Student Support and LSE Access Funding


Information on in-course financial support for which you may be eligible

 If you are facing unexpected financial difficulty the LSE Financial Support Office (FSO) may be able to help you.

Although FSO staff are working off-campus due to the coronavirus situation, we can be contacted by email at financial-support@lse.ac.uk. You can send application forms and supporting documents to the same email address. Our Drop-in Session is available on ZOOM; details can be found here.

Please read all the information below before applying for in-course financial support.

Download the In-Course Financial Support form (PDF)

General Eligibility

You must be a registered student to apply. If you are repeating an academic year as an unregistered candidate, you are not eligible.

Students registered on a modular or executive programmes, along with those on the MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing (joint programme with LSHTM) are not eligible.

If you have reached the end of your degree programme, including after submission of a PhD thesis, you are not eligible to apply.

Those with any fee status (Home and Overseas) are eligible to apply.

You may apply more than once during an academic year but normally only if your circumstances change after your initial application.

Funds

LSE Access Fund

The Access Fund is for students who fall into one of the categories below, who require assistance with general living costs. Students must have Home fee status to be eligible.

  • Undergraduate students

  • Students with children (especially lone parents)

  • Disabled students (especially where the DSA is unable to meet particular costs, please ensure you complete the disability section on the application form)  

Student Support Fund

The Student Support Fund is a limited fund with strict criteria to support students who have registered with sufficient funds for the duration of their programme of study, and where something unexpected has subsequently occurred to disrupt these arrangements or to cause additional expenditure.

In order to satisfy the first criteria of the Student Support Fund, we need to see that when you registered for your programme you had sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living costs. We are not able to consider awards for those who knew their funding was affected before registration, as this implies they registered without sufficient funding and the Student Support Fund is not intended for this purpose.

To satisfy the second criteria of the Student Support Fund, you need to provide evidence of how your funding was unexpectedly affected during your studies. 

A third criteria is that awards have a maximum amount of £3500. The Student Support Fund is a limited Fund and if your funding is affected by greater than £3,500, it is a more serious situation and it might be worth looking into alternative options for continuing to study in the current academic year. The Student Services Centre Advice Team can offer more information about the options: https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/student-services/advice-team

Other funding 

If you do not fall into any of these funding categories, you are very unlikely to be eligible for support.

Money management

You are expected to have explored all other forms of potential support available to you before making an application. This might include:

  • An overdraft facility;
  • A loan: for Home UK students, this would include the UK Government Master's Loan or Doctoral Loan at postgraduate level or the maximum Undergraduate Loan at undergraduate level;
  • Part time work: School guidelines allow students to work up to 15 hours per week;
  • Additional family support

The School does not take a sympathetic view towards students who have failed to manage their money effectively. You are expected to seek advice on managing your money where necessary and to do everything you can to avoid serious financial difficulty.

Alternatively, visit the Students' Union Advice Service or email su.advice@lse.ac.uk 

Confidentiality

All information submitted to us is treated with the strictest confidence. The data we request from you is covered by the notification provided by the School under the Data Protection Act (1998). The data will not be passed to any other party without your consent, except when the School is required to do so by law. Your application for financial assistance has no bearing on, or connection to, academic related matters.

How your application will be assessed

We will assess your application under a method that looks at your annual income and expenditure figures. When considering your application, expenditure will be compared with conservative LSE estimates which is approximately £1,200 per month for all living costs. Expenditure over this cannot always be factored in to our assessment, unless there is a particular binding commitment (e.g. a tenancy agreement/contract that cannot be left).

An award can only be made if the calculated income is less than the calculated expenditure, unless the financial difficulties relate to a specific cash flow problem.

Full time undergraduate students are assessed over nine months. Postgraduate students are assessed over the actual number of months of study as appropriate.

Completing the form


In response to the coronavirus situation, FSO staff are currently working remotely and our office is closed to the public. W
e are no longer holding in person Drop-in Sessions but applications can be submitted by email to financial-support@lse.ac.uk.

Please answer all relevant questions on the application form by printing clearly in ink or by ticking the appropriate boxes.

Part 1: Personal information

It is important that you complete this information accurately. In particular, please ensure you provide an up-to-date correspondence address since this is the address that our response will be sent to.

