111 Views

The Access to Learning Fund

Most students have to manage on a limited budget throughout their studies but for some money can become such a problem that you may even wonder whether you can afford to carry on at all. If you have higher than expected costs to meet or are facing an unexpected financial crisis the University’s Access to Learning Fund may be able to offer you some assistance.

What is it?

The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) is made up of money given to the University by the government to help students who need extra financial support. It is intended to help students who experience unexpected and/or exceptional financial difficulties during their course, and who otherwise may struggle to continue their studies. It cannot however provide help with tuition fees. The fund has strict eligibility criteria and has a limited amount of money so it is not able to help everyone and is usually only able to provide limited assistance. Any money awarded from the ALF is paid as a grant and is not therefore repayable.

Am I eligible?

The ALF is only available to ‘home’ students (non-UK students may be eligible to apply to the Alumni Hardship Fund instead – have a look at our webpages for more information). It is open to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as to part-time students (if studying the equivalent of 50% or more of an equivalent full-time course). Before applying you must have taken out any student support (loan / grants) that you are entitled to and should have explored all other possible sources of financial support.

The ALF favours certain ‘priority’ groups of students:

  • Students with children, especially lone parents.
  • Mature students, especially those with existing financial commitments
  • Students from low-income families
  • Disabled students, especially those with costs that cannot be met through a DSA
  • Students who have been in care
  • Students from Foyer or who have been homeless
  • Final year students in financial difficulties
  • Postgraduate and part-time undergraduate students facing a financial difficulty that could not have been foreseen

If you are not in one of these groups you can still apply to the ALF, but you will need to show an exceptional financial need or difficulty.

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an application form, write a covering letter explaining in detail your situation, and provide supporting evidence like bank statements, proof of your income, a copy of your tenancy agreement/mortgage repayment schedule etc.

The ALF application forms & accompanying guidance notes are available from the University’s website at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sas/1-4-5-1.html.

You can also pick up hard copies from the Student Advice Centre, your school office or a Student Advisor.

Before you submit your form you will need to get it checked and signed by a Student Adviser in your school of study. The form should then be sent to The Financial Assistance Officer in Sussex House.

Is the application form difficult?

If you have ever filled out a welfare benefits form then the ALF application form is a breeze in comparison. Most of it is a fairly straightforward personal budget sheet that compares your income and expenditure (ALF awards are usually based on there being a clear ongoing shortfall between a student’s income & expenditure, although ‘non-standard’ awards can sometimes also be made to cover one-off financial commitments).

If you need help with an ALF application you can always come to one of the Student Advice Centre’s drop-in sessions. We are happy to discuss your application with you and if appropriate suggest amendments which could be made to your application form or supporting letter. We can also help put an appeal together if you are unhappy with the amount awarded. You may also want to speak to us about any related issues that may have contributed to your current financial difficulties and for advice on possible alternative sources of help.

How quickly will any ALF award be paid?

If you think you might need to apply for help from the ALF, don’t wait until you’ve run out of money as an application can take some time.

It normally takes up to 10 working days to assess an ALF application once one has been submitted and then up to another 14 working days from the date of the decision for any money to reach your bank account.

If you need money urgently in the meantime you may be able to take out a VC Loan as long as you are registered at Sussex (& have a valid Student ID Card) and you do not already owe the University any money. You can apply for a VC Loan through either a Student Adviser in your school of study, or from the Student Advice Centre.

For further information about the ALF, VC Loans or any other source of financial assistance that you may be eligible for have a look at the Student Advice Centre’s online money advice webpages. Alternatively, you can always come to one of our drop-in sessions or contact us by phone or email for advice.

Student Advice Centre

1st Floor Falmer House

01273 877038

advice@ussu.sussex.ac.uk

www.ussu.info/advice

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
542 views1
Campus News
542 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
77 views
Arts
77 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
112 views
Arts
112 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
109 views
Arts
109 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
136 views
Arts
136 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
149 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
159 views
Arts
159 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
153 views
Arts
153 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
247 views
Campus News
247 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
117 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
231 views
Arts
231 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
151 views
Arts
151 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
224 views
Artist Focus
224 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
159 views
Interview
159 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
224 views
Arts
224 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
254 views
Arts
254 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
290 views
Arts
290 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
202 views
Artist Focus
202 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
215 views
Books
215 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
273 views
Science
273 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
275 views
News
275 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…