“Blackbullion is at the core of everything we do, and I just think the more it can be out there, the better.”

“Many students applying for the hardship funds are just being ‘handed over’ the money, and it is possible they will mismanage the funds. With Blackbullion we can teach them what to do with the money, and possibly help them develop new skills for the future.”

“It is brilliant because we can sign students up and they can discover the value of the product on their own.”

Impact of Hardship Fund Integration with Blackbullion

With Rachel Loftus, Student Funding Advice Team Coordinator

The Challenge

Decrease the number of repeated hardship fund applications

In their 3rd year of working with Blackbullion, York St John university is looking at optimising their hardship fund application process to further ensure the best possible support for students. The university is facing the challenge of a shrinking hardship fund pot. But through targeting widening participation students, the ability to maximise the impact of the awards is crucial to their metrics. The university focuses on developing financial skills of students receiving the award to help them handle these additional funds, understand the importance of money management, and ultimately, help them thrive in the future.

Objectives

• Reduce students’ need for hardship funding, thereby reducing the number of applications
• Engage higher numbers of widening participation students

Solution

Full integration of Blackbullion into the Hardship Fund

York St John university modified terms and conditions of their hardship fund awards to include the compulsory completion of 2 Blackbullion modules. The terms state the student will receive 50% of funds upon the application, while the other 50% will be released once the learning is completed. This led to increased financial awareness amongst the student group awarded with funds, in turn making it less likely to get to this critical point in the future. Consequently, resulting in decreased number of repeat hardship fund applicants.

York St John’s collaborative efforts has resulted in an almost 25% drop in hardship fund applications.

2015/16

Students awarded: 84
Funds paid out: £80,789

2016/17

Students awarded: 60
Funds paid out: £60,959

Overview of Client

Location:

York, United Kingdom

Students:

6,500

Mission Group:

n/a

Team Size:

3

Student Support department

• Bursaries
• Scholarships
• Hardship Fund

Related case studies

Sheffield Hallam University

Cross-departmental collaboration aiming to improve student success

University of Hertfordshire

Developing a scalable approach to institution-wide nancial capability scheme.