If we need to contact you about your application whilst it is being processed, we will email you. We will use your LSE email account, unless you specify otherwise.

Part 2: Programme details

Please provide details of your current LSE studies. We will cross check this information with your central School record.

Part 3: 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 dependant children up to the age of 18 (where they remain in full time education).

Part 4: Disability/Special medical needs

If you are an Overseas student with disability related expenses, you are expected to have secured sufficient funds to cover these before registering.

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

The School has a designated Student Wellbeing Service for students with disabilities.

If you have an Individual Student Support Agreement (ISSA) with the Student Wellbeing Service, you may wish to submit a copy of this.

Part 5: Income

On this page, you need to 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.

There are three columns for your income information. The first column "Amount expected from each source at the beginning of the academic year" requires you to state how much money you were expecting from each of your sources of finance at the beginning of the academic year, regardless of whether you have to date received the amount you expected or are concerned that you will not now be receiving it.

The second column requires you to state how much you have received to date (ie at the time of completing the form) from each income source. The third column requires you to state how much you are expecting to receive until the end of your academic year. It will be necessary to return estimates in this column. The proportion of your income in either the "Received To Date" or "Expected" column will depend on when during the academic year you are making your application. For example, if you are an undergraduate student studying over nine months and making your application at the end of November, you would complete the "Received To Date" column with two months' information (October and November) and the "Expected" column with seven months'  information (December - June).

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.

Part 6: Expenditure

On this page, you need to include your typical monthly expenditure for the academic year. We will work out your annual expenditure based on the information given in Part 2 about the period of attendance.

You may include expenditure relating to a partner, provided their income has been given in Part 5, and dependant 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.

Section 19, Special financial commitments can include any special costs, such as payments you are obliged to make or prescriptions. When stating payments in relation to credit or store card debts, you should include only the minimum monthly payment you need to make.

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

The costs of informal childcare can only be met where this falls within the definition in the Children's Act 1989 as amended by the Care Standards Act 2000. Students using informal childcare must provide details of the costs incurred.

Part 7: Further information

This section is an opportunity for you to explain why you are experiencing financial difficulty. If you prefer, you may answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper. 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 (eg a disability).

Part 8: 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 take longer to process.

Part 9: 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.

Photocopies of supporting documentation are acceptable. Do not provide originals if you need these returned. In certain circumstances you may be contacted separately and asked to supply relevant original documents.

All students must submit:

  • One full, recent bank statement. Ideally this will be the most recent statement you have available, but you do not need to wait for your latest statement to arrive in the post. Please submit the most recent statement you have available. Online statements are acceptable, but not mini statements or a statement of balance. For any credit/debit over £100, please note beside it what this was for.
  • Evidence of rent/mortgage (eg copy of a tenancy agreement). If you do not have a formal tenancy agreement, please provide a signed letter from the person you pay rent to, confirming the amount, if any, you are paying.

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 a UK student requesting funding for a dyslexia assessment, you should submit appropriate evidence.

You should provide evidence of any exceptional costs, eg if you have to travel to care for an ill relative, you should supply evidence of coach/rail tickets.

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 or a member of your family has been made redundant;
  • Evidence of exceptional currency fluctuation

All supporting documentation should be in English or a translated copy provided with the original. Where you are likely to incur high cost in getting a translated copy of your supporting documentation, you can ask the Financial Support Office for a translation form to take to the LSE Language Centre. The Language Centre will confirm the information contained in non-English documents. They will not charge a fee for this since a full translation is not necessary.

Outcome and notification

In response to the coronavirus situation, FSO staff are currently working remotely, and our office is closed to the public. We are no longer holding in person Drop-in sessions but applications can be submitted by email to financial-support@lse.ac.uk

If your application is not complete, or further information or documents are needed, you will 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. 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.

Assistance with unexpected financial difficulties will be made in the form of a grant which does not have to be repaid once you have completed your programme of study.

If your application is declined, the reason will be provided. You are able to appeal an unsuccessful application if you are able to address the reason given for the decline. We will provide details of how to make an appeal in your decision letter.

UK students in receipt of benefits who receive an award will be given a special letter to present to their local JobCentre Plus/Housing Benefit office.