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    I’m in the process of applying for compelling personal reasons, so as to lodge a claim for funding for an extra years worth of study.
    I’m currently in my third year of study at the University of the West of England (UWE), subsequent to this I have failed two years. Below is a summary of my subsequent years:
    Year 1 (2006/7) – Failed (1st year)
    Year 2 (2007/8) – Pass (1st year, re-sit of year)
    Year 3 (2008/9) – Failed (2nd year)
    Year 4 (2009/10) – Pass (2nd year, re-sit of year)
    Year 5 (2010/11) – In current progression

    I’m currently receiving funding this year in the form of a maintenance loan with no tuition fee loan. I've managed to pay my fees (help from friends) for this year due to my funding being withdrawn, as I was not entitled to it. The course that I’m on runs for another year as it’s an Mplan Spatial course and I’m looking to get all of my finances in place before I start my Masters year.

    Currently I’m receiving counselling from the Wellbeing Service at my university, they are helping me as I’ve been diagnosed as suffering from low mood/ depression and anxiety by my GP. I’m also in contact with my GP on a monthly basis who has put me on medication to help me through these times, as even this year, with help, it’s been a struggled to deal with everything. This has had a direct impact on my studies and I’ve submitted extenuating circumstance forms with a few pieces of my work, due to my memory being severely hit hardest. However, I’ve managed to pass everything that I’ve sat and submitted, achieving firsts for the majority of my work (exams are my downfall, due to my inability to retain information).

    To the purpose of this writing; I'm trying to apply for an extra years worth of financial support (to gain my tuition fee funding). As it’s only now becoming apparent through my contact with my GP, Counsellor, various Student Advisors and my Course Leader that I’ve needed help for quite some time now. In the years that I failed, looking back I realise that my mood was terrible, often staying in bed for days on end with no motivation often questioning my purpose in life, I shut myself off. This would come in highs and lows over the duration of the years, but I never thought to seek help. I never thought to explain my actions to University – I couldn’t explain them to myself, let alone beginning to talk to anyone about my struggles and feelings. It’s now, only since I’ve been receiving help that I can see the affects this mental disability is/was putting over my life.

    I have supporting documentation from my GP for the past two and half year, detailing the length, diagnosis, medication and other treatments that I'm taking for my depression. My university have been aware of my position but I never submitted any documentation to them until this year, I had various meetings with student advisors and my course leaders subsequently to inform them of my struggles.

    I'm currently in the process of writing to SFE, to consider me for compelling personal reasons. Do you think I will be entitled to be granted an extra years worth of fees?

    The supporting evidence I now have is:

    Letter from GP (detailing all of the above)
    Letter from the Student Welfare Services
    Letter from two student advisors (my faculty one and a finance one)
    Letter from my course leader

    Do you think this will be enough? Is there any advice people can offer me?



    (Original post by jyoung999)
    I’m in the process of applying for compelling personal reasons, so as to lodge a claim for funding for an extra years worth of study...
    I don't know about this specific process, but I do just want to say hang on in there. My experience is with a decade of depression/misc mental health issues (and after being kicked out of college 7[?!] years ago I'll finally be a full-time student next year!)

    The main thing is - I know this is difficult! - to approach it with the belief that you are entitled to assistance/support/dispensation, and not let yourself shrink back and think 'oh I'm not worth it/I don't really deserve it/don't have any real problems'. Or rather, don't feel guilty for thinking those things, as they're very natural in this situation, but don't let them run your life and make your decisions for you - try to get the best you can.

    Do you have any family support, or social support? Usually a painful question, I know.

    You've passed your resits! That's fantastic, as is getting firsts.

    General info. Mind have a good site of resources (guides to depression, your rights, etc) and you can contact them about help in your local area if things aren't going well enough as they are (and again, don't feel you don't deserve it): http://www.mind.org.uk/

    I'd be happy to proof a letter you send to SFE if you've no-one else who can check it over for you - I'm pretty busy but can spare a smidge of time to help.

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