When Oliver’s studies, and future as a doctor, were in danger of being impacted by financial difficulty, he could call upon the help of the Living Cost Support Fund to provide financial stability.Find out how donors help prevent students like Oliver from having to interrupt their studies because of unexpected financial issues. Click To Tweet Despite encountering financial difficulty, Oliver is able to graduate this year, thanks to the Living Cost Support Fund. Read his story. Click To Tweet 'It was such a relief.' The Living Cost Support Fund allowed Oliver to continue his studies despite coming into financial hardship. Click To Tweet
A student’s time at university is special. It is a time of newfound independence, a time to learn new skills, a time to make lifelong friends, but it is also a time when you are faced with new challenges to overcome.
Managing finances is just one of those challenges, but arguably the most critical. The financial stability of a student can change at any time, often through no fault of their own. It is during these times that The University of Manchester’s Living Cost Support Fund can help students to get back on their feet financially when they come into unexpected difficulty.
Falling on hard times
Oliver Arscott is in the final year of his Medicine degree and will soon graduate. However, his time at university has not been without its financial uncertainty, and the Living Cost Support Fund helped ensure that that uncertainty did not derail his hopes of becoming a doctor.
Oliver had been receiving financial support from his family during his early years at Manchester but job cuts in his parents’ respective sectors meant that, by his third year, Oliver’s parents were struggling to continue to support him.
“I think money is something really difficult for families to talk about in general. My parents are fantastic. They’re always doing their best to try and support me, but getting them to talk about money was really hard.
“I had spoken to a lot of family members who had already helped me. Going back to them constantly and asking for more and more money was awful. It started to affect the mental health of different members of my family, myself included.”
Once Oliver discovered the University’s Living Cost Support Fund, he submitted his application for financial assistance and it was accepted.
“I’m getting emotional imagining mum and dad coming to see me graduate”
“[When my application was accepted] I called my Dad straight after. It was a very celebratory conversation!
“It was such a relief; at the time, my dad had only been doing one-off jobs for months at a time so the extra help came at a great time. The Living Cost Support Fund gave him more time to find a new job and it gave us some respite in terms of rent and travel costs.”
Oliver’s father has also been able to find new work and, consequently, continue to support Oliver for the remainder of his degree up to graduation.
“I’m getting a bit emotional imagining mum and dad coming to see me graduate. They’re definitely the two people I want to bring up. We’ve talked about this for so long.
“It’s not just that moment that I’m looking forward to, though. It’s the thirty years beyond where I can talk to them about how my career is going, and we will know that we got there together.”
Many supporters donate to support students who come into unexpected financial difficulty during their time as a student.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donates. Even small amounts can make a massive difference, especially at a university with as many alumni as Manchester. Money is an area that I think can be forgotten about, especially in the last five to six years when it comes to university in general. Tuition fees have obviously increased, price of living has increased, and maintenance loans are not accounting for that as well, so it’s incredibly hard to make ends meet nowadays.
“If you’re spending all your time working, not leaving the house because you’re trying to save money, not paying for travel because you can’t afford it, it’s so limiting, and it’s career-limiting. Simply having a little extra money opens doors you can’t quite see until you get there. That’s the real gift I think the Fund gives someone; the ability to expand what they’re doing at university, not just get through the course.”