Cost of Living

The current cost of living crisis is affecting everyone, with increases in utility bills, food prices and transport costs. The GSA is very concerned about the impact of money worries on our students and postgraduate researchers.

Maintenance (living cost) Loans in England are set to rise by just 2.8% this year. Along with recent forecasting errors, students will be £1,500 poorer than if loans matched inflation. A petition has been started by NASMA (National Association of Student Money Association), to call the government to raise the Maintenance Loan, so please sign if you wish to support.

What support is available?

Talking about money can feel uncomfortable at times, and it is not always easy to know who to talk to.

The University Student Support and Advice Team can provide information, advice and guidance. The specialist trained advisers can direct you to student discounts and funds you may be eligible for. They will help you manage your budget, give debt advice and help with housing concerns.

Support is available to all students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and postgraduate researchers, regardless of your status. Whether you are an international student, a mature student, a student living at home, or on a distance learning programme, you can contact the Support and Advice Team.

The University of York and the GSA can offer and signpost to a wide range of cost of living support, some of which has eligibility criteria:

  • Student Support Fund
    If you are experiencing financial difficulty due to an unforeseen change in circumstances, you may be eligible for this fund.
  • Emergency loans
    A short-term University loan to help you with temporary funding issues. Use it to pay for food, utility bills, or travel to your site of study (including placements).
  • Turn2us
    Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. Use their Benefits Calculator or Grants Search to find out what help you can get.
  • Household Energy Grant
    The University are offering a payment of £150 per eligible household as a non-repayable Household Energy Grant. If you live in an all-student household off campus and your bills are not included as part of your rent, you may be eligible to apply.
  • Food Vouchers
    In some circumstances students most in need can get food vouchers through the University Student Support and Advice Team. Get in touch via their self-referral form.
  • Free Sanitary Products
    Available across campus and at the GSA Office, Vanbrugh College, first floor above the canteen). Colleges also provide sanitary products to their members (whether living on campus or not).
  • Free laptop loans
    The Library loans laptops free of charge. You can borrow a laptop for four hours, and there are also some available for longer-term loans.
  • No Library Fines
    The University is now library fine free. The student community has shown that we don’t need to be charged in order to make the library loan system work.
  • Benefits and Tax Credits
    If you’re ordinarily resident in the UK you may be able to claim some benefits. The University Student Support and Advice Team can advise on whether you’re receiving everything you’re entitled to.
  • York Food Bank
    It is understandable that not everyone wants to consider this option; however, these provisions exist for a reason and are there to support those who are struggling financially. Having access to food is a human right, not a privilege.
  • Postgraduate Events Hardship Fund
    The Postgraduate Events Hardship Fund is a fund for students who are struggling to attend GSA events due to financial constraints. The fund was created in collaboration with YuFund and is open to all Postgraduate students, though claimants are restricted to apply for funding for GSA events only. Other financial support will not be granted.