Discretionary fund

The Discretionary Fund is a non-repayable Government fund administered by the Student Funding Team. You can apply to this Fund for help towards living costs such as accommodation, utility bills, travel and study costs.

If you are unsure if this Fund is applicable to you, would like advice on applying, or would like to appeal the decision made regarding your application to the Discretionary or Childcare fund make sure you contact a Student Funding Adviser for information and advice. You cannot apply to this Fund for help towards tuition fees.

Who Can Apply?

Please note - International and EU fee only funded students are not eligible to apply to this fund.

Undergraduate - As an undergraduate student, you must have taken out the maximum support package available from SAAS or your own LEA to be eligible for this fund.

Postgraduate - Postgraduates (not nursing & Midwifery) can also apply as long as you can show you have applied for any available Government funding and have some support in place for living costs while you study. 

Nursing – Undergraduate nursing students can apply to the Nursing Discretionary Fund for extra help towards study and living costs. Please note these funds are limited and you must have taken out full SAAS funding in order to apply.

Part time - Part time students can apply for help towards travel, study costs (such as books, printing, photocopying) and registered childcare costs while attending GCU. See our Part-time section for further information.

Some groups of students are given priority:

  • Care experienced students
  • Students with at least one dependant child
  • Final-year students
  • Students who are carers
  • Postgraduate students who receive tuition fee support from SAAS
  • Part-time students
  • Estranged students
How Do I Apply?

Collect a white Discretionary & Childcare Fund Application Form, a yellow BACS Transfer form, and a purple Carer Form from level 1 of the George Moore building; next to the Campus Life desk; or the Student Funding Team in the Campus Life Lounge. Alternatively, you can download the Discretionary & Childcare Application and Carer Form‌ during term times.

Fill in the application form and enclose photocopies of the relevant documentation listed on the front page of the form.

Make sure you remember to get your Application Form signed by an Academic Tutor or Programme Administrator to confirm attendance and fill out Part 7 on the back page.

Remember to complete all pages of the forms.

Once you have filled in the forms, take them (including all photocopied documents required) to the Post Box on level 1 of the George Moore building (next to the Campus Life desk) or to the Campus Life Lounge during Drop -In times.  Alternatively you can email the student funding team at funding@gcu.ac.uk.

Tips on filling in the form
  • If you have a mortgage, make sure that when you are writing down your monthly outgoings you include mortgage-related insurance such as building and contents insurance.
  • Include monthly expenses for: TV licence, personal insurance, course materials and household expenses.
  • Hang on to a few of your bus or train tickets so that you can include these as evidence of travel costs. Please note that we will only consider the cheapest mode of transport.
  • Make sure you enclose photocopies of all the supporting documents you need when handing in your application (these are listed on the front page of the form).  If some are missing, or you forget to get an academic tutor or programme administrator's signature, your application will be returned to you and you will need to complete fully and resubmit. This will significantly delay processing any award.
Part-time students

Part-time students can only apply to the Discretionary Fund for help towards study costs, travel and registered childcare.

Collect a PINK Discretionary & Childcare Fund application form and a yellow BACS transfer form‌ from Level 1 of the George Moore building, next to the Campus Life desk or the Student Funding Team in the Campus Life Lounge. 

Fill out the application form and enclose photocopies of the relevant documentation listed on the front page of the form.

Make sure you remember to get your Application Form signed by an Academic Tutor or Programme Administrator to confirm attendance and fill out Part 7 giving details of why you are applying.

Remember to complete all pages of the forms. Once you have filled in the forms, take them (including all photocopied documents required) to the Post Box on level 1 of the George Moore building (next to the Campus Life desk) or to the Campus Life Lounge during Drop-in times.

Discretionary Fund Myths

It is only available to mature students
NOT TRUE – We do not apply any age restrictions

It is only available to students with children
NOT TRUE– We accept applications from those with no dependants
 
You must have debts
NOT TRUE– You don’t have to be in debt (but we take it into consideration if you are)
 
You can’t apply if you live in your parental home
NOT TRUE – You can apply if you own / rent a property or if you live with your parents

You can only apply once throughout your whole degree
NOT TRUE– You can apply in every year of your course as long as you remain eligible

It takes hours to fill in and we need evidence of everything
NOT TRUE–It can take as little as 30 minutes and it all depends on your personal situation as to how much evidence we need. 
 
You can’t apply if your parents are working
NOT TRUE– SAAS will calculate a parental contribution that we will consider, but we won’t ask for their income details and will take your expenditure into account when making decisions 

You can't apply if you are working
NOT TRUE - You can apply as long as you're having problems balancing your monthly finances or find yourselves with unexpected costs that you cannot budget for.