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Worried sick. Is my partner eligible for a tuition fee loan Watch

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    Hi All. Desperate to get a rapid answer as worried sick. My partner Luiza has an ordinary degree from a Romanian university. She has now lived with me in this country for almost 4 years. Last year she was successful in getting a place on a joint honours degree course at Northumbria uni and student finance gave her a tuition fee loan for the full amount of year one of her 3 year full time course. Her basic degree she studied took her 3 years in Romania. The loan was agreed as it is a honours course not an ordinary degree and it is therefore classed as a higher level qualification
    We have now received a letter for year 2 of her 3 year course at Northumbria saying she is not eligible for her tuition fees for 2013-2014.
    I thought as she had been successful in year 1 they would continue to agree to the loan. Surely they cannot let her start a 3 year honours course agree to finance year 1 with a loan and now say she cannot have a loan for year 2 as she has studied 3 years for an ordinary degree in Romania even though she did not apply for any funding Any advise please ?
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    As far as I'm aware, student finance only fund your entire course if you've never studied a higher education course before or have transferred to another course before completing it, or are topping up a foundation degree to a full honours degree. An ordinary degree is still considered a higher education course in the UK, but most universities offer honours degrees only.

    As your partner already holds an ordinary degree which took 3 years, student finance may have only given you money for the first year of her studies at university this time round and expect you to finance the rest of her studies. It's well worth a phone call to the student loans company because we don't know the full situation or be able to advise you further, but I suspect it's an issue with her already having an ordinary degree from Romania that's causing issues.

    You reapply for student finance each year as circumstances change, there is nothing technically wrong with them saying you are no longer eligible as your circumstances may affect whether or not you can receive financial support. Give them a call and see what they say, it could be down to issues with studying before or it could be a genuine mistake. Good luck.
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    Much appreciate your prompt reply. I feel you may well be right in your comment that this could be an issue with the fact that Luiza has already studied 3 years in Romania. What really annoys me is why were we not made fully aware last year that they would only fund her for 1 year only. Surely they should have said we will not finance years 1 and 2 but may well finance her final year. By doing it this way they have drawn us into a 3 year course only now to inform us of this. Furthermore the reply from student finance received today says they are not authorising a tuition fee loan for year 1 or 2 but they already have paid year 1 and I have a letter received last year that grants the loan for year 1 How confusing is that?

    Bottom line for me now is find 18000 for 2 more years or her last year in which she has worked exceptionally hard has been to waste. She will also be faced with 9000 fee for last year should she find work

    Annoyed and angry as we were led to believe that the loan for year 2 and 3 would be almost guaranteed due to fact they did authorise year 1
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    (Original post by TONYDEWISON)
    Much appreciate your prompt reply. I feel you may well be right in your comment that this could be an issue with the fact that Luiza has already studied 3 years in Romania. What really annoys me is why were we not made fully aware last year that they would only fund her for 1 year only. Surely they should have said we will not finance years 1 and 2 but may well finance her final year. By doing it this way they have drawn us into a 3 year course only now to inform us of this. Furthermore the reply from student finance received today says they are not authorising a tuition fee loan for year 1 or 2 but they already have paid year 1 and I have a letter received last year that grants the loan for year 1 How confusing is that?

    Bottom line for me now is find 18000 for 2 more years or her last year in which she has worked exceptionally hard has been to waste. She will also be faced with 9000 fee for last year should she find work

    Annoyed and angry as we were led to believe that the loan for year 2 and 3 would be almost guaranteed due to fact they did authorise year 1
    Because your partner has an ordinary degree, she is only eligible for one years funding from student finance to 'top-up' her degree from an ordinary degree to an honours degree - this is why she was given a loan in her first year.

    Unfortunately, she won't be eligible for any more funding, and will have to fund the rest of her degree herself. This is because an ordinary degree is the equivalent level to most of a degree, she was funded for the part that isn't an equivalent level (one year).

    The reason they did not tell you about the funding is because you obviously didn't ask. Student finance is done on a year by year basis. They determine your eligibility each year. They do not do it at the beginning of the course for the whole course.
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    (Original post by TONYDEWISON)
    Much appreciate your prompt reply. I feel you may well be right in your comment that this could be an issue with the fact that Luiza has already studied 3 years in Romania. What really annoys me is why were we not made fully aware last year that they would only fund her for 1 year only. Surely they should have said we will not finance years 1 and 2 but may well finance her final year. By doing it this way they have drawn us into a 3 year course only now to inform us of this. Furthermore the reply from student finance received today says they are not authorising a tuition fee loan for year 1 or 2 but they already have paid year 1 and I have a letter received last year that grants the loan for year 1 How confusing is that?

    Bottom line for me now is find 18000 for 2 more years or her last year in which she has worked exceptionally hard has been to waste. She will also be faced with 9000 fee for last year should she find work

    Annoyed and angry as we were led to believe that the loan for year 2 and 3 would be almost guaranteed due to fact they did authorise year 1
    Unfortunately student finance doesn't work like that, it's done on a year-by-year basis because situations change e.g. household incomes increase/reduce, people drop out/change course/transfer to another university etc. It would be impossible for student finance to guarantee you funding for the whole course because of this. The onus is on the person applying for finance to research the terms and their eligibility; the information is on the student finance website to view before considering applying and a pack should be delivered by post when you have finished your application outlining the terms and conditions which your partner will have signed to receive the funding for her first year.

    I'm sorry you've found yourself in such a position, student finance is a complicated and often frustrating process for many, I'm sorry I cannot be of any more help. I hope you find a way around your dilemma. Best of luck.
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    Many thanks for your comments and concern. For our part we have both had a sleepless few nights and agree we should have looked at her long term eligibility.
    The whole situation now gets even worse. Having agreed to finance her first year with a tuition fee loan we have now received an invoice from Northumbria uni for £8500 as the student finance have NOT paid her tuition fees as they agreed. I have a confirmation letter from them dated 18 th April last year saying they agree to pay the tuition fee for year one
    Why then do we get an invoice now at the end of the year for £8500 ???
    Surely this should have been paid in trembly instalments and if not paid each term then why have the uni not informed us until the end of the first year
    We are now faced with even more worry because the student finance have not paid the first year tuition and the uni want paying

    the whole thing is a nightmare. I am going to see the uni finance department tomorrow and phoning student finance Can they insist we pay this money or can we take the student loan company to the financial ombudsman. We cannot afford £8500 now.
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    You need to speak to the uni and ask if you can pay in installments.
 
 
 
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