Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Our household income is just above the threshold at which a student receives the minimum loan and no grant. However, all 3 of my children will be in higher education this coming year. As you are assessing my means, I presume you are expecting me to pay money to my student children, and presumably at least as much as the difference between the minimum and full loan/grant which is almost £3,640 a year. To take home £3,640, I have to earn almost £7,000 after statutory deductions. So why isn't at least this amount of income disregarded in the calculation for the second student and at least double the amount for the third? I do not have the means to make the assessed contributions to the second and third students because I am paying it to the first ...... and this ignores the fact that as the first student is doing a vocational masters degree she does not even receive the minimum support from SFE.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    "Mark Lee at Student Finance England will be on the site every Wednesday to answer your questions" Would it be too unreasonable to expect him to answer the question then? Or for anybody at SFE to reply to my letter on the same subject sent 7th May?
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hi Bankofdad21,

    If your children are applying based on your household income then student finance regulations state that an income disregard is considered for each dependent child in higher education.
    This would reduce your overall household income and as a result provide more funding for your children if your income falls below the upper threshold.

    If your income is still over the threshold where any additional funding is awarded then your children would only be entitled to the "non means" tested rate of student finance which everyone regardless of their income is entitled to.

    Your income deductions or outgoings are not considered during the household income assessment as the assessment is based on your gross income from employment.

    Student finance England are regulated by the department for business, innovation and skills and we have to adhere to the regulations which govern how we assess students.
    If you feel we have no adhered to the regulations at any point during the assessment of your children's student finance entitlement then you can appeal the assessments.

    If you wish to provide feedback on our services or how the finance is assessed then you can do so by registering at: www.thestudentfinancelab.com
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hi Bankofdad21,

    With regards to your written correspondence, a letter will normally be sent in response to your query to your home address within 7-10 working days.

    Thanks
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Mark, my household income in the relevant year was £66,700 which is above the threshold. SFE have told me they will make an allowance of £1200 for the first dependant student (and nothing for subsequent students) which reduces this figure to £65,200, still above the threshold - so they all get the minimum loan and no grant.
    Since that tax year my wife has stopped working and my pay is static, reducing our income to £63,700 (a 5% reduction so it is less than 15% and is ignored). As each student is getting the minimum loan my means tested contribution is £3600 - to take home this sum (after deductions for tax, NI and auto enrolment pension) I have to earn £7,000, so after paying the first student I am left with £56,500, some £7,500 BELOW the threshold and after paying the second student, I am over £14,500 below the threshold but still assessed to pay the maximum contribution. My total assessed contributions are therefore £11,000 from my POST TAX earnings. It simply isn't possible. Now if those sums are outside the regulations, then I would love to appeal both for the coming year and last one when I had two dependants in higher education and a third doing A levels. Please tell me how to do so. My argument is that SFE are only making an allowance of £1200 and you are clearly expecting me to contribute over 6 times this sum for the first two students AFTER deductions.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mark Lee - SFE Official Adviser)
    Hi Bankofdad21,

    With regards to your written correspondence, a letter will normally be sent in response to your query to your home address within 7-10 working days.

    Thanks
    first letter sent 7th May as previously stated, that's 59 working days so far; letter of complaint sent 13th July, that's 13 working days so far. No reply to either so far. However, I have received an interim response to my email to my MP (response time 5 working days) who has referred the matter to Dr Vince Cable.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mark Lee - SFE Official Adviser)
    Hi Bankofdad21,

    If your children are applying based on your household income then student finance regulations state that an income disregard is considered for each dependent child in higher education.
    This would reduce your overall household income and as a result provide more funding for your children if your income falls below the upper threshold.

    If your income is still over the threshold where any additional funding is awarded then your children would only be entitled to the "non means" tested rate of student finance which everyone regardless of their income is entitled to.

    Your income deductions or outgoings are not considered during the household income assessment as the assessment is based on your gross income from employment.

    Student finance England are regulated by the department for business, innovation and skills and we have to adhere to the regulations which govern how we assess students.
    If you feel we have no adhered to the regulations at any point during the assessment of your children's student finance entitlement then you can appeal the assessments.

    If you wish to provide feedback on our services or how the finance is assessed then you can do so by registering at: www.thestudentfinancelab.com
    I have followed your recommendation and registered with the studentfinance lab which is a slow and time consuming sign up but the most frustrating thing was that at the end of the exercise it became apparent that this is a brand new initiative which so far has NO forums, NO surveys and NO feedback button although you are hoping to carry out surveys and make this a useful experience. Mark, I don't want to "talk about it" or engage in any bonding experience with fellow parents. I want to support my hard working daughters and son to undertake their studies without bankrupting the family.
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hi again

    Letters of complaint are usually responded to within 15 working days from when we received them. As you have contacted your MP, we would respond directly to them.

    If you wish to appeal the assessments, you can do so outlining your reasons why you feel the award is unfair and email it to [email protected]. You should receive a response within 15 working days.

    Thanks
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Mark Lee - SFE Official Adviser)
    Hi again

    Letters of complaint are usually responded to within 15 working days from when we received them. As you have contacted your MP, we would respond directly to them.

    If you wish to appeal the assessments, you can do so outlining your reasons why you feel the award is unfair and email it to [email protected]. You should receive a response within 15 working days.

    Thanks
    15 working days have now elapsed since the complaint (which was sent directly to SFE and separate to our correspondence with my MP) and 61 days since my original query, so both are outside your performance standards. However, of greatest concern to me is to receive a response to the underlying issue which is how SFE are complying with the requirements of the student finance regulations to take into consideration the funds paid to support other students in higher education. I would like you to explain to me how an allowance of £1200 of pre-tax income will enable me to make payments of £7600 post tax? Do you not agree that an allowance of £1200 is inadequate? In order to appeal (which I have done), I need to state why the SFE decision was wrong. I would like to examine the student finance regulations to determine whether your interpretation is wrong or just unfair. How can I obtain a copy?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I have been assisted by another contributor to this forum who has supplied a copy of the regulations and I believe that SFE has failed to take account of Schedule 4 para 10 which says that where the same household income is being used for two or more persons you split the Contribution and para 9 says the Contribution is capped at £6210. I believe that my contribution should therefore be split evenly between my three dependant student children. The eldest is taking an NHS sponsored Masters degree and it appears that the separate organisation which administers NHS bursaries has taken this approach. I therefore have two questions for Mr Lee -
    1) please would you confirm that the maximum contribution is £6210 and that this should be divided between all three dependant students
    2) my question in the previous post of how an allowance of £1200 enables a parent to make a contribution of £7600.
    • Official TSR Representative
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hello

    If you have yet to receive a response to your complaint, we recommend you call us on 0300 100 0601 for an update. When you call, the advisor you speak to will also be happy to discuss your in-depth enquiry regarding your income being amended due to having three children in higher education.

    Thanks
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.