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Support over the summer

Support over the summerGoing home for the summer can mean leaving behind valuable support. Find out how you can get through the break.

Covering your summer living costs

If you're at university, your maintenance loan is supposed to help you with living costs over the summer, which is why the third payment is bigger and your loan is smaller in your final year. However, many students find that their student finance isn't enough, especially if they aren't able to live with their parents over the summer. Some other ways to get through the summer include:

  • You may be able to get help from the Access to Learning fund, although universities are sometimes less likely to provide money over the summer.
  • Some universities have a special fund to support students over the summer. Talk to the student services department if you think this could help you.
  • The summer can be a great time to find paid work, both to support yourself during the summer and to save for the year ahead. If you can, start searching before the summer to give yourself the best chance of finding a job.
  • Some student finance for special circumstances, such as the Childcare Grant, continues over the summer.

Students still can't claim most benefits during the summer, but if you are eligible for benefits they will continue.

Summer accommodation

If you're living in student accommodation, your university will normally expect you to move out over the summer. This can be a big problem if you don't have somewhere to move to. However, most universities let a small number of students stay in their accommodation over the summer. Contact your university as early as possible to arrange this to make sure you get a place.

If you miss out, your university may be able to help you to find an alternative.

If you're staying in private accommodation, it will be easier to stay over the summer. However, you should make sure when you are looking for housing that your lease continues over the summer: landlords and lettings agencies specialising in students may offer leases that don't cover the summer. You'll also need to talk to potential housemates about this, since they may not want to pay to stay over the summer.

Wellbeing over the summer

Schools, colleges and universities can be a great source of support through things like counselling services. But if you have been relying on this support, it can be difficult to know what to do during the summer. Here are some alternatives for while you're away:

  • There are a number of helplines you can contact for help. If you're under 18, you can get in touch with ChildLine. If you're over 18, there are helplines for a variety of different situations, such as Mind for problems relating to mental health and Citizens Advice for problems with money, housing, law and more.
  • University services such as counselling are often still available over the summer, so make sure you check before assuming they will be closed.
  • Try to keep in touch with your friends, even if you're a long way away from them.

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