Essex students have been severely affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

 The University has already taken unprecedented steps to support our students at this challenging time including:

  • increasing our Hardship Fund to £1.5 million
  • widening eligibility to the Hardship Fund
  • investing an additional £100,000 in paid student assistant roles within our University teams
  • introducing a £2 hot meal every day across our campuses
  • continuing to remove costs for students, such as resit fees

However, we know there is still more to do. Our Hardship Fund makes one-off payments of up to £1,500 to UK and international students who are facing emergency financial need resulting from unexpected costs, or a loss of a source of planned income. Compared to this time last year we have seen an increase in applications to our Hardship Fund of over 112% and we have made more than 930 payments since October 2022.

Our experience at Essex is backed up by external research, which suggests that: nearly 20% of students in the UK have considered dropping out of their courses because of concerns over money; nearly half are cutting back on food shopping; and on-going concerns over rent increases, fuel and travel costs. The research suggests that students who are from low-income households, who are parents, disabled students and postgraduates are disproportionately affected.

Why your support matters. 112% increase in applications compared to previous year. 931 grant awarded to students. £888 average grant awarded. Figures representative since the start of the 2022-23academic year and correct as of 2 March 2023.

How our community can help

We are inspired by the strength of our global Essex family to come together to support our students at difficult times. We are committed to ensuring that all our students can benefit from our amazing, transformational education, irrespective of their financial situation.

The rising cost of living is making us all think even more seriously about how we spend our money but making a donation – however small – is an investment that makes a real difference to our students. Every donation you make will go directly to our students and help us provide them with more support.

Essex graduates are needed now – more than ever – and we are committed to doing all we can, so that our students are able to complete their studies and go on to make the world a better place.

If you want to help us achieve this and are in a position to do so, please join us in donating to the Hardship Fund.

Make a donation to the Hardship Fund.