend on a wide range of factors like your nationality, how long you have lived in England, and your residency/immigration status. A detailed list of the eligibility categories can be found via the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
If you are eligible for SFE funding then you can view a short video below helping explain the SFE funding options:
New students can also view a short video from SFE helping explain their application process: