OUSA Hardship Fund

OUSA Hardship Fund

OUSA Hardship Fund

Are you experiencing unexpected financial difficulty? The OUSA Student Hardship Fund can help you out of a tight spot. It is open to domestic, international, full-time and part-time students of the University of Otago.

If your application is successful, the Hardship Fund will provide a one-off payment up to $250. The fund is designed to be flexible and each case is considered carefully by a panel whose members are committed to student welfare. The fund will not consider paying fines (parking/disciplinary fines through the University/legal fines) or arrears with finance companies.

Alternative avenues

Before you apply, please see if you can access any of the other forms of financial assistance available. These are listed below.

The process

  • Check out alternative options for financial support (below).
  • Complete the application form online.
  • An OUSA Student Support advocate will contact you to arrange an time to meet
  • You will met with an advocate to talk through your situation in confidence and complete the application process.
  • Your application will be assessed confidentially by a panel. The panel will not know who you are (i.e. your name is not supplied).
  • OUSA Student Support will advise you of the outcome via email.

Alternative Financial Support

Before you complete your application, check your eligibility for any of the following other supports.

1. StudyLink Special Needs Grant
If an essential expense has resulted in you not having enough money for food, you may be entitled to a StudyLink Special Needs Grant. The maximum amount you can access in a year, if you are eligible, is $400 for a single person. Contact Studylink to determine eligibility. Phone 0800 889 900

2. WINZ Special Needs Grant 
This is the same as the Studylink Special Needs Grant but is for non-Studylink clients. Contact Work and Income NZ to determine eligibility. Phone 0800 559 009 www.workandincome.govt.nz

3. WINZ Recoverable Assistance Payment Grant 
As above. Phone 0800 559 009 www.workandincome.govt.nz

4. Consumer Electricity Fund 
DCC finances a fund to help Dunedin residents in hardship pay their electricity bill. This is a one-off grant. To apply, contact Dunedin Budget Advisory Service (471 6158), Salvation Army (477 9852) or Anglican Care (477 0801)

5. University of Otago Emergency Fund 
This is for one-off, unforeseen/emergency situations. The University requires students to have an interview with an OUSA Student Support advocate to determine eligibility for this fund. Contact help@ousa.org.nz to find out if you can apply for this.

6. Bank Overdraft Facility 
Most banks offer a student overdraft facility at a reasonable interest rate. Speak with your bank about this facility.

7. Family Assistance 
Can your family provide some temporary financial assistance?

8. OUSA Student Support Foodbank 
Students in need can access the foodbank (free) up to three times per semester. Drop into 5 Ethel Benjamin Place, between 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. No appointment needed.

Apply online now »