Bursaries and Hardship Support

For King’s to remain truly diverse and offer a transformational educational opportunity to all who qualify for a place here, the College must be able to provide financial assistance to successful applicants who need it.

A large number of our undergraduate students would be unable to take up their place at King’s without additional financial support, or have a full Cambridge experience when here.


Undergraduate Bursaries

The Cambridge Bursary scheme offers non-repayable grants to eligible students from low and middle income households, up to a full Bursary of £3,500 per year to help with Cambridge fees or living costs. This is an essential part of our package of undergraduate support, but it does not go far enough.

By supporting an undergraduate bursary you can help level the playing field and allow all students to fully benefit from everything that Cambridge offers, encouraging the very best students to apply to King’s and providing up-front support with fees and maintenance.


King’s opened doors for me, and I give back so that I can help to open doors for others.

- Alan Davison (KC 1975)


The Supplementary Exhibition Fund

The Supplementary Exhibition Fund, fondly known as the ‘SEF’, was established in 1886 by Fellows and former students to provide financial help for undergraduate entrants, some of whom no longer could rely on their personal or family wealth to see them through their course.

Today, the SEF benefits undergraduate students who may be experiencing financial hardship, or those who may wish to undertake an activity with a financial impact which would not be possible without the College’s support. This may take the form of grants or loans to mitigate financial difficulties arising from accidents, illness and trouble at home and to provide educational materials such as books and musical instruments, as well as extra teaching.

Examples of costs funded include:

  • assistance with medical expenses

  • travel for research, conferences, auditions and interviews

  • materials and tools for practical coursework

  • travel and accommodation for family crises, such as bereavement

  • bridging loans to help with cashflow issues when exceptional expenses precede expected income

  • individual sports equipment and travel to competitions

  • funding for student-led workshops, seminars, conferences

  • extra-curricular language tuition (e.g. to increase access to non-english resources)

The SEF is in effect the student hardship safety net. The Financial Tutor makes grants to individuals, on request, for occasional and exceptional costs that would otherwise cause hardship. This may range from a few tens of pounds for a train ticket, to several thousand pounds for a term’s maintenance.

For almost 140 years the SEF has embodied the spirit of King’s, and the pledge that the College makes – that no student should have their studies jeopardised by financial need. It remains the foundation stone of our own student support package, confirmed by the several thousand Members who have received help from the fund during their time here.

Graduate Student Support

Very many of our graduate students are self-funded, often piecing together financial support from various sources. Many of them struggle to fund Cambridge fees and living expenses. There is also a growing need for extra funds to help with research expenses (such as travel to present at conferences or undertaking their research); and if the length of time needed to complete a PhD extends beyond the allocated funding time, an increasingly common issue, this can create particular problems.

A gift to graduate student support will help us ensure that the very best students, irrespective of means, can come here and work to their fullest potential.


Graduate Hardship Fund

Established in 2013, the Graduate Hardship Fund provides general support to alleviate financial hardship within the graduate community. Like the Supplementary Exhibition Fund for undergraduates, it means that the College can give help where it’s needed to graduate students for their research activity and to those who find themselves in unexpected financial difficulty.

This fund significantly improves life here for our graduates by enabling them to fund vital research expenses and attend seminars and conferences which in turn raises their profiles nationally and internationally.

- Tim Flack, former Senior Tutor



Our initiative to to improve equality of access and help combat entrenched social and economic disadvantage.
We must be able to recruit and support the world’s best minds by offering the necessary funding that our extraordinary candidates deserve.
We are aiming to radically transform our ability to offer a genuinely accessible education to all, regardless of background and financial situation.
Donations to this fund allow us to create a programme of care and activities directed at the welfare and mental health of resident students.

Members and Friends News


The Telephone Fundraising Campaign begins today

From today and until 22 April, a team of 13 student callers will be reaching out to alumni across the world and asking them to support our Supplementary Exhibition Fund and other College initiatives.


Gibbs Building marks 300th anniversary

The iconic building has been the venue for countless student supervisions and nerve-wracking admissions interviews, and continues to be where many King’s Fellows research and teach.


E-Lab College Research Associates receive #21toWatch awards

Nadia Mohd-Radzman and Ismail Sami were crowned in the “People” and “Thing” categories, respectively, and were selected from a shortlist of 40 out of 301 applications.

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