Hardship Fund

The Hardship Fund is an emergency fund to help students facing financial difficulties. Find out what the criteria are and how to apply.

Most students are eligible to apply for help from the Hardship Fund, including international students. The fund relies on the levy from students and is therefore limited to a set amount.

What it can help with

The Hardship Fund can help with a range of issues, including:

  • necessary medical, dental, or optical costs
  • unforeseen flatting or family problems
  • exceptionally high course-related costs, including Architecture and Design project materials
  • high transport costs
  • a disability or temporary illness that prevents part-time or holiday employment
  • costs related to teaching experience placements
  • costs associated with sexuality and gender identity for LGBTQIA+ students
  • other financial problems which adversely affect study.

Along with grants, we can provide loans to students having cash flow problems. For example, you might be waiting for a scholarship payment, a research grant, or an international bank transfer.

How to apply

To apply for a grant or loan from the Hardship Fund, make an appointment with a student finance adviser. Set aside about 30 to 45 minutes. The adviser will discuss your circumstances and help you complete the application form. This includes a budget that shows your current income and essential expenses.

You will need to bring some documents with you, including:

  • Your application form.
  • A recent bank statement or internet banking printout—this should show at least 2 weeks' transactions. All account balances should be shown.
  • MyStudylink account printout confirming course-related costs claim.
  • If applying for help with:
    • A particular bill (e.g. power, phone), bring the bill.
    • Assistance with textbooks, bring a quote.
    • Dental work or glasses, bring a quote.
    • Bond and/or advance rent, bring the lease agreement.
    • Architecture & Design Project costs greater than $100, bring this form completed and signed off by the course coordinator.

Before applying, you should have already used all of your entitlements under the Student Loan scheme.

Applications are submitted every Wednesday morning to the Hardship Committee. Applicants will be advised of the committee's decision by 2 pm that day. This committee consists of staff and student representatives. Applications are confidential, and the committee is not informed of the student’s identity.

Victoria Hardship Fund Equity Grants

You may also be interested in the Victoria Hardship Fund Equity Grants. If you're a student facing financial hardship, one of these grants can help you continue your studies at the University.

Read the grant’s eligibility criteria, application process, and conditions.