5.4e Financial difficulties

Hardship funds available to registered students

Students who register on a programme of study at the School are expected to ensure that they have secured adequate funding for their fees and living costs. The School cannot normally assist students who knowingly register under-funded.

Students who wish to apply for hardship assistance during their programme should complete the Financial Support Office application form entitled In-course Financial Support, available online and from the Student Services Centre.

The LSE Students’ Union Advice & Support Service also administers a number of specific funds – see their Money Advice pages at  www.lsesu.com/support/moneyadvice|

The School’s main hardship funds are:

  • Student Support Fund

Students who have registered with sufficient funding but who later experience unforeseen circumstances which leave them in financial difficulty can apply for help from the School via the Student Support Fund. Unforeseen circumstances can take a range of guises, but in all cases applicants need to provide supporting documentation. In cases where a student has knowingly registered under-funded, support from a student’s department and/or academic adviser does not tend to have bearing on the outcome of the application since this depends solely on whether or not the student can show that their difficulties are unexpected.

More discretion may be shown in the treatment of applications from PhD students who are in the final stages of completing their thesis. Registered students who are in the final stages of a PhD may therefore wish to consider making an application to the Student Support Fund for assistance in their last few months. This is particularly relevant when a student close to finishing cannot quite reach the point of submission because of financial difficulties and may need just a small amount of financial support to achieve this.

  • Access to Learning Fund

This is designed to assist Home UK students with their living costs. Funds are limited and priority is given to undergraduates,students with children, disabled students and final year students.

  • Short term loan facility

A short term loan facility is available for students who are experiencing acute cash flow difficulties whilst awaiting a guaranteed source of funds (eg, loan or salary payment). Students may borrow up to £500, repayable within 4 weeks. Short term loans normally take between 24 and 48 hours to process and are given in the form of a cheque.

Guidance statement to students about working part time

The School is aware that many students face varying degrees of financial pressures which make it necessary for them to undertake part-time work while studying full time. The School is also of the view that students must devote enough time to the academic demands of their programme. They are expected to produce regular course work and prepare for classes/seminars, as well as studying for examinations. 

Each student is responsible for setting their own balance between part-time employment and academic course work. Recent research suggests that an excessive amount of part-time work can have a detrimental effect on academic performance.

Therefore, the School recommends that full-time students work no more than 20 hours per week during term time, and, if at all possible, fewer than 15 hours. The School’s examination boards will not normally consider as mitigating circumstances the negative impact that part-time work may have had on a student’s performance in examinations or assessed course work.

Further information about financial support and working in the UK can be found on the Financial Support Office website at lse.ac.uk/financialSupportOffice|