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What happens in the assessment

How is the assessment completed?
How is the assessment completed?

We will not be able to commence an assessment until we have received your completed application and all the supporting evidence. These both need to be submitted at the same time. If you only submit one component, (i.e. the application but no documentation), then we will keep the ticket open for 5 working days. If after this we have not received anything else, then we will close the ticket and delete anything that has been submitted.

After this,should you still want to be considered for financial support you will need to submit a new application along with the required supporting documentation.

If you have any difficulty obtaining the documentation please email; before submitting the application.

Once everything has been received your case will be assigned to an advisor, who will endeavour to complete with your case in full within 15 working days, (please be aware that complex cases or those requiring additional information/supporting documentation can take longer).

The advisor will use the information you have provided to complete a standard assessment. as a starting point.

Essentially they look at the weekly income  against your weekly essential expenditure for the assessment period to see whether or not you have enough money to live on.

We use set figures for some expenditure such as food, utilities and socialising to ensure all students are treated in a fair and equitable manner. These may differ from your personal budget and may be areas which you could review.

We also use caps. These are maximum amounts that we include which we believe to be appropriate to the area. If the figures in your personal budget exceeds theses caps this may be an area which you could review.

We do not include everything that you spend money on-our role is to look at what funding you need to attend university and as such we do not include lifestyle choices, however, these are areas where you may be able to budget your spending. 

Below is a table of the income and expenditure that we will include in the assessment process.

Figures are quoted in weekly amounts.


Statutory funding  Included in full
Studentship/sponsorship Included in full
Care leavers bursary Not included
Postgraduate/study loan Any tuition fee element is not included
Means tested benefits (housing, tax credits etc.) Included in full
Child benefit Not included
Net earnings Not included for statutory funded students, however will be included in full for self-funding students
Savings Included in full excluding any element that is a result of current statutory funding
Parental/ third party contribution Included in full and including where accommodation has been paid by a third party
Received child support Included in full
Partner’s income Included in full


Food  £35 set figure
Sundries items £8 set figure
Insurance £6 set figure
Socialising £5 set figure
Mobile phone £8 set figure
Gas £6.25 set figure
Electricity £6.25 set figure
Water £5 set figure
TV Licence £3 set figure
Internet £3.50 set figure
The above are combined to give the Everyday Living Cost (ELC) used to assess self-funded students £86 set figure
Child(ren) £67 set figure per child

£100 cap on private rented for a single student excluding utilities

No cap for 1st year student’s in Southampton University accommodation

£124 cap including utilities for continuing students in Southampton University Halls and private rented Halls

These caps increase for couples

No cap for student’s with a mortgage

No cap for student’s with a child(ren)

Travel to university

Only included if further than 1.5 miles from the university

Calculated on attending university for 3 days per week

Course costs


£10 set figure except for:

£12 for Health Science students

£15 for year 2 WSA and music students

£25 for year 3 WSA and music students

OFSTED-registered child care Included in full (we will take into consideration whether the number of sessions is appropriate for the number of study hours)
Vehicle costs (mot, insurance, wear and tear, etc.) This is not included for the majority of students. Where it has been agreed we will use £25 set figure
 Travel Home We will use set zones to identify the cost of travel. We will use 3 trips per year for travel in the UK. We will calculate the cost of travel to non UK countries and will include 1 trip as standard.
Glasses/Prescription Any reasonable amount will be included in full
Prescriptions £2.04 set figure
Debts Only debts that have been reviewed and are part of a payment plan will be included (we do not include credit cards and overdrafts. If these are a concern then you may wish to discuss this with the Advice Centre)
 Partner’s expenditure Set figures applied where appropriate

The standard assessment length for all undergraduates is 40 weeks from the 21 September 2020-27 June 2021

Year 3 medics, any student in receipt of the care leaver bursary or DSA and any student with child care responsibilities will be assessed over 52 weeks

Part-time students will be assessed over actual time at university.

The assessment period may be altered at the discretion of the advisor depending on individual circumstances.

Any expenditure that you wish to be considered will need to be supported by documentation.

Individual circumstances are always considered when agreeing the outcome of an assessment.

Click here to review the possible outcomes of an application

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