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Oxford is generally considered quite an expensive city to live in but with the college subsidisation and good budget no one should ever have to stop studying because of a lack of funds. Money is available to help students in financial difficulties because of unforeseen circumstances.

Financial Aid

St John’s, in conjunction with the University as a whole and Government Access schemes, offers several types of financial aid, more information on which can be found on the college website here.

We are very lucky that St John’s offers a wide range of grants and bursaries, from the Academic Grant and the Special Grant (to cover travel costs in order to research), both of which anyone can apply for. There is also the Hardship Grant, which can be applied for under special circumstances. For more details about specific grants and their requirements click here.


Budgeting can be quite a daunting prospect as this is probably the first time you’ve had such large sums of money coming in and out of your bank account. You are not allowed to get a job in term time, however you can make some money for working for the St John’s access team when schools come to visit us.

Life in John’s can be quite cheap as food is subsidised and also not paid in advance. This means if you want to save some pennies you can buy from Tesco (tip: frozen is always cheaper).

Write down everything you spend, when you see all your spending actually written down it makes spending money a reality and holds you accountable to every penny you spend – Issy, French and Italian


Battels are the college bill given at the beginning of term. It covers rent, scout costs and some other extra items. These should be paid as soon as possible to stop any late charges. 

Here is what a Hilary 2018/9 battels invoice looked like for a smaller Tommy White room. Rent does change very slightly with the grade of your room but not substantially.

SJC Discounts Card

You will be issued with a discount card in your pidge during Freshers’ Week. St John’s prides itself on the connections it has uniquely established throughout Oxford over the years, so make sure to take advantage! Like the Discounts Facebook page (“St John’s College Discounts”) for updates on new offers with the full list of places offering discounts available on the official website.