Student life

Cost of living support

Students on our Colchester Campus

We believe no one should miss out on an Essex education. And, as the ongoing cost of living crisis is making life harder for students we want to ensure we do all we can to support all of our community.

We've found ways to make life more affordable on campus and have a package of bursaries and financial options to help students with their studies and accommodation throughout their time with us.

Working together with our Students' Union we have a full range of support to help our students and community. After all, the Essex family is at its strongest in times of adversity.

Here's how we're helping

Getting you started regardless of your financial situation

Students on the hill at the University of Essex Colchester Campus

As part of our work to support students from low income households in the UK into higher education we are offering two bursaries for students joining us in 2023:

University of Essex Bursary - providing a cash bursary worth £2,000 over three academic years.

Accommodation Bursary - providing a bursary worth £2,000 ensuring students from low household incomes have support for the cost of their accommodation throughout their first year of undergraduate degree study only.

International students joining us may be eligible for a range of different scholarships, many of which are auto-awarded when you apply with us.


Accommodation that makes life more affordable

Students walking across campus through the accommodationAccommodation costs at Essex include your energy bills and internet access so regardless of what happens to supplier costs, you can rest assured you'll be fine with Essex. Plus, with guaranteed on-campus accommodation for all first years you can save on travel costs by walking to lectures and classes! We also have 3 year on-campus accommodation deals available at Colchester and Southend. Not only will you be guaranteed your on-campus accommodation for the full duration of your undergraduate course, but your rent will be fixed at the 2023-24 rate. Plus, as you'll have the same room for 3 years you can save on storage costs in the summer breaks. 

Financial support for Accommodation for UK students joining us in 2023

  • University of Essex Accommodation Bursary - an accommodation bursary worth £2,000 to eligible UK students with an annual household income of up to £25,000. The bursary is available for the first year of undergraduate degree study only, in University owned or administered accommodation.
  • University of Essex Accommodation Academic Scholarship - a scholarships of £2,000 towards University owned or administered accommodation to eligible UK students who achieve BBB or above in their A-levels (or equivalent qualification). The scholarship is available for the first year of undergraduate degree study only 

Keeping prices on campus low

students sitting on beanbagsNobody should have to choose between a warm home and a hot meal, so we're offering a range of £2 food options available at Essex Food outlets across campus. From a classic English fry up to jacket potatoes, burritos, burgers and more, there's a range of meals available throughout the week. Bonus points for the washing up it saves too!

As well as this the Students' Union has launched its SU Basics range. By buying in bulk they are able to pass the savings on to you, our students. So every Monday they host a pop-up market selling everyday groceries for less. We can't promise they'll have all your favourite snacks but it's a good place to start, right? 

And if things get really difficult...

We have a Hardship Fund designed to help Essex students who are experiencing financial difficulty by giving non-repayable grants to those who need it. Last year the fund provided students with £489,000, this year we've expanded the funding to £1.5million.

The Hardship fund will help cover, food, travel, course costs, childcare, accommodation, energy costs, IT equipment and sports and society memberships

You can apply multiple times over the year to a maximum of £1,500 a year per student. We believe that financial background should never be a barrier to a university education so please, if you feel you would benefit from our Hardship Fund, find out more here

More support and resources