Bath Spa University Access Fund

Bath Spa University Access Fund

Brief description

If you're facing unexpected financial hardship, the Student Funding Team may be able to help you. They can be contacted by email at funding@bathspa.ac.uk.

Most awards from the fund are in the form of grants, although some short-term loans may be available to meet temporary hardship such as delayed Student Finance Loans.

Eligibility for the Bath Spa University Access Fund is restricted to home fee status undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in receipt of student finance and who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of their course.
 
EU or international students may be able to apply to the Emergency Access Fund

Bath Spa University Access Fund

About the fund

The Bath Spa University Access Fund provides limited discretionary financial support for full-time students who are experiencing financial difficulty and are unable to meet basic costs from other sources of support.

The fund may also offer limited support to students who have experienced a change in financial circumstances due to unforeseen events.

Students may receive one of two types of awards:

  • Standard: This help may be given to meet course related costs such as childcare, books/equipment, travel or for general living costs.
  • Non-Standard: Help may be available to assist in a crisis situation such as the repair of essential household equipment or for travel home for serious family illness or bereavement.

Awards are discretionary and are paid in the form of a non-repayable grant.

The fund is intended to support financial difficulty rather than be a main source of income. It cannot help with tuition fees.

The size of the fund is limited and we may not be able to meet your need in full or guarantee that funds will be available, especially towards the end of an academic year.

Part-time students may apply but may only be considered for course related study costs.

Eligibility

Eligibility is based on:

  • Being fully registered
  • Home UK (ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of your course)
  • In attendance on an undergraduate or postgraduate programme
  • Full-time or part-time 
  • Be in receipt of your full entitlement to statutory funding and any other benefits you may be entitled to.

How to apply

UK full-time continuing undergraduate students can now apply for a summer assessment in addition to any previously made application during the 2019/20 academic year. You may apply even if you have never applied to the fund, provided you meet all the eligibility criteria.

To be considered for a Bath Spa Summer University Access Fund Award, you must complete a summer application as a continuing undergraduate.

PGCE students who must extend their course after June and will be returning in September 2020 may also apply for this summer assessment.

This fund has been supported with a donation from Santander.

Please submit your application for a summer assessment by 20 July 2020 although applications may be considered after this date, the fund will close on 21 August 2020. 

Current eligible postgraduates may continue to apply to the full Access Fund once each academic year as normal as they are always assessed for a full calendar year (12 months). To be considered for a Bath Spa University Access Fund Award, you must complete an application as a continuing current postgraduate.

Postgraduates should apply by 21 August 2020 for an assessment for the 2019/20 academic year.

What we ask

When making your application, please ensure you answer all relevant questions on the application form or by ticking the appropriate boxes.

Your living arrangements

Please provide details of your current living arrangements. If you have dependants, please give details. We are able to factor the costs of supporting dependent children up to the age of 18 (where they remain in full-time education). 

Disability/special medical needs

Home UK students may apply for help with costs not covered by their Disabled Student's Allowance.

Income

Please include all sources of income available to you for the current academic year. It is vital that you complete this section as accurately as possible.

You should enter the amount of overdraft that is available for you to use since the start of the academic year. You should total your overdraft amount available, received income and your expected income to give a total income for the academic year.

If you have a partner who is living with you, please indicate any income they have since you will be assessed as a family unit.

Expenditure

Please include your typical monthly expenditure for the academic year. We will work out your annual expenditure based on your period of attendance.

You may include expenditure relating to a partner, provided their income has been included in your application, and dependent children up to the age of 18, as long as they are in full-time education.

Where you are living in any other form of shared accommodation, you should include only your personal contribution towards household bills.

We can only include priority debt repayments. This may NOT include loan or credit card repayments unless you have a special agreement (for example Step Change). We may include repeat prescriptions. 

Expenditure which is not considered essential, such as gym membership or excessive visits home, will be discounted.

Students using informal childcare may provide proof of the costs incurred but we cannot guarantee it can be considered.

Further information

This section is an opportunity for you to explain why you are experiencing financial difficulty.

You are advised to explain any unusual or exceptional costs appearing under your expenditure. If you are not undertaking any part time work, you should also explain why.

Supporting documentation checklist

This section is intended to ensure you have submitted all relevant supporting documentation with your application. Applications submitted without all the necessary supporting documentation will take longer to process.

Declaration

You need to sign and date your form to confirm that the information you have given is true and accurate. You should make a copy of your application for your own records.

Supporting documentation

Supporting documentation is required in all cases. The documentation required will vary depending on the circumstances of your case and must be supplied by email. Only use attachments; do not link to any documents.

Photos of supporting documentation are acceptable. In certain circumstances you may be contacted separately and asked to supply relevant original documents.

All students must submit:

  • At least one full, recent bank statement. Ideally this will be the most recent online statement you have available, but you do not need to wait for your latest statement. Please submit the most recent statement you have available. 
  • For any credit/debit over £100, please note beside it what this was for.
  • Evidence of rent/mortgage (e.g. copy of a tenancy agreement). If you do not have a formal tenancy agreement, please provide a photo of a signed letter from the person you pay rent to confirming the amount and frequency. Proof must also be annotated on your bank statement.
  • If you are in receipt of statutory support from the UK government, you must submit your Support Notification Form from the Student Loans Company which sets out your entitlement as well as your Payment Schedule which shows the dates you will receive each instalment.
  • Students in receipt of a Dependant's Grant should provide evidence of this grant.
  • If you are in receipt of any UK benefits or tax credits, including Child Benefit, evidence should be supplied. 
  • If you are requesting funding for costs not covered by DSA you should submit your DSA letter.
  • You should provide evidence of any exceptional costs, you should supply evidence.

If you are applying for assistance with unexpected financial difficulties, you must provide relevant evidence relating to the nature of the problem. This will depend upon individual circumstances but some examples are as follows:

Medical certificates, if the financial difficulties relate to illness:

  • A death certificate;
  • Original scholarship/sponsorship letter and evidence of non-continuation;
  • A letter from your parents if they are no longer able to provide funding. This must cover how much they were originally going to provide, how much they are now able to give you, and the reason for the change;
  • An employer's redundancy letter, if you have been made redundant. 

Decision and notification

In response to the coronavirus situation, Bath Spa University's Student Funding Team are currently working remotely, and can be contacted by email. Scanned applications can be submitted to funding@bathspa.ac.uk.

If your application is not complete, or further information or documents are needed, you should be contacted by email within five working days. This may extend the time taken to make a decision on your application.

We will send you the decision by email with the outcome of your application. If you are made an award, we will provide full details on how you will receive it. We do not give out decisions over the phone so it is important that you check your Bath Spa email.

You are able to appeal an unsuccessful application. We will provide details of how to make an appeal in your decision email.

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