Purpose: to ensure that no talented individual is excluded because of financial circumstances and that no student experiences financial hardship whilst in residence.
Current focus: funding for graduate studentships and ensuring we can offer a prize in every undergraduate subject.
With undergraduates now paying higher fees, and typically ending their courses heavily in debt, there are concerns that those with the potential to benefit from graduate study will rule it out. We risk losing the ability to train new researchers and make important discoveries. In 2014 the University could only offer funding to 18% of the highest ranked graduate applicants - there were many excellent candidates who could not be funded. We aspire to secure additional finances to ensure that talented students are able to undertake graduate research by providing fully-funded and part-funded studentships.
Trinity Hall is participating in the Newton-CHESS Mphil matched funding scheme: if we can raise £6,000 it will be matched by the University and will provide funding for a Masters student towards their College fees, University fees and a grant towards maintenance.
We also have a supporter of the College offering a matched giving challenge to fund a PhD studentship for a student from Canada - contact the office for further details.
Why support students?
It is important for us to ensure we have sufficient funds for student support so that no talented individual is prevented from attending because of financial background and no student suffers financial hardship whilst in residence. We believe financial worries should not impact on a Trinity Hall student's Cambridge experience.
Until 1998 many students received a Cambridge education for free: local education authorities provided grants for living costs and the central government covered tuition costs. Today, students have to pay tuition fees of £9,000 per year and many take out loans to cover their living costs. It is not unusual for undergraduates to leave University with debts of £50,000.
Typically, at Trinity Hall, every year around one third of resident members will benefit from some form of financial support from the College, on top of the investment the College makes in subsidising every student's teaching costs. Over £500,000 was spent last year on graduate and undergraduate student support. It is vital that we continue to ensure we have sufficient funds available.
There are four types of student support:
- Studentships - to cover the costs of all fees or part fees and/or maintenance
- Hardship Grants - to provide hardship funding for current students, as a result of unexpected financial difficulties
- Awards - to support extra-curricular activities i.e. travel and sport and research-related activities.
- Prizes - to reward academic excellence
"Without a studentship I would not be able to undertake my studies at Cambridge. I use it to pay my University and College fees, rent and general living costs. With research councils cutting down on graduate awards, I am fully dependent on Cambridge Trusts to allow me to carry out my research."
Costs of studentships
A full graduate studentship requires an annual income of between £20,000 to £35,000, depending on the course and fee status, and is required annually for a three-four year period.
A full undergraduate studentship requires around £20,000 per annum depending on the course, and is required annually for a three year period.