The College has received a generous donation that allows us to identify students who have not had the same educational, or financial, resources available to them throughout their school lives, and who, for this reason, might benefit from additional support in the lead up to, and following their commencement, of their studies at King’s (“Access Students”). As a result of this, we are able to offer additional support to students who have not had access to the same resources and opportunities as others, and want to offer these to you when we can. Eligibility for these forms of support is completely independent of matters of academic merit, and in no way imply that the college has concerns about an eligible student in terms of ability or performance. This form of support is additional to the financial support available to students generally from the Financial Tutor. For more information, please see Other Forms of Support.
One of the forms of support that we are able to offer such students is free accommodation, in King’s, for the duration of the Christmas and Easter vacations. This can help students to work more efficiently, and can often remove sources of stress, which can interfere with their studies, and/or well-being. This support is available to any Access Student who can show that they do not have suitable accommodation to return to during the holidays, that is, accommodation that is conducive to efficient study. This might be because they share their rooms with siblings; because of a breakdown in familial relations, making returning home stressful; due to mental or physical health issues, or financial reasons. Provision of such accommodation is not automatic, and must be arranged via the Admissions Tutor. If you are eligible for this form of support, you will be notified in advance of your coming to Cambridge in October.
Access Students who do not have access to a laptop or tablet that is sufficient for their studies, can apply to the Admissions Tutor for a grant of up to £650 to cover the cost of a new device. The Admissions Tutor will explain the minimum requirements of the device (usually, this is at least i5 processor, and 8GB Ram) but the student will be free to choose the device and purchase it themselves (using funds advanced by college). Usually, this will be a laptop, as it will have to cover all their study needs, and is designed as an investment that should last at least the full degree. Students are only able to access this grant once, so we recommend they apply only if/when absolutely needed. You will be informed about your eligibility for this money before arriving in October.
Thanks to a generous donation from Martin and Sue Reavley, there is also a new "Equipment Grant" available to all first year students, from October 2023. This grant is designed to cover the costs of purchasing any tangible items that would help the student benefit fully from their time at King's, and can cover items such as a bike, a drawing set for architects, noise-cancelling headphones, photographic equipment for undertaking fieldwork, an iphone etc.
All first-year students will be invited to make a written application to the “Equipment Fund” during two periods in the academic year: the period immediately prior to, and including the first couple of weeks of Michaelmas term (two-week period); and the period immediately prior to, and including the first couple of weeks of Lent term (another two-week period). These periods will be identified in an email, and all students will be informed of the opportunity to apply, and directed to the form through which to do so.
The donors have requested that priority be given on the basis of financial need, and that each grant consist of up to £250. Accordingly, the form will invite the student to submit any information relevant to the application, including details of the proposed purchase, its price and reasons why it is being requested, and any other circumstances of which the students would like the Admissions Tutor and Financial Tutor to be aware (such as household income, ingoings/outgoings, family circumstances, etc.) when making their decision.
After the application period has closed, the Financial and Admissions Tutor will assess whether they think the item suggested is appropriate and will then rank the applications in order of priority, based on an assessment of financial need. They will then select the 10 strongest applications per round, and award a grant. Any grants not made in the Michaelmas period will be rolled over to the Lent period. Students are free to make as many applications as they want, but will only be awarded up to £250 total. If an application is unsuccessful in round one, but deemed to be meritorious, it will be rolled over to the second round, and assessed against fresh applications.
Many Access students will have been offered tutoring with The Profs to help you them meet their offers, during the last few months’ of their A-levels (or equivalent). Access students will also, however, have the opportunity to receive tutoring from The Profs during their first year. There is no obligation on a student to take up this offer, but students are strongly advised to at least have an initial meeting with a representative of the Profs to discuss whether this is something that they think would be beneficial, and to come up with an arrangement and schedule likely to suit them. The College will pay for up to 24, one-hour sessions throughout the year, to be distributed as the student feels fit. However, we strongly recommend that students schedule sessions in advance, and consult their director of studies with regard to advised topics for focus. Many students have made use of The Profs to help them with essay writing, and with note-taking, while others often focus on particular topics that they find challenging. It is entirely up to them, and is to be negotiated with The Profs and your assigned tutor.
Those eligible for this form of support will be made aware of this before coming to King’s in October.
Many students spend their summers undertaking internships, work experience arrangements, or engaging in other forms of personal, academic, and professional development. Unfortunately, it can be very hard to undertake such opportunities, if they do not have access to independent funds, and are unable to support themselves throughout. It is in recognition of this, that Access students are able to apply for a grant of up to £3,000 per year, to fund summer internships/professional courses/other activities deemed to contribute to their career. This need not be directly related to their tripos subject, but must be oriented towards helping them to get a job after you leave university, whether in Academia, or in wider society. Eligible students will be informed of their eligibility before the start at King’s in October. They will then be invited to submit an application, some time in February/March detailing their plans, and explaining which organisations they will be working with/associated with. Students who receive the grant will then have to submit a brief report after the summer to explain what they did, and what they learned.
The purpose of this money is to take the pressure of students when it comes to engaging in these opportunities, to cover living costs, and potentially replace lost earnings, if they might otherwise have had to take on a paid job. This money is still available if the internship is paid.