HE Emergency Discretionary Fund

The Bridgwater & Taunton College Emergency Discretionary Fund is a small fund aimed at supporting students who are facing genuinely severe hardships that are directly impacting upon their ability to study and are not normally already being supported through other means.

This fund is open to all students studying on eligible programmes.

A grant of up to £600 per eligible full time student, funds are made available pro-rata to eligible part time students. Funds are granted on a needs basis and prioritised to specific groups. Once the finances available to support this fund have been exhausted there will be no further funding available.

Eligibility criteria for students

  • Must be enrolled on a Higher National, Foundation Degree or BA/BSc top up programme.
  • Students must be able to supply evidence that they require the funds to help mitigate circumstances that are impacting negatively upon their studies. This encompasses a wide range of possible circumstances.
  • The College will prioritise applications based on the conditions specified. This means that there is a limited amount of funding, eligible students within the groups identified will receive funding before those who are not.
  • Must not already be in receipt of similar emergency funds from their university partner.

How to apply


You can apply for this fund at any time during the academic year 2017/18 (between the point you are enrolled in September/October to July).


Please complete the relevant application form, available from the student support team, please email studentsupport@bridgwater.ac.uk. You need to be clear about the support you require, the reasons for it and evidence available to support your application. If your emergency is preventing you from completing this form yourself please request support from the College’s Student Support Team in requesting assistance from this fund.


If you have any questions relating to this fund please contact Bridgwater College’s Student Support team via studentsupport@bridgwater.ac.uk, please visit them at the Bridgwater Centre or by phone on 01278 441233.

Conditions of funding

  • A maximum of £600 can be granted to eligible full time students and pro-rata for part time students during the current academic year. This means the College will only provide funding to the level needed within each eligible application, to a maximum of £600 for full time and pro-rata for part time students.
  • Students must be fully enrolled to be awarded this fund.

Prioritisation of funding

Funds are granted on a priority basis to identified priority groups. High priority students are those who are:

  • Care leavers: To be eligible as a care leaver you must:
    • Have been in local authority care for a minimum of three months
    • Be a permanent resident in the United Kingdom and be ‘home’ student for fee purposes
    • Have proof of being in care from an official source, such as a local authority
    • Be enrolled on an undergraduate course at Bridgwater & Taunton College
    • Not already hold a previous HE qualification
    • Have not been adopted
  • Registered as disabled
  • From ethnic minority groups

Payments to eligible students

  • Payments can be made directly to the student, to a third party for services rendered or internally to the College depending on the nature of the support needed.  Whilst this is primarily a financial payment the College will always seek to provide further/other support or sign-posting to other services beyond this fund as relevant.
  • Payments are made on a needs basis, therefore multiple applications can be made during the academic year but the total grant made will not exceed maximum allowance per eligible student (£600 for full time students and pro-rata for part time).
  • Payments will not normally be made retrospectively more than two weeks from the time of the occurrence of the emergency and only within the relevant academic year (September 2016 to July 2017).
  • Students failing to meet all of the eligibility criteria or to produce full and appropriate evidence at the time of application or, in exceptional circumstances as confirmed by the College, may not be considered for this fund.
  • If it is later discovered than an application is based on false or partially false circumstances the College would seek to recover any payments and the student may be subject to the College’s disciplinary policy.

Allocation of Emergency Discretionary funds

Decisions regarding the allocation of bursaries will be made by a panel of staff at the college. The Panel will be drawn from The Student Support Team, the teaching team from the student’s programme of study and The Higher Education Team or The Learning Support Team.

The Panel will consist of three members of staff drawn from different teams and will convene as necessary to confirm the validity of applications made for this fund on a case by case basis.

The Panel will only make decisions based on the evidence presented to them at the time. The Panel will be called by the Student Support Team following initial filtering of applications and will be prioritised for consideration on the basis detailed within the Conditions of Funding.

The Panel will aim to respond to applicants as soon as possible and normally within five working days.

Examples of emergency cases and supporting evidence

Below is a table that gives examples of circumstances that the College would deem as eligible grounds to access this fund. Also provided are examples of the types of evidence that the College would expect to receive at the point of application. This list is far from exhaustive and all applications will be judged on a case by case basis.

Example emergenciesSuggested types of evidence
Being made/risk of being made homeless Letter from relevant authority such as Housing Office, Routes, Social Services
Severe incident that impacts on ability to attend/travel to college Doctor’s note/hospital records
Sudden and unexpected loss of only source of income Statement signed by Senior Tutor/Course Leader. Evidence from employer.
Domestic emergency (e.g. flood, fire, theft, vandalism) that results in considerable destruction of property Statement signed by Senior Tutor/Course Leader and/or statement from uniformed services.

Below are details of what does not constitute an emergency in terms of accessing this fund and what is not valid evidence; these lists are not exhaustive and the College retains the right to make decisions regarding the validity of all cases presented.

Examples of what the College does not consider to be an emergency

  • Car breaking down
  • Not having money for the bus
  • Losing your work either paper based or electronic format
  • Funding for social activities or residentials
  • Computer/hand held device mal-functioning

Examples of evidence that is not valid

  • Statement written by the student or family member and is not countersigned by someone independent (e.g. professional person)
  • Receipts for good purchased without other relevant supporting evidence
  • Unverified phone call or other communication from a third party