Welfare

Food Bank | Food Support Service | Hardship Grant | Dr Mickle Fund GrantMedical Prescription GrantOptometry Grant | Financial Tips booklet | Contact Us 

There are a number of options available to support enrolled UC students in times of financial difficulty. If you'd like to discuss your options, please contact the UCSA Advocacy and Welfare Team – their details are listed below! 

Please note, there are strict criteria for the below services. You will be required to provide documents as evidence of your situation (e.g. bank transaction lists, invoices, tenancy agreement etc) in order to show that you meet the criteria. 

Food Bank 

The UCSA Foodbank exists to provide students with emergency, one-off access to food. Enrolled students are eligible to apply for UCSA Foodbank once a term, and if approved will be provided with $30 of vouchers (New World or Pak n Save) and non-perishable items that the Advocacy and Welfare Team keep in stock in their office. Please note, the vouchers cannot be used for alcohol, cigarettes, Lotto, or phone or gift cards. 

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

**Please bring your own bags to hold the non-perishable items** 

Food Support Service 

The Food Support Service exists to provide ongoing support that the emergency Foodbank cannot provide, where students are experiencing ongoing financial difficulties. Enrolled UC students are eligible to apply for the Food Support Service, and if approved will receive regular support with food from the Food Support Service team. 

To enquire about the Food Support Service, please contact the Advocacy and Welfare Team. 

The Food Support Service is a collaboration between the UCSA Advocacy and Welfare Team and the Catholic Tertiary Chaplaincy. 

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. The maximum Grant to any one student will not exceed $800. Students are able to receive a maximum of?one?Hardship Grant per calendar year. 

The criteria for the Hardship Grant include: 

  • The student must be in genuine financial hardship, with less than $1,000 across all their bank account; 

  • The student's circumstances must be unforeseen or unexpected; and 

  • The student must be willing and able to succeed in their studies. 

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

Dr Mickle Fund Grant 

The Dr Mickle Fund Grant exists to assist students who are unable to continue with their studies, or would be seriously handicapped in doing so, due to financial hardship. You do not need to pay this Grant back. 

The Grant is paid for by a fund set up in the will of the late widow of Dr Mickle, who wished to provide assistance to students who might be unable to complete their studies due to financial hardship. As a result, there are a number of criteria for the Dr Mickle Fund Grant set by the terms of the will: 

  • The student must be of good character; 

  • The student must be likely to succeed and complete their studies; and 

  • The student must be in genuine financial hardship. 

If approved, the Grant can provide up to $2,000 towards your living expenses. Students may apply more than once, but if they apply again, they must demonstrate that the cause of their financial hardship is different to that in their earlier application. 

To enquire about the Dr Mickle Fund Grant, please contact the Advocacy and Welfare Team. 

Medical Prescription Grant 

The UCSA Medical Prescription Grant aims to provide financial assistance to students who are not able to afford unexpected medical expenses, for short-term emergency support only. 

If your application is successful, you will be provided with a Medical Prescription Grant voucher. You can then present the voucher to the UC Pharmacy (located in the Undercroft, Puaka-James Hight Library), and UC Pharmacy will invoice UCSA Advocacy & Welfare for the prescription. No money is paid directly to you. The maximum grant to any one student should not exceed $50, and you can only get one Medical Prescription Grant per Semester. 

You will need to demonstrate that either the need for the medical prescription is unexpected and temporary, or that the financial hardship is unexpected and temporary. You will also need to bring the current valid medical prescription with you when you apply. 

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

Optometry Grant 

The Optometry Grant exists to assist students with the cost of purchasing glasses when they are prevented from doing so due to financial hardship. If approved, the Optometry Grant provides up to $200 worth of glasses from Specsavers (Riccarton), which covers the cost of frames from Specsavers' $69-$99 range, plus reflective coated lenses. 

Criteria for the Optometry Grant include: 

  • The student must be experiencing financial hardship that means they are unable to afford glasses; 

  • Either the financial hardship or the need for glasses must be unexpected; and 

  • The student must be willing and able to succeed with their studies. 

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

The Optometry Grant is a collaboration between the UCSA Advocacy and Welfare Team and Specsavers (Riccarton). 

Financial Tips booklet 

For tips about budgeting basics, read our students' guide. Please note that information in the booklet is intended to be general budgeting tips, and does not constitute formal budget advice. 

How to get help

Fill out our online form 

Intake Form

Call or email

Let us know what is going on for you. You can call (03) 369 0555 or email help@ucsa.org.nz