Pūtea Āwhina | Hardship Fund

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

Hardship fund during COVID-19

If you are facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19, get in touch to make an appointment with a finance adviser. Student finance advisers are holding online meetings with students.

Below are some COVID-19 related issues that we may be able to help with:

  • a change in your employment situation
  • additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  • increased living costs, such as power
  • difficulty covering weekly necessities.

You can find more information on what might be available to you on our COVID-19 information page.

Hei aha tēnei pūtea āwhina? | 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
  • a change to your employment situation
  • additional costs incurred by studying off campus
  • 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.

Rorohiko Whakamino | Laptop loan scheme

Support with a laptop is available for students experiencing financial hardship. 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 two 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 borrow a laptop from the University for the duration of your programme of study.

Me pēhea te tono | How to apply

To apply for a grant or loan from the Hardship Fund, make an appointment with a student finance adviser. Appointments are usually done through Zoom and take around 30 to 45 minutes.

Your adviser will discuss your circumstances and help you complete the application form. This includes making 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 must be enrolled in study at the time of your application.

Documents you’ll need

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 you are 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.

StudyLink

If you want to apply for the Hardship Fund, you should already be using—or have used up—your StudyLink entitlement.