Student Funding Advice & Money Matters

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What we do

From basic advice on funding entitlements to complex advice about serious financial problems. The service offers impartial, confidential and professional guidance and information to students.

We administer the University Hardship Fund, Care Leaver and Estranged Student Bursaries, International Student Emergency Fund and University Emergency Loans. (Please see below for further information)

We offer appointments to discuss:

  • Financial or personal situations which may affect study.
  • Financial implications of interruption, re-start, programme transfer or withdrawal of study.

Who we are

Debbie Smitham – Student Funding Adviser


For initial enquiries and information or if you would like to book an appointment please contact or if you have a complicated query please email:

Twitter: @Funding_Marjon

Getting your Student Finance

You need to apply for your Student Funding either by visiting this online link or by downloading a paper application form. Follow this link to the SFE twitter page to find out when applications are open each year and try to complete your application by the end of June to make sure your funding is put in place for the start of your course.

The standard funding you can apply for is a tuition fee loan, non-means tested maintenance loan and a means tested maintenance loan (based on household income).  You could also be eligible for grants if you are a parent or have adult dependants. There is also a Disabled Student Allowance with further information from the following link.

Your funding will be paid to you in three instalments throughout the academic year. The maintenance loan is paid directly to you to cover accommodation and living costs and the tuition fee loan payments are made directly to the University.  You can find out how much you may be eligible for by using the following link to the SFE Student Finance calculator.

As long as you have been fully approved for funding by SFE/your relevant funding body then your payment will be released once you have completed the enrolment process at the start of the academic year. The University will inform SFE/your relevant funding body that you are a live student and your funds should be received into your bank account within 3-5 working days.

If you have any delays with this please check your online SFE account to check your “to do” list and the “letters and emails” section and contact the Student Funding Adviser from this link in Student Support if you need further help and advice.

If you have started or completed another higher education course previously please get in contact via the following link with Student Funding Advice because previous study can affect your funding entitlement.

Students and Benefits

Some students can still be eligible for benefits while studying.

Further information regarding eligibility can be found from the Government website on Universal Credit and from the Turn2us website, available from this link.

The DWP will take into account Student Funding when accessing eligibility to benefits but they will disregard the Parents Learning Allowance, DSA and Childcare Grant.

Students need to provide DWP with their Student Finance breakdown letter once received for their benefit entitlement to be reassessed.

The Student Finance breakdown letter can be downloaded from a student’s online Student Finance account as it needs to show the details of the different funding types and amount to be received for the Academic Year.

For students on the 2016+ SFE funding system this will contain a paragraph which explains that £3,783*of the Special Support Element of the Maintenance Loan should be disregarded in means-tested benefits assessments.

For students on the pre 2016 SFE funding system who are still in receipt of a Maintenance Grant this funding amount will be disregarded.

Please do make sure you contact the DWP ASAP regarding any changes to your income including your Student Funding to avoid any under or over payments which may leave you in further financial difficulty. If you have any concerns regarding claiming benefits as a student or if you think you have been incorrectly assessed please contact

* Figure for academic year 2019/20

Tuition & Accommodation Fees

Tuition fees 

You can find out the tuition fee cost of your course by visiting the following link and searching our courses web page.
The standard cost for an undergraduate course is £9250 per year.

If a student has applied for a Tuition Fee Loan then the tuition fees are paid directly to the university in three instalments over the year. If you are paying your tuition fees yourself or via a third party (e.g parent, employer) you need to make a payment arrangement via the following link with the finance department.

Please be aware that for Masters students in receipt of the Postgraduate Masters Loan there is no tuition fee element of this loan paid to the university. All of the loan is paid directly to the student to use towards their tuition fees and living costs, a tuition fee payment plan needs to be arranged with the Finance Department during enrolment.

Accommodation fees

Returning students, as well as new students, can opt to live on campus.  All information about living on campus can be found by visiting the accommodation pages on the Plymouth Marjon website.

