Hardship Funds 

If you are in financial hardship, please read the information below about Financial Assistance as well as the Fees and Funding section which provides information about tuition fees and bursaries and scholarships. 

If you are experiencing a financial crisis, please email hardship@abdn.ac.uk to speak to an adviser before making an application to any of the funds.

Money Advice

If you are experiencing financial difficulties and would like to discuss your personal circumstances with an adviser please email hardship@abdn.ac.uk. Student Support can provide advice about student loans, loans from other sources, budgeting and financial assistance for students. They can also help you to make contact with your funding body if you are having issues, and we can signpost you to other services who can assist you with money advice.

Budgeting & Money Saving

Coming to university can be a big change, and for many it’s the first time you’re having to manage your own money. This might seem daunting, but don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to control your spending and even save money while at uni!

Discounts/freebies

• Use your status as a student to sign up for student discounts, deals and freebies

• Sign up for free trial periods - just remember to cancel before the time is up!

Budget

• Keep track of your spending with the personal budget planner. Everyone’s income and expenditures will be a little different so make sure you figure out what’s best for you!

• Everyone’s budget is unique, figure out what your priorities are and budget thereafter Bank accounts

• Choose your bank account wisely, never assume that your interest rates stay the same, banks can change the interest rate at any time

• Do not get a bank account with a daily fee – if your account currently charges a daily fee, change account!

Transport

• Don’t buy a term-time bus pass straight away!  Aberdeen is a very walk-able city, so buy a two week pass at first and see whether you take the bus enough to justify the larger expense

• Get a free bike from BeCycle

Food

• Arrange potlucks with your friends/flatmates to keep the cost of making a full meal down

• Bored of your leftovers? Don’t buy expensive lunches, arrange to swap leftovers with your friends for varied meals at a low cost

• Shop online to minimise the risk of straying from your grocery list and buying unnecessary items

For more budgeting tips please visit our Student Top Tips for Saving Money section below.

 

Scams

Protect yourself against scams

A scam is a fraudulent scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group, or company in an attempt to obtain money or something else of value. 

Scammers may think you are an easy target because you are away from home, family and friends. You may be unfamiliar with local laws or not know where to go for help and advice.

Scams are now very sophisticated using impersonation techniques, stolen data or personal details from social media to make you believe what they say is genuine.   The University is aware of sophisticated schemes which offer to pay tuition fees for students, at a reduced rate, and that these should not be trusted.  Please pay tuition fees directly to the University.

If you have concerns that you may have been targeted and you want to speak to someone please email student.support@abdn.ac.uk or contact Police Scotland.

 

 

Financial Assistance (UK Students)

If you are a registered student and receive a student loan from a UK funding body, we have Discretionary Funding which may be able to assist you if you are in financial hardship. 

We cannot assist with anticipated future costs or if you have a shortfall in your month to month maintenance.  However we can help with immediate financial hardship if your evidence shows that you are in hardship due to unexpected and/or exceptional circumstances.  If you receive an award this will be a one off award to help support you for a short period of time but you can apply again if your circumstances do not improve.  We cannot guarantee that further applications will be awarded but we do encourage you to make contact with us to discuss your circumstances with an adviser if they are ongoing.

There are no hardship funds to assist with the cost of tuition fees which are an expected cost of study.

To apply, please submit a Discretionary Application Form and return by email to hardship@abdn.ac.uk along with all the relevant evidence.  Please note we cannot process any applications that are posted as we are currently working remotely.

Along with your signed Application form you must submit the following evidence:

  • Your award letting from your funding body, i.e. SAAS/SFE/SFW/SFNI award letter
  • Student loan payment breakdown letter
  • Evidence of mortgage/rent agreement
  • The last 3 months bank statements of ALL bank accounts including savings, ISA, Paypal etc
  • Any other documentary evidence to support your application eg credit card statements
  • If you have included your partner on your application, you are required to submit the last 3 months bank statements of all their bank accounts.

Please ensure that you complete the online Student Bank Details Form. Your details have to be on the University of Aberdeen’s Finance System before your application can be processed. If you change your bank account you must update your new details online to make sure payments go directly into your new bank account.

If your application is received with all of the requested evidence, you should receive an outcome within 5-10 working days. This process can take longer when additional evidence is requested by the assessment team. Please note that the assessment team may ask for further evidence at their discretion, particularly for repeat applications or when the evidence supplied is unclear.  They may also ask for evidence on how a previous award was spent.

Financial Assistance (EU and International Students)

Due to the financial impact of Covid-19 we have additional funds from the Scottish Government which may be able to assist you if you are a registered EU or International student. 

We cannot assist with anticipated future costs or if you have a shortfall in your month to month maintenance.  However we can help with immediate financial hardship if your evidence shows that you are in hardship due to unexpected and/or exceptional circumstances.  If you receive an award this will be a one off award to help support you for a short period of time but you can apply again if your circumstances do not improve.  We cannot guarantee that further applications will be awarded but we do encourage you to make contact with us to discuss your circumstances with an adviser if they are ongoing.

