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    I've just finished my third and final year of my ba hons at uni of essex/ colchester institute/ colchester school of art and have had absolutely no contact from them throughout my entire final year.

    In my first and second year I was asked at the very beginning of the year to pay an extra £200 on top of my fees as a 'studio fee' (which, I should point out, wasn't pointed out before I applied) but this year I had nothing. I was aware through speaking to lower years that since uni fees went up the studio fee was no longer paid by them, and having not been told otherwise, I assumed that this year we weren't required to pay it.

    This morning I had the first contact of my final year from them demanding £200, the letter specifies that I will not be allowed to graduate until I've paid them this money which I don't have.

    I should point out at this point that my student loan nowhere near covered my rent let alone bills and degree expenses, and I've also had to fork out nearly £400 to exhibit my work in London. I don't even have £20 let alone £200 and I have no income at all right now.

    Are they actually allowed to withhold my degree until I've paid this? I'm terrified that I won't have anything to show for the last 3 years of work


    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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    IME, (and I took my University to court and won) they may not be able to do this BUT it will cost you a lot of time and/or expense to challenge them on this.

    You are far better paying them and moving on IF you have contactred the relevant people and exhausted all reasonable avenues with the Uni/Dept.

    Your whines about your expenses etc are irrelevant in respect of this debt, and you should know that.

    Students need to wise up and research what grants etc etc are avaialble to them and then apply apply apply. There will always be people too lazy or dumb to do it and you need to be in it to win it. There are always ways to make a bit of extra cash (by fair means or foul). Lose one fight to free you up to fight another with potentially greater rewards. don't expect to win all the time but try to win overall.

    It is £200 FFS ...
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    (Original post by coconutcatnip)
    Are they actually allowed to withhold my degree until I've paid this?
    I'm afraid so. It's standard for a university to refuse to allow you to graduate if you owe them any money - even down to library fines.

    It doesn't mean that you will never graduate, just that it might be delayed until you can find the money to pay the studio fee.

    However it's definitely worth a phone call to the department who sent the demand for payment, to clarify the situation. As years below you didn't have to pay it and you were apparently not sent a demand for payment at the start of the year, the current demand *may* (don't get your hopes up) be a mistake. It's always worth checking.
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    Did you ever receive any paperwork about this £200?
 
 
 
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