Hardship Fund

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

What it can help with

The Hardship Fund can help with a range of issues, in addition to COVID-19 related costs, 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.

The University has expanded the Fund and is now able to pay out twice weekly via direct credit.

COVID-19

The Hardship Fund is available for students facing financial difficulty as a result of COVID-19. We know that some students have lost their jobs and/or have additional expenses—the fund is here to help you.

Contact student-hardship@vuw.ac.nz if you are experiencing additional financial hardship due to

  • self-isolating
  • caring for dependants
  • a change to your employment situation
  • additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  • increased living costs such as power.

Most currently enrolled students who are in financial hardship are eligible to apply for help from the Hardship Fund, including international students. The University has committed to continue to support the Fund and students who are experiencing financial need.

Laptop loan scheme

Support is available for students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. If you are unable to study from home because you do not have access to a computer, email the following to student-hardship@vuw.ac.nz:

  • a completed Laptop loan eligibility form
  • a recent bank statement or internet banking printout showing at least 2 weeks' transactions
  • a recent bank statement or internet banking printout showing all account balances.

The student finance advisers will contact you to advise if you are eligible to loan a laptop from the University for the duration of your programme of study.

How to apply

To apply for a grant or loan from the Hardship Fund, make an appointment with a student finance adviser. This can be done through Zoom and you should 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. When you apply to the Hardship Fund, your current income, essential expenses, and savings will be assessed so an informed decision can be made.

You will need to email documentation ahead of the meeting, including:

  • Your application form.
  • A recent bank statement showing the last two weeks' transactions.
  • An overview of all of your bank accounts.
  • If applying for help with:
    • A particular bill (e.g., power, phone), email the bill.
    • Assistance with textbooks, email a quote.
    • Dental work or glasses, email a quote.
    • Bond and/or advance rent, email the lease agreement.
    • Architecture and Design Project costs greater than $100, email this form completed and approved by the course coordinator.