We understand that balancing your finances can be difficult and sometimes it’s not a matter of budgeting but having enough funds.
We’re here to help you ensure you have all the funding you’re entitled to and support you in managing your finances so you can plan ahead and avoid any unforeseen issues. If you find yourself in a financial crisis, our Advice Workers can put you in touch with expert services and help you make a plan of action, putting you in control of your finances. We can support you over a week, month, academic year or until you leave BU to help you stay on track.
BU has a range of additional funding available to students, from bursaries, undergraduate scholarships and postgraduate scholarships to the Financial Support Fund, Disabled Students' Allowance Support Fund and Emergency Loan.
Your eligibility will depend on your personal circumstances so please read the criteria carefully and get in touch if you are unsure whether you would qualify.
To view the full range of funding available via BU, visit their website.
Small Emergency Grant
The Small Emergency Grant is available to all students who require very short-term assistance who have no, or very little funding available to them. The typical award is £20 which is provided in the form of supermarket vouchers. The fund is extremely limited, and criteria include, but are not limited to:
- having less than £10 in your bank account, having utilised or at least applied for an overdraft
- having no other sources of income
- in certain cases, having submitted an application to the BU Financial Support Fund
Please be prepared that during this application we will ask for evidence of your current bank balance and financial background to understand the best award for your circumstances.
Contact us if you would like to apply.
NHS Learning Support Fund
If you are a student on an NHS course which started in September 2017 or after, you may be eligible for additional NHS support from their Learning Support Fund. Part of the support the NHS offers is the Exceptional Support Fund for students facing financial difficulty. Please note if you wish to apply for the Exceptional Support Fund, you must have applied and received a decision from the BU Financial Support Fund first.
Trusts and Charities
There are educational trusts and charities that could be of assistance to you. You can search for these via the Turn2Us website. We are also aware of other trusts and charities that provide assistance based upon individual need. Contact us for details.
Study Abroad Grants
Erasmus+ is designed to help you fund work experience of two months or longer in the European Economic Area (EEA) - see the website for a list of countries and full details.
BU also offers funding through the Turing Scheme, designed to help you undertake international opportunities as part of your studies.
More information about Study Abroad Grants can be found here and you can read about what other students have done with their funding on the BU Undergraduate Blog.
Universal Credit is a monthly payment to help with your living costs. You may be able to get it if you're on a low income or out of work.
You cannot usually get Universal Credit if you’re studying full-time, however there are some exceptions.
You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re studying full-time and any of the following apply:
- You’re aged 21 or under, in full-time non-advanced education and do not have parental support
- You’re responsible for a child
- You live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
- You’ve reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit and live with a partner who is under that age
- You’re disabled and have limited capability for work and are getting:
- Personal Independence Payment
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Please see the government information on Universal Credit for more information:
Opening a UK bank account
Like any other student, international students need a UK bank account. This is by far the safest and most effective way of managing your money as an international student. For safety reasons, it is not a good idea to bring large sums of cash, and there may be restrictions on the amount of cash you can bring with you to the UK. You may want to consider alternative options such as using Travelers Cheques or pre-paid cash cards and paying tuition fees online.
For information on how to open a bank account in the UK and the steps involved, see this website.
Double Taxation agreements
Some double-taxation agreements mean you don’t pay UK tax on your income if you work while you’re a student. You can find more information here.
We know that managing your finances can be tricky, especially when Student Finance is paid termly and you have a whole year to budget for.
We can help you by:
- Listening to your situation and hearing what your worries are and what you would like to do
- Looking at your current situation and seeing what options are available to you to help you improve your situation
- Identifying short, medium and longer term solutions so if there is a quick fix available, you know exactly what you can do and how to do it
- Identifying any risks that there may be and offering guidance to help you avoid or reduce risk
- Giving you the tools to help you manage your own finances, and work with you to ensure you are comfortable and confident in using these tools
There are many ways you can monitor your income and expenditure - you can pick what works best for you. Some students use Excel, others may use a notebook or an app like Monzo. Budgeting isn't a one-off activity - your budget should be reviewed and updated at least once or twice a week. Check out Save the student budget sheet.
If you have fallen behind with repayments, defaulted on a loan or not paid someone you owe money to then it's important you seek advice. The Money Advice Service, Stepchange and National Debtline are free, confidential services that can advise you of your options. You can make a call to these services with one of our Advice Workers who can guide you through the conversation and help you make a plan of action.
StepChange offer the widest range of practical debt solutions of any provider in the UK. They provide expert advice either online or over the phone, and they’ll recommend a range of practical debt solutions based on your situation. Still unsure? Take that first step with their 60 second debt test.