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Southampton Solent University is committed to encouraging students from all backgrounds to enter higher education and offers a number of non-repayable grants to support disadvantaged students in their studies.

Solent Access to Learning Fund

The Solent Access to Learning Fund is a non-repayable grant for students who are in financial hardship whilst at university.

The fund is available for students who:

  • are enrolled on a course at Southampton Solent University,
  • are in receipt of their full student funding,
  • are a full-time UK undergraduate or postgraduate student,
  • are a part-time UK undergraduate or postgraduate student - studying at least 50% of a full-time course (25% for disabled students),
  • are from the EU and are in receipt of full UK funding.

It can help with living costs, childcare, travel, accommodation, household expenses, books and course equipment, but it cannot help pay for tuition fees.

Unfortunately, it cannot fully compensate for the lack of parental contribution, especially where a student has only been able to take out the non-means tested part of the maintenance loan. It may also not be able to help those who have mismanaged their finances, although we can offer money management advice to students in this situation. 

Funds are available from October to June or until the funds are exhausted, whichever is the soonest.

If you are currently a student at our university, application forms and full guidelines are available on the University Portal.

If you are unhappy with the result of your access fund application you can appeal the decision.

Summer Access to Learning Fund

The Summer Fund opens in June - July each year, if funds are still available. Currently the fund is closed. 

Eligibility criteria remains the same as for the Solent Access to Learning Fund

If you cannot work over the summer break because of any of the following, you may apply to the summer fund:

  • care responsibilities or dependants,
  • a disability/medical circumstances,
  • course retakes/resits which temporarily restrict working,
  • genuine reasons beyond your control, or
  • an inability to find suitable roles. You will be assessed for a two-week period and must provide evidence of looking for work.

Please note that the summer fund cannot cover all your expenses over the summer period and should not be expected to. You must seek alternative funding eg. paid employment or benefits (if eligible).

If you are a lone parent, you may be eligible to apply for full housing benefit, Income Support or Jobseekers' Allowance during July and August. These should stop in September, so you will need to reapply for your housing benefit for term time. 

If you are unhappy with the result of your summer fund application you can appeal the decision.

Course costs grant

The course costs grant fund is available to support students who have higher than standard course costs (not general costs such as books, stationary etc. - the Solent Access to Learning Fund can look at these costs separately), and have extra compulsory expenses. For example:

  • Course specific equipment e.g. make-up/hair kits; photography equipment; specialist software; compulsory uniforms/sports kits.
  • Compulsory course trips e.g. gallery, theatre and field trips within the UK and EU
  • Professional memberships/body endorsements and related exam fees (e.g. NCTJ / REPs).
  • £200.00 contribution for DSA equipment
  • Final projects

Find out more on the Portal

Unpaid placement grant

The fund is available to support students who have been offered unpaid work experience or placements, between 10 and 20 working days, who, due to their poor financial circumstances, may be prevented from doing so. 

Placements must last a minimum of 10 working days and a maximum of 20 working days. If it is over 20 working days students may still apply but will only be eligible for the maximum award available.

The fund is limited and not all applications can be successful.

Find out more on the Portal

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