The Access to Learning Grant is a fund given to students who are experiencing financial hardship. To be eligible for the grant you must be either a full-time higher education or postgraduate student. However, you can apply if you are part-time and your course lasts longer than one year.
When applying for the grant the university will look at your individual situation when deciding whether or not to allow you access to it. Typical circumstances in which a student might apply are when you need help with costs of the course or living, if you have an unexpected financial expense such as an emergency bill or household maintenance, or if you are considering quitting your course due to your financial situation.
Applications for the grant are made through your universities student support department. When applying, you will need to provide various items to support your application, such as details of your student loan, bank and other financial statements.
Although each application is evaluated individually, there are certain groups that take priority over others when applying for the grant. Students who have children, mature students, disabled students, final year students, care leavers, students who are staying in insecure accommodation, and students from low income families are all given priority ahead of other student groups.
If your application succeeds then you will receive the grant which is not repayable. It will usually be paid directly into your bank account in either one lump sum or in instalments.