Hardship Grant

Hardship Grant

The Hardship Grant exists to assist students who are experiencing financial hardship due to unforeseen or unexpected circumstances, and have exhausted their options for meeting their living costs.

If approved, the maximum Grant to any one student will not exceed $2,000. Students are able to receive a maximum of one Hardship Grant per calendar year.

The Hardship Grant is accessible to both domestic and international students.

To enquire about the Hardship Grant, please contact the Advocacy and Welfare Team.


  1. A student must be fully enrolled at the University of Canterbury. Being “fully enrolled” here means that the student is enrolled in at least one course at the university, and final grades for that course have not yet been released.
  2. The Grant will only be approved if an applicant proves that their financial circumstance directly impacts their study at UC and is unexpected and temporary.
  3. Applicants must demonstrate that they are in financial need (less than $1000 in all bank accounts) and show evidence they sought financial assistance from external agencies (e.g., Studylink, WINZ, private health insurance, scholarships, family, or friends).
  4. Applicants need to demonstrate that they are both willing and able to complete their studies at the University of Canterbury.

The full Hardship Grant Policy can be found here.


  1. Students must explain their situation to a staff member from the Advocacy and Welfare Team.
  2. If the staff member feels the student fits the above criteria, they will ask the student to fill out a Hardship Grant application form. Students are required to be open, honest, and forthcoming with all information required for their application.
  3. When the application is completed, the Advocacy and Welfare staff member will present it to the Hardship Grant Panel for review. The Panel is made up of two student executives and one UCSA staff member outside of the Advocacy and Welfare Team.
  4. All identifying information will be redacted in the application so it will be presented anonymously to the panel.
  5. Applying for the grant does not guarantee that the application will be approved. The decision of the Panel is final and will be communicated to the student by the Advocacy and Welfare staff member.
  6. If the grant is approved, the UCSA will pay the grant money to a third party. Please note no money will be paid to the student directly.

Documents Required

  1. Completed Hardship Grant application form
  2. UC Student ID Card
  3. Internal academic transcript
  4. Bank Account Summary showing balance of all accounts
  5. Last three months of bank transactions for all accounts
  6. Copies of relevant invoices or agreements (i.e., bill, tenancy agreement or invoice)
  7. Evidence of situation (i.e., copy of receipts or medical records)
  8. Plus, if applicable:

  9. Last three credit card statements
  10. Last three payslips
  11. Police Report
  12. Letter from any institution, (i.e., Studylink) which has accepted or declined you for financial support
  13. Evidence of any financial assistance i.e., scholarships/grants


We understand that each case is unique. As such, the following limitations to the Hardship Grant are a guideline only, subject to individual circumstance and the Panel’s discretion.

Examples of what the fund can usually be used for:

  • Unforeseen medical costs (i.e., pharmacy costs, doctors’ visits, after hours doctors’ bills, optometrists, emergency dental treatment)
  • Replacing stolen or lost course materials (i.e., anything essential for study)
  • Funeral /death in the family (i.e., transportation, normally within New Zealand)
  • Certain transport costs (i.e., bus pass when unable to secure other transportation)
  • Emergency housing assistance (i.e., unexpected homelessness, unsafe domestic situation)
  • Other desperate, unforeseen circumstances

Examples of what the fund cannot usually be used for:

  • Accommodation bond
  • Tertiary fees/costs
  • Holidays
  • Mobile phone or toll call bills
  • Mortgage repayments
  • Hire purchases/ lay-bys
  • Assets such as laptops, mobile phones, cars and furniture etc
  • Graduation expenses
  • Conference costs
  • Tax or student loan repayments
  • Cigarettes/alcohol
  • Fines (i.e., parking, speeding, warrants, registration)
  • Sports equipment/trips
  • Child care
  • Car repairs
  • Credit card payments
  • Veterinary costs