Alternative Financial Support for Students of Faith

The Students’ Union is introducing Alternative Financial Support for Students of Faith to help those who are unable to access loans, and by extension, City’s Hardship Fund due to religious restrictions.

This is in response to a large proportion of Muslim students telling us that their decision for not taking out a loan due to religious restrictions has left them unable to access and receive financial support through City’s Hardship Fund. Students of faith who do not receive a loan due to their faith are ineligible for many of the financial support, as being in receipt of the loans is in the criteria.

This fund falls under the Access and Participation Plan and aims to promote inclusivity and equity for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups who do not have equal access to support.

Where practical the grant would be in the form of the Union buying what you need, rather than giving you money directly. This could be for many things, including vouchers for food or for books.

The deadline to apply for this fund is July 22nd 2024.

How much can I be granted?

The grant can up to a maximum value of £250. The maximum amount cannot be exceeded.

What can the grant be used for?

The grant is intended to help you when experiencing financial hardship.

It is to be used on Cost of Living expenses, including groceries, travel and learning resources such as books and calculators.

We cannot approve applications to help you make payments toward large existing debts or anticipated expenses such as rent. If you are in this scenario, we’re likely to help you seek other sources of support.

Am I eligible?

This grant is intended for those who are not receipt of the full student maintenance loan due to religious beliefs.

To apply, applicants must meet the following Eligibility criteria:

· Be a registered and current City student

· Be facing a resit attempt or in some other way remaining a continuing student (such as pending appeal). Applicants must not be simply waiting for graduation.

· Be a home-based student.

· Can’t be in receipt of maximum SFE Maintenance Loan.

· Must not be in receipt of Hardship Fund.

· Must follow a faith or have religious belief which does not permit taking loans and/or interest.

· Be in financial hardship. · Must have completed the Blackbullion ‘Budgeting 101- The Smartest Money Move’ pathway.

How can I apply for the grant, what is the process?

You must fill in our Application Form in full and send this to

The form will ask you to provide information about your finances, your situation, how much you would like to be granted and how this will be used.

You will then need to see an Advisor for an appointment to run through your application and talk through your financial circumstances. Based on our discussion, we will agree the amount that you need to address your needs.

Prior to attending the meeting, you must have completed the Blackbullion ‘Budgeting 101- The Smartest Money Move’ pathway, evidence such as a screenshot needs to submitted on your application form.

At your appointment, the Advisor will decide whether your application is successful.

How long does an application take?

We hope that the whole process can be completed within one to two weeks.

What evidence do I need?

You must include some evidence of your current financial situation. This must be submitted alongside your application. If evidence is not submitted correctly, this will delay your application.

Evidence can include: bank statement/mini-statement; evidence of income and expenditure; evidence of financial hardship; evidence of student loan status.

Evidence of completing the Blackbullion Pathway.

Evidence of religious commitment (explained on application form).

Why might we reject an application?

There are a few reasons we might reject an application, and it depends on the circumstances of your request:

· There is no demonstrable emergency need.

· The grant is to buy non-essential items or for non-essential bills.

· Grants cannot be used for anticipated expenses such as rent or deposits.

· Where there is evidence of poor financial choices which have directly caused you to run out of money.

· Recent money transfers that cannot be accounted for.

· Your reasons for not claiming your SFE loans are not due to religious restrictions.

There is no appeal against a rejected application but we welcome feedback on the process.

You fill out an application by clicking here - you have until July 22nd 2024.

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