Access & Success Fund

We are committed to improving the equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, progress and succeed in higher education. As part of our commitment, underpinned by our Access and Participation Plan, we offer a discretionary Access & Success Fund to enhance the 'university experience' for our students from underrepresented groups.

The Access & Success Fund can help students in many ways; for example, if you need a laptop to study but can't afford one, the fund might be able to help. If you're interested in joining a society or sports club but unable to afford the membership fee, the fund could help with that too. Or if you would benefit from access to music or streaming platforms, the fund might be able to help you to pay for it.

There's no limit on what the Access & Success Fund can help students achieve, as long as you can demonstrate how it would help you, and you meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications for the Access & Success Fund 2023/24 are now closed, and we are working through applications received as quickly as possible. We aim to notify all applicants of the outcome of their application by 14th June 2024.

Applications will re-open in the 2024/25 academic year.

You can find further information below, including eligibility criteria and testimonials from previous Access & Success Fund recipients.

You must meet the following criteria to be considered for the Access & Success Fund 2023/24:

  • Be a current UK, undergraduate Keele University student
  • Belong to at least one key student group
  • Have an annual household income below £62,343 (verified by Student Finance)*
  • Demonstrate how the Access & Success Fund would enhance your university experience

Our key student groups, as defined in our Access and Participation Plan, are:

  • Care leavers (aged under 25)
  • Mature students (aged 21 or over at the start of your current course)
  • Students from a minority ethnic background (including Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities)
  • Students who are estranged from their family (aged under 25 and have zero contact with family)
  • Students whose parent/s are in the military (service children)
  • Students with a disability (including diagnosed mental health conditions)
  • Students with caring responsibilities (for a friend or family member with a disability who could not cope without your care)
  • Students with children aged under 18
  • Students with household income below £25,000 (verified by Student Finance)
  • Students with refugee status
  • Transgender students

The University’s Access and Participation Plan focuses on UK students and we are therefore unable to consider applications from international students.

The Access & Success Fund is intended to support students who are in active study, and so we are unable to consider applications from students on a leave of absence or students who are repeating on an assessment-only basis.

*This figure has been set in line with the thresholds for the higher maintenance loan level.

Please note that you must be eligible for Student Finance and have provided household income information to Student Finance prior to applying to the Access & Success Fund. If we are unable to verify your household income with Student Finance, then we will not be able to consider your application. If you have chosen not to apply for Student Finance for religious reasons, please contact us at so that we can discuss this with you.

The Access & Success Fund is intended to enhance the university experience for students within our key student groups, by providing financial assistance to help to reduce barriers to accessing higher education. For example, a student may wish to apply to the Access and Success Fund for financial assistance towards:

  • a gym membership to support mental health
  • IT equipment to help to manage studies around other commitments
  • subscriptions to music and film streaming services to support mental wellbeing
  • the cost of childcare
  • travel or accommodation for a summer internship

This isn't an exhaustive list, and we would welcome students to apply for other reasons too.

In contrast, the Hardship Fund is intended to provide financial assistance to students experiencing unexpected severe financial hardship, who are struggling to afford essential costs such as accommodation, food and necessary travel. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please speak to our Financial Support Team to understand your options.

You are welcome to apply for both the Hardship Fund and the Access & Success Fund within the same academic year, provided that you meet the eligibility criteria for both.

Applications for the Access & Success Fund 2023/24 will be re-open between 8th April 2024 - 8th May 2024, to give students who have not already received an award from the Access & Success Fund in 2034/24 an additional opportunity to apply.

You can apply via the application link above during the application window. Once applications have closed, the application link will disappear.

Once applications have closed, we will complete an eligibility check on your application. We may need to contact you to discuss your application or to request appropriate evidence, and so please ensure that you check your Keele email account regularly.

All applications will then be referred to a panel, chaired by the Director of Student Services, for consideration. The panel’s decision will be final.

If your application is successful, you will receive an award of up to £1,500, determined on a needs-assessed basis and the eligibility criteria.

There is a limited amount of funding available within the Access & Success Fund. As such, the University is unable to guarantee a minimum level of award as this will be dependent on the number of eligible students and the needs of others.

If you have any questions, or need help with your application, please contact the Financial Support Team at so that the team can support you.