There are no hardship funds to assist with the cost of tuition fees which are an expected cost of study.

To apply, please submit a Discretionary Application Form and return by email to hardship@abdn.ac.uk along with all the relevant evidence.  Whilst you will not be eligible for discretionary funding, this form captures the information we require about your circumstances and will allow us to assess your application using the funds we do have for EU and International students.  Please note we cannot process any applications that are posted as we are currently working remotely.

Along with your signed Application form you must submit the following evidence:

  • Evidence of any student funding you receive (if applicable)
  • Evidence of mortgage/rent agreement
  • The last 3 months bank statements of ALL bank accounts including savings, ISA etc
  • Any other documentary evidence to support your application eg credit card statements
  • If you have included your partner on your application, you are required to submit the last 3 months bank statements of all their bank accounts.

Please ensure that you complete the online Student Bank Details Form. Your details have to be on the University of Aberdeen’s Finance System before your application can be processed. If you change your bank account you must update your new details online to make sure payments go directly into your new bank account.

If your application is received with all of the requested evidence, you should receive an outcome within 5-10 working days. This process can take longer when additional evidence is requested by the assessment team. Please note that the assessment team may ask for further evidence at their discretion, particularly for repeat applications or when the evidence supplied is unclear.  They may also ask for evidence on how a previous award was spent.

Emergency Financial Assistance

If you are experiencing a financial emergency, please email hardship@abdn.ac.uk and ask to speak with a Student Support Adviser. They can provide advice about how to manage your finances and in some cases may be able to provide a short-term loan or food vouchers for those in extreme, unexpected, financial circumstances.

Childcare Fund

The Childcare Fund provides assistance with the formal childcare expenses for dependant children.  Formal childcare includes registered childminders, after-school clubs, and providers of day care and education.

Am I eligible to apply to the Childcare Fund?

If you wish to apply please read the Childcare Fund Guidelines, complete the Childcare Fund Application form and email along with your evidence to hardship@abdn.ac.uk.  If you are unable to edit a PdF form please complete and submit this word version Childcare Fund Application Form.  Please note we cannot process any applications that are posted as we are currently working remotely.

If you have any queries please read our FAQs.  If your query is not listed please email hardship@abdn.ac.uk.

Please note that the childcare fund can assist with costs during term-time only.

Applications to this fund can be submitted any time during the 1st half session.

 

Digital Poverty Fund

If you are a registered student and receive a student loan from a UK funding body, we have a Digital Poverty Fund which may be able to assist you with loan equipment such as a laptop, or WiFi equipment, if you are in financial hardship.

If you require IT equipment and are in financial hardship, please submit a Discretionary Application Form and return by email to hardship@abdn.ac.uk along with all the relevant evidence.  Please note we cannot process any applications that are posted as we are currently working remotely.

John Robb Bursary

The John Robb Bursary is a specific grant available to students at Aberdeen University with a connection to Aberdeen. These grants are awarded from Aberdeen Endowments Trust and can be applied for at any stage of the course and are available for undergraduate and postgraduate study. Recent grants have been for £500 per year with continuation provided there is satisfactory progress made by the student. 

Please carefully read the criteria and ensure you complete the full form with all requested information.  Once complete please submit your application to hello@aet1909.org.  

Applicants will be contacted directly by the trust administrators, and will receive a cheque in the post if successful.

Advice for New Students

New students are advised to ensure that they have applied for their student finance by the date stipulated by their funding provider, i.e. SAAS or Student Finance England.

Please be aware that the payment of student finance is dependent on completion of registration and there can often be delays in receiving the first payment. With this in mind, we recommend that all new students arrive with enough money to cover their living expenses for the first month at University.

 

Fees and Funding Opportunities

Please visit the Fees and Funding section which provides information about tuition fees and bursaries and scholarships.

Student Top Tips for Saving Money

Discounts and Freebies

Discounts

Before purchasing anything, always look to see if you can get a further or better discount than your student discount. Below are a few tips:

Also make sure to download the Yoyo app for deals and discounts in all University outlets!

Freebies

  • Amazon PRIME is free for 6 months if you register with your @abdn.ac.uk email address.
  • Sending a card for a special occasion?  Look at the Funky Pigeon or Moon Pig  promotion webpages first for current offers -  if you register for a new account you may get your first purchase free.
  • Hair and beauty? Use Aberdeen's North East Scotland College. Students require models to train on, and they sometimes offer their services at a discounted rate for your time.  All services are supervised by qualified staff. 
Days/Nights Out
  • Always look for deals on the Discount Codes webpages before setting off.  Bring a picnic along so you are not tempted to buying overpriced sandwiches.
  • Worried about the cost of a night out but still want to socialise? Why not invite friends round to your flat/house instead, everyone can bring their own drink and food.
  • Cinema – Look for 2 for 1 deals, and always remember your student discount
Employment
  • Keep in touch with AUSA for one off jobs that may lead to regular work.
  • Register with temping agencies:
  • Plan ahead and seek work during the Easter/Summer/Christmas break.

