Student Support and LSE Access Funding


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

Please read all the information below before applying.

Download the In-Course Financial Support form (PDF)

This form is unfortunately not available in Word format.

Eligibility

You must be a fully registered student of the School to apply for financial assistance. However, students registered on a modular or executive programme, 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 submission of a PhD thesis, you are ineligible to apply.

If you are repeating an academic year as a private, unregistered candidate, you are ineligible to apply.

Full and part time students are eligible to apply.

Home UK, Home EU and Overseas students are eligible to apply.

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

The normal maximum award available is £3,500. Larger awards may be made in very exceptional cases. If the amount you require to complete the academic year is higher than £3,500, we will need evidence of how you propose to close the gap from other sources before we can process your application. If you require a significant amount of support beyond £3,500, it may be advisable to consider interrupting your programme of study to address your financial difficulties.

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. They must have Home UK fee status to be eligible.

  • Undergraduate applicants

  • Students with children (especially lone parents)

  • Students without sponsorship or other funding. (Such students should show that realistic provision as been made at the start of the course to fund both tuition fees and living costs. Students should have taken out the maximum Career Development Loan that they are eligible for or should provide evidence if they have been unable to secure such a loan).

  • 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

For students experiencing financial difficulties which could not have been foreseen before Registration.

These funds provide assistance to support the following groups of students:

  • Students who have registered with sufficient funds for the duration of their programme of study where something unexpected has subsequently occurred to disrupt these arrangements or to cause additional expenditure. The unexpected circumstances must have occurred after the date of first registration at the School. The School cannot assist students who have knowingly registered without sufficient funds for their fees and living costs;
  • Students who require assistance with an emergency, one off cost (eg a plane ticket home). Please note that there is a separate application form for emergency, one off costs; please Contact the LSE Financial Support Office.
  • Home UK undergraduates who require assistance with general living costs (eg rent, mortgage payments, food, utility bills, travel, childcare, etc). Priority groups are: final year students, students with children (especially lone parents), mature students, students from low income families, students who have entered higher education from care, and students from Foyers or who are homeless. This does not exclude Home UK undergraduates outside these priority groups from applying for assistance;
  • Home UK students with a disability, where disability related costs are not being met by the student's Disabled Student's Allowance. Overseas students are expected to ensure they have additional funds to cover disability related costs before beginning their programme;
  • Home UK postgraduates who require assistance with general living costs. Students must show that a realistic provision was made at the start of the programme to fund both tuition fees and living costs. Students are expected to have taken out the maximum Career Development Loan, or other professional studies loan, for which they are eligible.
  • PhD students who are in the final phase of writing up and who intend to submit their thesis within the current academic year.
    Read more information about in-course financial support for final stage PhD students.

If you do not fall into any of these categories (eg you are an Overseas student experiencing financial difficulties which may have been foreseen), you are very unlikely to be eligible for support.

There is no general loan scheme available to students. Students who are offered a loan must have satisfied the criterion that their financial difficulties are unexpected.

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 either a Career Development Loan or other professional studies loan at postgraduate level or the maximum Student Loan available to you for fees and maintenance 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 and Support Service. The Service is located at the Students' Union Reception, ground floor in the East Building. For more information or to book an appointment please call 020 7955 7158 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 the difference between your income and accepted reasonable expenditure. When considering your application, set figures based on state benefit amounts, LSE estimates and/or Department for Business, Innovation & Skills guidance will be used for acceptable expenditure on elements such as food and household costs. Projected expenditure which is considered excessive will normally be reduced, unless there is a particular binding commitment held by the student (eg a tenancy).

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, in which case a loan may be offered.

If you are a full time Home UK undergraduate student applying for help with general living costs (as opposed to assistance with a set of unexpected circumstances), we would normally expect you to have a certain level of income via sources such as part time work, additional support from parents/partner, bank overdraft, savings etc). For full time undergraduates, an "assumed income" level (£1,694 per year for full year students and £565 per year for final year students) will be applied. Actual earnings from part time work will be disregarded to allow you to earn larger sums without your application being affected. This "assumed income" level may be adjusted according to your individual circumstances.

If you are a full time Home UK postgraduate student applying for help with general living costs (as opposed to assistance with a set of unexpected circumstances), a notional minimum postgraduate weekly income amount is applied. For those studying in London, this is set at £194, or £161 for students with children or who are unable to work due to disability.

Full time undergraduate students are assessed over nine months. No expenses should be included beyond this. Postgraduate students are assessed over the actual number of months of study as appropriate, unless you return home to complete your dissertation.

Completing the form

If you have any problems completing the application form, please attend a drop in session.

You should try to ensure that you have made a start on your application form before attending a drop in session.

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 Disability and Well-being Service for students with disabilities.

If you have an Individual Student Support Agreement (ISSA) with the Disability and Well-being 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

You should expect a decision to be made on your application within 10 working days.

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 and follow up with a letter by post 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 your contact address and email are  correct on your application.

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.

We do not routinely return supporting documents. If you require your supporting documentation back please include a note with your application to ask for original documents to be returned.

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.