Returning students can apply to become a Resident Student Assistant in return for which they receive a substantial rent reduction. These posts are advertised on the Community Hub around Easter each year for the next academic year.


Most student tenancy agreements do not cover insurance for student’s possessions.

If you are renting it is advisable to insure your belongings against loss or damage caused by theft, fire, vandalism, storm, flood and burst pipes.

If you share accommodation with other students, you should each take out your own contents policy. More information can be found by visiting the Save the Student website available from this link.

Council Tax

Full time students are exempt from paying council tax for the duration of their course including holidays.

If you live with others who are not students the property will still be liable for council tax but you would not be responsible to pay this. More information can be found via the Tax Guide for students website through the following link.

At the start of each academic year the Registry department sends a list of all “live” students to the local councils (i.e. Plymouth, Cornwall, South Hams, Devon, etc.) to confirm their council tax exception. 

If you live in a local area you won’t need any documentation from us. Council Tax exemption is not automatic; you will need to apply for it. Please contact your local Council and enquire as to their procedure as many will require you to complete an application with them which can be done through their websites.

You must advise your Council that your name will be on the student list submitted by the PLYMOUTH MARJON UNIVERSITY. Please ensure that your term time address is correct on Learning Space.

Please note that we longer issue letters/certificates for local Councils. If you require a Council Tax letter for your letting agency (e.g. Clever Lets) please Email

More information can be found by visiting the government website available through the following link.

Money Worries

If you have any financial worries or concerns please contact Student Funding Advice so that they can advise or signpost you to relevant services:

Marjon has a University Hardship Fund which helps students who are experiencing financial hardship during their studies. More information is available in the University Hardship Fund section of these pages. 

Money Related FAQs

What is the latest date I can apply for student finance?

You can apply for student finance up to nine months after the start of the academic year if you’re a full-time or part-time student. Check by emailing the Registry team when your academic year starts as it’s not necessarily the first day of your course. It will either be 1 September, 1 January, 1 April or 1 July.

Should I get a student overdraft? 

A student interest free overdraft can help with the extra costs of university which student funding may not cover. More information about what student overdrafts are is available via the Save the Student website through the following link. and advice on choosing the best student bank account is available by following this link to the Money Supermarket website.

Can I get help with childcare? 

f you are eligible for student finance you could also be eligible for a childcare grant from Student Finance England. More information can be found by visiting the government website through the following link.

What happens to my funding if I decide to withdraw, interrupt or change my course? 

Any students considering withdrawal, interruption or course transfer are advised to make an appointment with Academic Advice and Student Funding Advice in Student Support to discuss the financial and academic implications. Please contact to book an appointment or for further information. 

Where can I get help with budgeting?

If you would like advice and guidance on how to budget your student funding you can book a budgeting appointment with Student Funding Advice via

The UCAS website also has via the following link an online budget calculator as does the Which? University website.

Am I eligible for benefits while I’m a student?

The benefits you can apply for depend on your circumstances and whether you are studying full-or part-time. 

University Hardship Fund

The University Hardship Fund is available to help students who need extra financial support because they have higher than expected costs or experience severe financial difficulty during their course due to unexpected events.

All applications will be means tested and an award cannot be guaranteed, large awards will usually be made in instalments.

For the full University Hardship Fund guidelines detailing further information regarding eligibility, conditions, assessment procedures etc. please click here: UHF full guidance notes 20-21

To download the 2020/21 application form, please click here: UHF application form 2020-21

If you have any queries regarding the University Hardship Fund please contact:

Educational Psychologist Assessment Student Contribution

If a student requires an Educational Psychologist Assessment, then they are requested to pay a £50 contribution towards the cost of the assessment. The rest of the assessment cost is paid from the University Hardship Fund.
The contribution will be raised as a University Emergency Loan to the student once the student has signed and returned the declaration form linked below. Once this form is received then the assessment booking can be finalised.
The student will receive an invoice from Marjon’s Finance Department detailing how to repay the loan.
The loan must be cleared by the end of the academic year otherwise it may prevent a student from re-enrolling on the following academic year or registering for graduation.

