The 'Back on Track' fund is a pool of money to support students who are facing financial hardship as a result of certain unforeseen situations. Managed by the Student Support team this fund is open throughout the year whilst funds are available.
In these difficult and trying circumstances, we wanted to encourage the student body to utilise this fund, should they be struggling to pay rent, buy food, medicine, etc. This includes people who have lost paid work as a result of lockdown, or whose family are unable to offer the financial support expected due to illness or loss of work. It could also potentially offer support with housing situations that have arisen as a result of lockdowns. Importantly it can also offer financial support to people unable to work due to isolation periods or quarantine.
In order to qualify the assessment panel (made up of Student Support staff), they will need to see evidence that you are currently struggling to pay for living costs, as well as some evidence of your unforeseen circumstances. They will try and be as flexible as possible with evidence as they know that formal contracts do not always exist - don't put off an application because you don't think you can evidence a situation, always talk to a member of the Student Support team to see how you might get around that issue. The fund focuses on living costs rather than tuition fees however, they also understand that the two things are connected, for example, if you cannot pay for your fees because you've lost your job due to a lockdown and you are also struggling to pay rent, then you can apply for the fund, they will not police where you spend your grant.
Anyone can apply to this fund but they will prioritise the following groups:
Students who have been advised by the Government to shield.
Students self-isolating with symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis.
Those with caring responsibilities for children or vulnerable members of their own household.
People who have suffered a close family bereavement.
Students with disclosed disabilities.
There is no such thing as a silly questions and all conversations and applications are handled in strict confidence within the Student Support team.
If you are looking for funding in relation to fees, we would encourage you to use the RCA's subscription to the Postgraduate Funding website
(code: 1201) as well as looking at this spreadsheet
made by an RCA student.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with us at the Students Union should you have any concerns about paying your fees or your financial situation. We are more than happy to assist you in any way we can, whether that's fighting on your behalf for manageable payment plans, or directing and supporting you through College processes. We are here for you.