Supporting Student Hardship

Help students most affected by the cost of living crisis.

Student working in the IC at a computer

Unforeseen hardship

In recent years we’ve seen up to four times the usual number of student requests for emergency financial support. The lasting effect of Covid-19 alongside the ongoing cost of living crisis means many university students continue to face serious financial hardship. It’s well known that students work part-time to supplement their income whilst studying. But working excessive hours to cover the rising cost of living is putting further limitations on students who are already disadvantaged.

Like all of us, students have bills and other essential outgoings to cover. Some students benefit from support from their parents. But for students from low-income backgrounds, estranged from their families or with caring responsibilities, relying on family and friends can be difficult, or even impossible.

Unforeseen hardship can fluctuate and become hard to manage quickly. It causes additional stress and can lead to students falling behind with their studies. This is where Student Hardship initiatives at the University of Sheffield become lifelines to those students who are most in need.

Students like Joe rely on the support of Sheffield alumni 

Joe Thornber, Third Year Music Student, Scholarship recipient

Scholarships for students from low-income backgrounds are one of the ways you can help. Every year hundreds of Sheffield alumni fund Experience Sheffield Scholarships.

Students apply for additional financial support because their circumstances mean they are more likely to struggle to afford their living costs whilst at university. Even with maintenance loans, students are struggling. The Office for National Statistics has recently reported that 58% of students say their loans are not covering living costs. Whilst 78% of students are concerned the rising cost of living may affect how well they do in their studies.

For students like Joe, working a part-time job to earn an additional income is near impossible. Joe’s scholarship means he can cover the rising cost of living better than he could without it.

Thankfully, my scholarship helps a lot. It takes away most of the financial stress as there’s no way my mum and dad can afford to support me. And unfortunately, caring for mum means I don’t have time to work. 

However, with the amount of travel I do, I’ve really felt the impact of the cost of living crisis. They recently put up the price of all the train tickets. So even with a rail card, the cheapest ticket went from £14 to over £17. It really adds up and is on my mind a lot.

When there’s exams and performances, my focus should be on that. But worrying about money doesn’t just go away, it's there all the time.

I’m so thankful for my scholarship and the donations people give. Without them, students like me might never get the chance to go to university at all. You really are supporting us to push for our goals and achieve our dreams.”

Joe Thornber, Third Year Music Student, Scholarship recipient

You can ensure there is help available for students like Joe, by making a gift to Student Hardship today.

Make a gift

A female student using her laptop in the Health Sciences library.

The cost of living

The rise in energy and food costs are significant to those on a tight budget. Students need adequate broadband and technology, in addition to course materials. Travel expenses add up when on placement. And then there’s rent and deposits for new accommodation to think about.

Your donation could help provide a Hardship Grant to a student whose financial difficulties are affecting their studies and their wellbeing. Life can be lonely for these students at the best of times, and a crisis only amplifies these feelings.

Hardship Grants provide a vital non-repayable grant to those experiencing unexpected financial struggle. This means you’ll help students cover the cost of living so they can get back on track to achieve their full academic potential.

  • £25 could help a student with their weekly shop
  • £50 could cover an outstanding utility bill
  • £400 could help a student buy a basic laptop
  • £1,200 covers the cost of an undergraduate scholarship for one year

Please consider making a gift today to be there for students hardest hit by the cost of living crisis.

Donate now