The article reveals the peculiarities of material and living conditions of the students of the Sumy State Pedagogical Institute in 1930-1940. On the basis of archival documents, the level of scholarship provision for students during the 30-40 of the XX century was analyzed, and a comparative analysis of the monetary equivalent of state scholarships in relation to workers’ wages was conducted. The authors cite archival sources that confirm the existence of various sources of scholarship support, for example from trade union organizations. It was stated, that the number and the size of scholarships of the students of the Sumy State Pedagogical Institute was gradually increasing, depending on the results of their study. Nevertheless, the scholarship support, as it is evidenced by the archival documents, was not sufficient for a young person to provide himself with basic clothing and treatment needs, also taking into account the fact that students, like all Ukrainian citizens, were forced to give out some of the funds for state loans. The article analyzes the reasons why students were deprived of scholarship, or why its size was diminished: academic debts, missing classes, violation of discipline, etc. The authors analyze the students’ situation after the introduction of compulsory tuition fee at higher educational establishments, increasing the requirements for the quality of education as the main factor in obtaining a scholarship. The article also investigates the problem of providing accommodation for students in hostels. The analysis of archival documents proves that this problem was acute in 1930-1940. It was solved gradually, sometimes without taking into account the interests of student youth. The article cites archival documents, some of which have been introduced into scientific circles for the first time.