Eligibility and residency criteria

The Access to Learning Fund helps students in financial hardship to remain in higher education.

The Access to Learning Fund (ALF) is specifically for students who need help with costs that cannot be met from other sources of support.

The ALF can't help with tuition fees, nor can it help with University fines or debt. If you're having problems with debt, contact the Student Advice Centre at Leeds University Union. Other specific conditions apply to the ALF. 

Eligibility

You must be registered on a higher education course and meet the residency criteria.

Residency criteria

If you're receiving a Student Loan or part-time grant, you're eligible to apply to the ALF.

You are also likely to be eligible to apply to the ALF if:

  • you're paying the “home” tuition fee rate

and 

  •  you were “settled” in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course

and 

  • you've been ordinarily resident in the UK for the three years immediately before the start of your course, other than wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education.

Other groups

 You may still be eligible, even if you don't satisfy the residency criteria above, if you fall into one of the following groups:

  •  UK nationals who have resided in the UK, EEA or Switzerland for the three years immediately before the start of their course.

  • EU nationals who have resided in the UK for the three years immediately before the start of their course.
  • Refugees, their spouses/civil partners, children or stepchildren.
  • People who have been granted Home Office Humanitarian Protection, their spouses/civil partners, children or stepchildren.
  •  EEA or Swiss migrant workers, their spouses/civil partners, children or stepchildren.
  • Child of Swiss national. 
  • Child of Turkish Worker.

The Gov.uk website has more information on residency eligibility.

Or contact the Funding team.

    Other criteria

    You must also meet the following criteria, depending on what category of student you are. 

    Full-time undergraduates

    You must have applied for, and received, the first instalment of either a student loan or an NHS bursary, or both. You must have accepted your full entitled amount.

    Full-time postgraduates

    You will need to show that you had enough funds or income at the start of the course to cover all your fees and living costs. We expect you to have applied for the Postgraduate Loan (Masters students) and the Professional and Career Development Loan before requesting help from the ALF.

    Part-time undergraduates 

    You must have applied for, and received, the part-time Fee and Course Grant or the Tuition Fee Loan if you are eligible. If you are ineligible for grants or loans because of previous study, you are unlikely to be considered for an ALF award.

    You need to be studying at an average 30 credits per year, or four times the length of a full-time course.

    Part-time undergraduates may apply for help with childcare costs, either with or without a standard ALF application. 

    Part-time postgraduates

    You need to be studying an average of 30 credits per year or four times the length of your course.

    You are expected to have made provision for your core living costs and applied for both the Postgraduate Loan (Masters students) and the Professional and Career Development Loan before asking for help from the ALF.