In cases of hardship, funding is available from a range of sources.
1. Government and Cambridge University funds
UK and EU students can find details of Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans via this link.
For University Schemes, UK and EU students can find more information about the Cambridge Bursary and Cambridge European Bursary schemes from the same link.
Also, each year a small number of international students (often 20 across the University) are funded by a bursary from the Cambridge Trust. International candidates holding offers (conditional or firm) will be sent information about how to apply, early in the calendar year in which they are due to start their course at Cambridge. For more information, see this link.
Other sources of funding are available from or through the University, but students should discuss these with their tutors before applying. They include the Bell, Abbott and Barnes Fund (this especially helps students whose financial situations have changed unexpectedly - and usually seeks to match bursary funding already provided by colleges).
For other sources of University Funds, see the special edition of the University Reporter, often most easily found by Googling 'cambridge university reporter awards studentships prizes'.
What to do if your household income suddenly decreases
Entitlement to Cambridge Bursaries is calculated using the figures your household provided in the financial declaration to the Student Loans Company. Please be aware that the calculation for any academic year is usually based on the household income for the previous full tax year (e.g. for academic year 2020-21, it is based on income between April 2019 and March 2020).
Thus, if your household income declines suddenly - if, perhaps, one of your parents becomes unemployed - you might have to wait an entire academic year before these changing circumstances are reflected in the bursary funding you receive.
If this happens to you, we strongly recommend that you apply to the SLC for a 'Current Year Assessment', which instead uses a forecast of household income for the tax year which overlaps with the first half of the academic year in question (e.g. April 2020 to March 2021 in the example above). Once this is done, you may become entitled to a larger maintenance loan, and also for increased bursaries from the University and the College.
It is then your own decision whether to actually take out the larger maintenance loan or not, but regardless, the non-repayable university and college bursary funding could make a large difference to your finances.
2. St Catharine's College Hardship Bursaries (including interest-free loans)
The College has funds available to undergraduates, to assist with maintenance and other living costs. These funds are separate from the Travel Funds, Scholarship and various Study Funds.
Some of the funds are restricted (eg, for students reading particular subjects), but the majority is in the Home (for British students) and Overseas Bursaries Funds.
How to Apply
You are strongly encouraged to discuss any application with your tutor. Application for these Bursaries can be made at any time, using the College Bursary Form, available to complete here. The application must be complete (it is necessary to determine the degree of need of candidates, thus we must know of other sources of financial help and of parental contribution to maintenance). Bursaries may take the form of a grant, or an interest free loan; the latter may well be used when decisions on other applications (such as Cambridge Bursaries) are awaited.
Most of the funds are available for those studying any subject; a few are more specific. The following is a summary:
- The Home Bursaries Fund
- The Overseas Bursary Fund
- The Dudley Robinson Bursaries (Engineering)
- The Gooderson Memorial Fund (Law)
- The Johns Memorial Fund (Candidates for Holy Orders in the Church of England)
- The Drury Memorial Fund (Candidates for Holy Orders in the Church of England)
- The Warren Fund (Offspring of Clergy)
- The Thorne Memorial Fund (Connection with Motor Trade)
- The Worksop College War Memorial Fund (Theology, pupil from Worksop College)
- The Richard Burston Fund
- The James Lloyd Bursary Fund
- The John Pettigrew Bursary Fund
- The Eric Allen Bursary Fund
- The 1960 Graduates' Bursary Fund
- The 1973 Members' Bursary Fund
- The Beringer Bursary Fund
- The John Colquhoun Memorial Fund