Digital support fund
Applications now open
About the Digital Support Fund
The Digital Support Fund is a support fund to help students with the associated costs of online learning and study.
There are limited grants of £400 per student, designed to provide financial support towards internet connectivity, specialist software as well as IT related study equipment costs. The £400 can be used as a contribution to buying a laptop and peripherals (mouse, keyboard, extra monitor, router, dongle etc.) or for paying broadband bills.
The University of Reading is committed to ensuring that none of our applicants is disadvantaged in accessing our undergraduate degree programmes because of their background. We recognise that some students are more likely than their peers to face barriers to higher education, through no fault of their own.
This digital support fund is designed to provide financial support for applicants who live in areas of the United Kingdom with high levels of deprivation and low participation in Higher Education and whose assessed taxable household income is below £27,000.
This fund has been made possible thanks to the generous support of University of Reading donors, many of whom were once students at Reading themselves.
Who can apply?
To apply for the Digital Support Fund, you must:
- Be a first year or a returning student on any undergraduate course; and
- Be a permanent resident of the UK; and
- Live in an area with low participation in Higher Education (defined as Polar4 Quintile 1, 2 or 3); and
- Be assessed by your Student Finance Authority as eligible for financial support and have an assessed household taxable income of below £27,000.
Please note that students who have previously received a digital support fund award in any previous or current academic year are not eligible to apply to the Digital Support Fund in 2021/22.
How can I check my postcode?
Enter your home address postcode into the Office for Students postcode checker.
For the purposes of meeting the eligibility of this fund you should check that the POLAR 4 quintile is 1 or 2, view an example.
How can I apply for the Digital Support Fund?
Please make sure that you read the new Guidance notes before you submit your application to the Digital Support Fund. When applications are open on Monday 24 October 2022, you can apply via the RISIS portal. Go to the “Actions” menu and then click on “Financial Support”. From this page you will be able to read the guidance notes and click on the link “Begin/Continue application for financial support or bursary”. When you have completed your online application, you will get an acknowledgment email sent to you.
If you get stuck with finding the application on the RISIS Web Portal then do take a look at the screen shots of the process.
Applications will close on Friday 31 March 2023, or once the fund is exhausted, whichever is sooner.
What if I am not eligible for the Digital Support Fund?
If you are having financial difficulties and you now unexpectedly need to purchase new IT related equipment, please look at our Student Support Fund, which may be able to support you.
The Student Financial Support team also have a small number of laptops that can be loaned to students for the term, if this is of interest then please contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org.