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Problems with Student Finance?

Discussion in 'Mature Students' started by littleeggy, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    Hi all,

    I just applied to student finance for a second degree in medicine 5 year course - today is the first day of 2013/14 applications opening. I know, KEEN!

    I'm getting worried as the application says that I may be entitled to £0 for everything, tuition fee, maintenance loan and grant etc. whereas the calculation I did intitially said I would be entitled to a Maintenance Loan only which is fine.

    I'm aware that second degree grads applying for 4 year courses are not entitled to maintenance grant or tuition fee loan but I have read everywhere, including the NHS careers website that we are entitled to a income assessed maintenance LOAN. I'm worried that I may actually be entitled to nothing - but I can't see how that can be as I'm an independent student. I'll be 25 when I start my course and I've been working for 4 years now. Also my income isn't loads and I won't be earning anything when I start uni anyway!

    I also don't have a partner, so surely I will be entitled to SOMETHING. I'm just freaking out right now and just hoping that the student finance initial online assessment thingy just assumed I'm not entitled to anything and hasn't clocked that medicine is an exception to this rule... worried. :( as I won't be able to go to uni without the maintenance loan.

    Has anyone had this experience with the Student Finance last year and did it all work out in the end?

    Would appreciate any advice. Perhaps I will ring them tomorrow to get some clarity...
     
  2. new2newmedia

    new2newmedia New Member

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    Hi,

    I haven't applied for funding yet but, as you thought, graduates doing a 5 year course should get a maintenance loan (though nothing else - no fee loan or maintenance grant).

    Apparently, the most effective way to proceed is to ring student finance and, essentially, tell them what you are entitled to.

    Financial support for students on degree courses in medicine - NHS Careers

    Good thing to start this early if you need a few tedious rounds to get things sorted!
     
  3. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    Thanks for your reply new2newmedia!

    I just called up student finance and spoke to a lovely lady there. She reassured me that the application will be £0 entitlement until someone goes into it manually and overrides the system when it is assessed as Medicine is classed as an 'exception course'. I put my current income down on the form but asked her if that was wrong and if I should have put down £0 instead. She said I was right to put my current income down as isn't taken into account anyway. It's a full time application not part time and I indicated that I would be released from work to study my course and work wouldn't be paying anything towards me studying. Therefore the student's income isn't taken into account. So feeling a lot better about it now :)

    My application was automatically set up as a independent student application. It didn't ask me anything about my parents income, only about mine and my partners income - but I don't have a partner anyway!

    Glad I'm getting it out of the way early as I could see this becoming a headache if something isn't picked up by SFE along the way.

    Don't worry I will be armed with the NHS Careers website if they come back to me later on in the process an still say that I'm not entitled to anything. I've heard about a lot of people in the same position having to argue SFE last year. i just hope they have the right information this year to save us all a headache!
     
  4. ceih

    ceih New Member

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    It's a problem with the way their system works, it simply doesn't automatically recognise medicine as being exempt from the usual rules (ie: it assumes that second degree = £0 funding). It should be okay - last year was a bit of a shake up due to the new fees and the confusion around this, but as this is all more established the rules should also be clear.
     
  5. kylelowe1990

    kylelowe1990 New Member

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    How much are you expecting to get?
     
  6. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    hopefully the full £5,500. I got my letter through the post last week saying I was entitled to zero and had a panic. I called them up and they said it was a mistake on their part and it should have been checked by a human being before the letter was sent out.

    It would have been picked up manually that medicine is an exceptions course and therefore I am entitled to some kind of maintenance loan. I believe the full amount available to students like us is £5,500.
     
  7. kylelowe1990

    kylelowe1990 New Member

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    If that's annually that's actually a lot more than I was expecting.i mean I know it's less than 500 a month but still not bad. Still scratching my head about tuition fees but that's a big bonus!
     
  8. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    Yeah it's pretty good considering all else! I think you will get less if a) you are not an independent student, then it will be assessed based on your parents household income
    b) if you are an independent student but your partner earns money.

    Edit: oh and I think you also get more if you have dependents relying on you or if you have a disability. Not entirely sure about that as I don't have either.

    I'm an independent student (over 25 when the course starts and I've been working for 3+ years) and I don't have a partner so I'm hoping that I will get the full amount.
     
  9. snakefisch

    snakefisch New Member

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    Yes same. I applied last week and waiting for it to come through.
    On the site it told me I was eligible for a maintenance grant too, but that is not true and you aren't eligible if you have previously had funding.
    I just need an offer now...
     
  10. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    Really hope you get an offer Snakefisch!
     
  11. snakefisch

    snakefisch New Member

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    Thanks dude! Had my joint interview last week so should find out sometime in March....!
     
  12. kylelowe1990

    kylelowe1990 New Member

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    Yeah good luck mate.how are you guys funding tuition?house sales and stuff?
     
  13. kylelowe1990

    kylelowe1990 New Member

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    Also,does anybody know if we can have a tuition fee loan if we funded a previous degree ourselves.eg open university?
     
  14. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    My tuition fees are being paid through savings. I'm aiming to save £20k by October. I already have £12k so it's doable. I'm hopful that I will get a partial fee waiver of £2k each year from my university and a bursary for living costs as they don't exclude second degree students from their bursaries etc.

    I've checked with them about 3 times and they said as long as student finance confirm that I will have £0 / almost no income from september 2013 onwards then I should qualify for the maximum bursary and fee waiver.

    I'm also going to apply to charities just in case that doesn't work out and planning on doing some part time work while at uni in the first two years. It might get more difficult in the clinical years.
     
    #14 littleeggy, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  15. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    I think usually you don't get any tuition funding even if you funded your first degree completely by yourself but because yours is an Open University degree, I think historically those weren't eligible for finance anyway so it's worth checking with student finance. You might get something because it was an OU degree.
     
    #15 littleeggy, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  16. kylelowe1990

    kylelowe1990 New Member

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    That's cool,I hope they accept a degree that was done over 4 years at OU!
     
  17. scooby22

    scooby22 New Member

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    Hey - congrats on the offer! I would def recommend working as much as you can in the first 2-3 yrs as it does get more tricky later on, but still do-able.
    As for charities-I have had a bit of success getting funding from them ( they kept me afloat at times) so if you want to know any specific ones for matures/women let me know and I'll message you. I'd rather not post a list on the main forum.

    Snakefisch - fingers crossed you get some good news soon :)
     
  18. littleeggy

    littleeggy New Member

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    Thanks so much Scooby, I've sent you a private message. x
     
  19. snakefisch

    snakefisch New Member

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    Thanks so much. I'm hoping! :)
     
  20. strictlyballroom

    strictlyballroom New Member

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    I am due to start the GEM course this September and am a bit worried about the fact that I haven't heard from the SLC yet about the amount of tuition and maintenance loan I am entitled to. I have been assured that there shouldn't be a problem with my application but it has been over 6 weeks since I submitted it. It has been sent to the 'special' team that deals with graduate entry but the person I spoke to wasn't able to give me any idea of timescales. Does anybody have any idea how long it usually takes?

    Also regarding previous degrees - I mentioned my undergraduate degree in my application but I don't think I put in my PhD as that wasn't funded by the SFE (it was funded by the BBSRC which is a completely different organisation). I don't remember deliberately omitting to mention it but reading previous posts in this thread about being honest re previous tertiary education has got me a bit worried!

    Any reassurance on either account welcome!

    Cheers
     

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