Can I be assessed as an independent student?Watch
It would need to include tax years which began before the academic year, so in your case we would need evidence for 13/14, 14/15 and 15/16 for the academic year that begins September 2016. It's likely that the 13/14 income would be deemed too low by the independence team.
I've just double checked the regulations again, and this is the information we have:
"To be classed as financially independent for the purposes of receiving Student Finance, you must have been supporting yourself financially for 3 years prior to the start of the first academic year of your course. We will request financial evidence to support your application for independent status. Evidence can be in the form of:
- Self assessment tax returns
The evidence supplied must cover 3 full years (36 months), however the years do not have to be consecutive. Once this evidence has been accepted we do not require to see this again for the duration of the course."
As it doesn't reference tax years, it just needs to cover any 3 years. Whether or not you are deemed as being self-sufficient is up to the assessors, so there is no set lower-limit (previously it was around £7500 however they have withdrawn this recommendation and advised that it is now entirely up to the assessor's discretion).
I would suggest the best thing to do going forward is to submit your application as early as possible as an independent student and provide any relevant evidence you can. Applications for 15/16 have only just opened so you won't be able to apply for 16/17 until this time next year. I should also point out that the Student Finance regulations are amended each year, so while these regulations have remained largely unchanged for the last few years, there's no guarantee they will remain exactly the same for the 16/17 academic years, as those regulations haven't been decided yet.
As such, we can really only give you general information right now, we can't confirm any details until next year when applications for 16/17 open.
It would be based on the beginning of the Academic year, which is the 1st September.