If a student cannot afford the £50 contribution then they need to contact the Student Funding Adviser in order to apply to the University Hardship Fund to see if they are eligible for an award to cover the contribution cost and possibly help with any other financial difficulties that they may be experiencing: 

The University Hardship Fund Guidance Notes which give further information on the fund and how Educational Psychologist contributions are assessed can be found on the Student Funding Advice section of the Student Handbook or a copy can be requested via email:

Please click the following link for the declaration form: Ed-Psych-contribution-declaration-form-20-21

Care Leavers Bursary

Plymouth Marjon University provides a Care Leavers Bursary of £2,000 per academic year for eligible students.

Students who have indicated on their application to the University that they are a Care Leaver will be contacted by the Student Funding Adviser and sent a bursary application form after the start of the Academic Year.
Continuing Care Leaver students will be sent an application form by the Student Funding Adviser at he start of each academic year.

If you did not indicate your Care Leaver status on your University application please email

Estranged Student Bursary

Plymouth Marjon University provides a Estranged Student Bursary of £1,000 per academic year for eligible students.

If you are under 25 and estranged from both of your biological/adoptive parents or only living parents you may be eligible to apply.

The Estranged Student Bursary Guidance for further information can be downloaded by visiting the following link

For an application form please contact

Securing independent status on the basis of estrangement with Student Finance can sometimes be difficult and time consuming so if you are struggling with this process please contact for help and/or visit the Stand Alone website.

University Emergency Loan

University Emergency Loan’s are intended to help students who need extra financial support in emergency situations due to unforeseen events and who do not have any other means of financial support.

Each application is assessed on an individual basis during a meeting with the Student Funding Adviser to discuss the situation and to assess if a University Emergency Loan is appropriate for the circumstance and/or if there is any further support that we can offer.

For further information the University Emergency Loan Guidance can be downloaded by accessing the University Emergency Loan guidance 19-20

The University Emergency Loan application form can be downloaded by accessing the University Emergency Loan application form 19-20

To arrange an appointment regarding an University Emergency Loan please email:

International Student Emergency Fund

The International Student Emergency Fund (ISEF) is available to help International (including EU) students who are experiencing financial difficulty due to unexpected circumstances e.g. family illness/bereavement in their home country and high travel costs to return.

ISEF is not intended to help with general living costs because International students are expected to have made enough provisions prior to starting their course to cover their living costs and tuition fees.

For the full International Student Emergency Fund guidelines detailing further information regarding eligibility, conditions, assessment procedures etc. please click this link: ISEF full guidance notes 19-20

The International Student Emergency Fund application form can be downloaded by clicking this link: ISEF application form 2019-20

Further advice & information leaflets

Access more information about funding advice by downloading any of the following leaflets:



Meal Planner

Spending Sheet

COVID-19 Hardship Fund
COVID-19 University Hardship Fund

The University has received additional funding from the Government to help students in financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19 on their studies. We have therefore set up the COVID University Hardship Fund (CUHF) for which we will be accepting applications between now and the 31st March 2021.
The application form is attached to this post.

The fund is available to UK and EU/International students studying full and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses, who can demonstrate serious financial hardship and specific costs incurred due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak that could prevent them continuing with their studies.

For further details including assessment criteria please read the attached application form.

Students that have already applied to the University Hardship Fund this academic year have been reassessed and will be contacted regarding the payment of a “top up” award taking their award from 50%/60% of deficit to 90% of deficit in line with updated assessment criteria (further details are available on the CUHF application form).
Previously awarded students can still reapply for additional support and re-assessment by filling out the Covid-19 University Hardship Fund application form and providing updated evidence.

If you have any queries please contact:

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