There is a lot going around with the idea of cash grants. I do not speak from experience at all. My experience (as with most money given to me by university staff) was to find the money (in cash, not cheques, or bank transfers which are often more problematic) and leave it with the individual. There is no such guarantee for cash grants.
Is the amount my cash grant will be?
For most cash grants, one part can be from a student’s own funds, another part from the university’s and any rest from the university or some other source which is not immediately known to your advisor. It is important to keep track of what your cash grant is allocated to as it is almost impossible to predict when you will receive what you have been allocated. In practice, you can expect to be awarded around £30-40 per week each summer from a few different sources, depending on the level of course and the number of applications received. These sums are very unpredictable and it is better to be prepared for a good deal, while still being sure that you will not become dependent on the university for cash aid for a good deal. Some people will have the most generous grants and receive an even higher amount for free to keep themselves occupied, while others will be given the very next week and will receive nothing. The amount is an absolute, unbound variable and it can easily end with you having to re-earn it!
What happens at the end of terms if I have been granted a cash grant?
If you have been granted a cash grant the university can make you an official “student”. It doesn’t mean you’re entitled to any courses, but it does mean that you must attend lectures, courses and seminars and you must make extra-curricular activities. That basically means that you no longer have to carry your own bag/bagel/canned food (which you probably couldn’t if you had been awarded a cash grant).
However, there can be cases where the university will offer you an “unofficial student” status. That actually means “student”, but it is the university which offers it. In practice, you cannot change from the official student status without permission from your “unofficial student”. If you are granted an “unofficial student status” you are entitled to have no fee to pay and cannot be held responsible for how you use or spend your money. It includes being responsible for the costs of books and supplies you purchase or the student transport you take out of
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