Supporting You with the Cost of Living

With the price of rent, bills, food and living costs soaring, we know that the cost of living crisis is having a detrimental impact on students. While there is a very obvious impact on disposable income, we know that the impact goes much further than money worries.

Work we're Doing

As your Students' Union, we are working proactively to help reduce the financial and mental burden being caused by the crisis. From lobbying the university to increase hardship funds and remove hidden course costs, to removing barriers to participation with our student groups, this hub is designed to let you know the different ways in which we're working to support you through this challenging period.


Lobbying the university

In her manifesto, President Maia Jarvis promised you she would ensure the extenuating circumstances policy (ECs) fully supports students. This year, she has been speaking up for your interests and has successfully lobbied for ‘financial hardship’ to be included as a reason for ECs. This means that students facing a ‘significant, sudden and unexpected change in financial circumstances’ are eligible to apply for ECs! Find out more in Maia's blog post.

VP Education Shrijeet Shrey has lobbied the university to remove hidden costs when courses are advertised. You're already paying a significant amount of money to study so it's only fair that you're aware of all the costs that a course will entail before you make the decision to sign up.

President Maia Jarvis has been working with the university to bring free period products to campus. Find out more in Maia's blog post. Free period products are already available in the Advice Centre on the first floor of the Students' Union Building - you can pop in and pick them up between 10:00-16:00, Monday-Friday.

Student Opportunities

We know that sometimes the cost of joining a student group can feel overwhelming, especially if your budget is tight. We also know that joining a student group can be one of the most rewarding parts of university life. It can introduce you to new people, perspectives and passions, and we’re really keen to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience that. That is where our Student Group Access Fund comes in - you can request up to £150 each academic year if you need it, to cover things such as group membership fees, kit and competition entry.

In the wise words of VP Societies and Sport Hannah Hockin, joining a student group can be 'spenny' (expensive). The Cost of Living Crisis only exacerbates that problem, but we're determined that financial barriers should not stop you from the amazing experiences that being part of a society or sports club brings. Check out Hannah's top tips for students who are part of (or thinking about joining) a student group.


On Friday 2 June, we'll be welcoming you to Summer Ball, the ultimate festival experience for Royal Holloway students. Despite the rising costs of everything from acts to infrastructure, we have worked hard to keep the ticket price at £75 for this year’s event. Recognising that times are tough with the Cost of Living Crisis, we once again pledged to offer discounted tickets as part of our launch day. In total, we made 475 discounted tickets available (13.5% of the overall event capacity) equating to total savings of £8000 for students.

We run loads of events across our venues to help you enjoy the social side of university life. To help things more affordable, we run a number of offers across the week - from £1.75 drinks at Toast to 241 on food and drink at The Packhorse with Two for Tuesday. This year, we've also introduced Fiver and Skint at The Packhorse - two nights targeted directly at combating the impacts of the Cost of Living Crisis on your disposable income. Take a look at what's on with our events calendar.

If you’re looking to develop a new skill, flex your creative muscles, or simply unwind after a day of lectures, you’ll find something in our calendar of Give It A Go events. These are smaller-scale events (many of which are completely free) that are predominantly alcohol-free and focused on you meeting new people in a fun, relaxed and welcoming environment. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, culture vulture or just love a bit of art and craft, we'll have something for you.


As part of our Housing Week, our Advisors put together an article that covers some of the costs that come when searching and signing for a house so that you know what to expect when you start house-hunting! You can also book an appointment with the Advice Centre to help you budget for the year ahead, especially when you're considering signing up for a new house.

Launched in February 2012, the Runnymede Foodbank is led by the Beacon Church with assistance from other churches and groups in Runnymede & Weybridge, including St John’s Church, Egham; Addlestone Baptist Church; Kings Church, Addlestone & St James’ Church, Weybridge. We aim to provide a lifeline for those experiencing financial hardship, who are desperately short of food.

The Government's Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) provides a £400 discount to eligible households to help with their energy bills. You do not have to pay this money back. Find out more in our EBBS article.

Career support

Each year, we employ hundreds of students in paid part-time positions across the Union to help us achieve our aims: improving your education, making campus fun, looking after your wellbeing, making you more employable, and empowering you to change the world around you. Check out our Work With Us for the latest opportunities. The Careers page on the Student Intranet is also a great place to find jobs and get help with applying.

Useful resources

Latest updates

Top Tips for Student Groups in the Cost of Living Crisis

Thu 12 Jan 2023

Photo of VP Societies and Sport Hannah Hockin stood by the Emily Wilding Davison buidling.

You’ve probably noticed that your energy bills, clothing, and even the Tesco meal deal price are hiking up, so it's important to be money smart. Hannah Hockin, your VP Sport and Societies has put together her top tips to help student groups get through the cost of living crisis.

Support for Students Facing Financial Hardship

Tue 06 Dec 2022

This year, your President, Maia Jarvis, has been working with the College on a complete review of their Extenuating Circumstances policy (ECs). In a effort to tackle the affects of the cost of living crisis on students, Maia has successfully lobbied the College to include 'financial hardship' as a reason to grant extenuating circumstances.

Housing Costs: What to Expect When House-Hunting

Fri 02 Dec 2022

In celebration of Housing Week here at the Students’ Union, today we’ll be going through some of the costs that come with searching and signing for a house so that you know what to expect when you start house-hunting!