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The Linacre House Trust has seen a huge increase in hardship grant applications from students over the last few months. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that students have faced more difficulties than usual in making ends meet, particularly with fewer part-time work opportunities available. In a normal academic year the Trust deals with between 15 to 20 requests for hardship funding. The current year has seen nearly 80 requests for help, the majority coming in during Trinity term when the pandemic was at its height. This is roughly four times the usual amount we would expect to see.

We have been able to provide grants to 57 hardship applicants and directed applicants who did not meet the funding criteria to more appropriate sources elsewhere. The most common grant awarded was £500 to deal with a short-term funding gap in living costs.

We have also been able to award 22 Writing-up Bursaries to students who would otherwise have struggled with costs during the final months of their degree. In some cases this has made the difference between a student having the funding to support themselves, and having to abandon their studies.

Hardship funding applications continue to come in at an abnormally high rate and it is likely that this unusual level of requests will remain into the new term and beyond. Our students potentially face further unexpected disruption to their studies and Linacre’s ability to support students in hardship is especially important as a safety net in our current times.