Register with market research companies, for example Top 10 Best Paid Surveys, you can often get paid to shop/eat or you may receive goods in exchange for your time and feedback.

Food
  • Free Food - Fare Share Movement
  • Online Shopping
    • Look for free delivery or a time slot that is during the morning as prices can be as little as £1.
    •  By doing online shopping you are sticking to your shopping list and you are not tempted to throw in goods that you don’t need. 
  • Freeze leftover food.
  • Prepare your meals in advance so you are not tempted to buy take-aways. 
    • You can always treat yourself to a take-away at the weekend if you stick to your food planner.
  • Organise a leftover swap with flatmates or friends – eating leftovers can get boring, but if you swap leftovers with your friends you get to try new foods while keeping costs to a minimum.
  • Use a reusable bottle for your coffee and water – this will not only save you money but is also environmentally friendly
  • Do you have a garden?  Grow your own vegetables/herbs.
  • Also refer to our Off Campus web pages which have a vast variety of information on them!
Insurances

Car insurance

  • When shopping on the compassion websites, try a few different occupations - yes you may be a student, but also try getting a quote that confirms your part-time job status as it may be cheaper than confirming you’re a student.
  • Add a parent/guardian as a named driver or vice versa - it may be cheaper to include someone even though they won’t drive your car.

Phone insurance

  • Do you need insurance?  Is your phone worth more than your 12 months instalments or annual policy?  If not, it may be cheaper to buy a new phone rather than paying for insurance.
  • Is your phone covered under your house insurance?  Ask your house insurance company or your parent/guardian company instead of assuming it’s not, as you may be paying for insurance twice.
Savings / Bank Accounts / Credit Cards

Savings and Bank Accounts

Choose your bank account wisely. Never assume that your interest rates stay the same, banks/building societies can change the interest rate at any time - you may have gotten the best deal at the time, but keep a close eye on your accounts:

If you have debt but you also have savings - if your debt interest rate % is higher than your savings, use your savings to pay of your debt unless you are not getting charged interest. Do not get a bank account with a daily fee – if your account currently charges a daily fee – change account!

Credit and Debit Cards

Do you have Debt?  Are you paying interest?  If you are shop around for a 0% balance transfer, if you are accepted transfer the whole amount and start paying off as much as you can and pay it back within the terms.

Transport
  • Do you live close by but use the bus/car?  Cycle or walk instead.
  • Get involved with BeCycle for a free bike, you just have to put down a deposit!
  • Parking – always look for a street with free parking or cheaper rate.
Top Tips

Got lots of old books, CDs, DVDs, Clothes, electrical goods, phones etc that you no longer use? Sell them!

  • Advertise on Gumtree, Facebook, University Social Media, School Notice boards, etc
  • Before advertising, check websites like Ebay to see how much they are selling for

Going home? Driving? If so, advertise for car buddies on Facebook, school noticeboards etc by listing when you will be leaving and where you would be willing to drop people off. Perhaps ask for fuel contributions.

  • Always know who you are taking with you in your car and let people know who is in the car with you.  Also empty your car boot, if you drive around with unnecessary weight you use more fuel.

Holidays – if you know in advance that you are going home for Christmas Break, Easter Break etc, book in advance:

Foreign Exchange – if you know in advance, start keeping an eye on the exchange rate. If you see a good rate, buy!

Going away for the week-end?  Shop around for cheap hotels, remember to always check out approximately five different websites:

Compare prices that include breakfast and without, as sometimes it may be £35 more to include breakfast when in fact, you could go elsewhere for breakfast and pay as little as £6.

  • If you are travelling as a group it could be cheaper to get an AirBnB and split the cost than to get separate hotel rooms.

Only use your gas or electric when required - switch everything off when not being used

  • Charge USB electrical goods at uni or work when using a PC.
  • Request a FREE smart meter from your service provider.

Need an item but only going to use it once?  Ask family and friends to borrow the item and return once finished.

Require new books?

  • Advertise on the School noticeboards/Social media etc for a used copy.
  • Look in your local charity shops, local car boot sales, school jumble sales before buying new.

Renting a flat

  • If your lease is coming up for renewal – shop around see if the rental market has fallen. If it has, ask your landlord for a reduced rate to be in line with other rental properties.

Got a spare room – advertise looking for a new flat mate. Always do checks before allowing a person to move in with you.

WIFI

  • Always log onto free wifi
  • Download your providers’ app and keep an eye on your usage, don’t go over your Data allowance. 
  • Send pics via Messenger/WhatsApp rather than paying 25p per picture text.

Budgeting

Do you have a hobby that can make money?

  • If you play a music instrument, get involved in a society or band that will pay you!
  • Do you draw, knit, paint? Sell your goods on Ebay or Etsy or have a stall at local fayres at Christmas or Easter. 

Exercise

  • Do you use your gym membership? If not, cancel your direct debit and go pay as you go.
  • Use public parks, team up with friends and meet at the local park and create your own boot camp style workout – lots of fun plus socialising at the same time.

TV Licence

  • If you don’t own a TV or if you don’t use it to watch live TV you may not need to pay for a TV License – find out more.