Our student population is diverse, and their needs vary, but we are committed to providing financial support to all students in need.

In April 2020, in response to the increasing number of our students facing financial difficulties resulting from coronavirus, we launched an emergency appeal to raise funds for the Hardship Fund, a fund that provides financial support for students in urgent need. Thanks to our community of donors we have raised more than £315,000 to date. 

We're moving on from the pandemic, but the Hardship Fund is here to stay, and will always be there to support our students in need. The rise in the cost of living, drops in family household income, sudden loss of employment, and digital poverty are all examples of why our students sometimes need extra financial support.

Our Hardship Fund supports students in four key areas: 

  • Living costs – helping with core living costs such as utility bills, food and transport
  • Residential costs – helping cover the cost of rent
  • Equipment and digital costs – helping to pay for IT equipment or to secure internet access required for study 
  • Childcare – helping with costs related to childcare 

Donations made to the Hardship Fund go directly to students in need making their lives easier and allowing them to confidently continue their education here at Essex. By donating, you can help ease financial burdens that students face and are often out of their control. 

I had lost my part-time job which was my only source of income for food utilities and accommodation fees. Being a Masters international student from a third-world country, it was difficult for me to manage to live in the UK being self-funded. It will help me to pay my accommodation bills for the next few months. I am currently doing my Masters dissertation and this fund will really help me to concentrate on my studies without the need to worry about having a roof on my head.
Antony James msc artificial intelligence
I’m very grateful this opportunity is available. I applied because my country, Sri Lanka, is facing its worst economic crisis. The value of the rupee has depreciated drastically, there is little to no access to food and fuel. I applied in order to relieve my parents from the significant stress they are facing, trying to figure out how to send money through for accommodation or food. It will mainly go towards my living and accommodation costs. This gives my parents more time to figure out our finances and reduces the stress of how I will be able to manage here in the UK without having relatives send money through for basic necessities. 
Student wishes to remain anonymous
Our energy supplier messed up and gave my entire house a large lump sum of money to pay. The Hardship Fund payment will help me pay off some of the debts I made trying to pay off the bills, anything remaining will help me sustain myself through the first half of summer such as paying for medication.
Student wishes to remain anonymous