Until I retired In August 2013, I was Homerton C ollege 's Finance Officer for the past 30 years prior . As well as looking after College finances, my role extended to helping students in financial difficulties. Students' financial issues covered a broad range of problems starting from the basic budgeting and cash flow planning to more complicated cases where a student's main source of income has been withdrawn due to family circumstances (death or serious illness) or parents splitting up etc . In my experience an average Home/EU student leaves the university with a debt ranging from between £40k to £60K. This requires a serious consideration both by students and their parents in financial planning. If a student is ill prepared or careless in her/ his finances, it could cause a lot of stress and often affects their studies.
Since my retirement, College has appointed me as a part time Financial Tutor to enable me to continue in my role of helping students in planning their finances and also to centrally co-ordinate grants and bursaries. These could be in the form of College Hardships, Vacation Study Grants, Research and other grants available either within the College or jointly funded by the College & the University such as Access to Learning Fund or the Cambridge Bursary
It is worth noting that the College is not always able to help all those in serious financial hardships. My role is to try to work with students (and their tutors, as necessary) in identifying the scale and the nature of the problem. Some of the advice may just be learning to live within the income available and curtailing on avoidable expenses, others may need negotiation with the College Accountant where your grants/loans from the SLC, Cambridge Bursary or parent's contributions are delayed and you are unable to pay your fees in time . I would also be able to advice of both Homerton internal and the University external funds that I know are available, which may be able to help . Most of the hardships and other funds are means tested and may need detailed financial data to qualify. It would therefore be necessary to make an appointment to come and see me and may also need sup porting statement from your tutor .
I am generally in College, during term time on Wednesdays between 4pm to 7pm and on Thursdays between 2pm to 7pm. You may e mail me on email@example.com any time during the week to make an appointment or ask for advice and I will try and respond. It may not always be possible to respond promptly as I help other charities as well during the week.