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    Hi,

    My name is Anna. I'm 18 and living independently whilst on a gap year before university, working a full time and a part time job to just make rent. I was forced to leave my mother's house when I was 15, but luckily I have an amazing nana who took me in for 3 years. However I felt I had to leave my nana's house once I turned 18 because she claims benefits and me being in the house would lower her already low income. So I now live in a student house with some friends who are now my emotional support; my family.

    I am independent. Right? By day I'm an SEN teaching assistant; by night I am a cocktail waitress. I work 40+ hours a week (which doesn't sound like much but when it's split up into days and nights it's a handful) to pay my own rent and buy my own food. I pay council tax every month.

    But according to student finance this doesn't count because I haven't been independent for 36 months. I'm 18, 36 months ago I was in high school.

    I'm estranged. Right? I have met my biological father as a child, he's never helped and wouldn't want to even if he could. I haven't had a relationship with my mother since before I was kicked out, she doesn't help me in any way. I provide for myself, without parents.

    But according to student finance this doesn't count because we've communicated either verbally or by text in the past 12 months - but of course we have, I have a little sister who I want to see!

    So even though I am independent and estranged, I don't fit into a box, and so it will be near impossible to count as an independent and estranged student.

    Problem: If I don't count as estranged, what do I put into student finance? My mother's income, a single mum? My nana's income, under £5000? Because their income doesn't affect me, because I am independent and estranged from both biological parents. Does my nana count as a guardian now (she is legally) even if I no longer live with her?

    Please help, if I cannot apply for independence then who's income do I put into student finance?

    Thanks,

    Anna
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    (Original post by ACyan)
    Hi,

    My name is Anna. I'm 18 and living independently whilst on a gap year before university, working a full time and a part time job to just make rent. I was forced to leave my mother's house when I was 15, but luckily I have an amazing nana who took me in for 3 years. However I felt I had to leave my nana's house once I turned 18 because she claims benefits and me being in the house would lower her already low income. So I now live in a student house with some friends who are now my emotional support; my family.

    I am independent. Right? By day I'm an SEN teaching assistant; by night I am a cocktail waitress. I work 40+ hours a week (which doesn't sound like much but when it's split up into days and nights it's a handful) to pay my own rent and buy my own food. I pay council tax every month.

    But according to student finance this doesn't count because I haven't been independent for 36 months. I'm 18, 36 months ago I was in high school.

    I'm estranged. Right? I have met my biological father as a child, he's never helped and wouldn't want to even if he could. I haven't had a relationship with my mother since before I was kicked out, she doesn't help me in any way. I provide for myself, without parents.

    But according to student finance this doesn't count because we've communicated either verbally or by text in the past 12 months - but of course we have, I have a little sister who I want to see!

    So even though I am independent and estranged, I don't fit into a box, and so it will be near impossible to count as an independent and estranged student.

    Problem: If I don't count as estranged, what do I put into student finance? My mother's income, a single mum? My nana's income, under £5000? Because their income doesn't affect me, because I am independent and estranged from both biological parents. Does my nana count as a guardian now (she is legally) even if I no longer live with her?

    Please help, if I cannot apply for independence then who's income do I put into student finance?

    Thanks,

    Anna
    Use your nana's household income if she is your legal guardian.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Use your nana's household income if she is your legal guardian.
    But because I'm 18/nearly 19/so a year above most people going to uni do I actually have a legal guardian anymore? I'm an adult and I have my own household income?
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    (Original post by ACyan)
    But because I'm 18/nearly 19/so a year above most people going to uni do I actually have a legal guardian anymore? I'm an adult and I have my own household income?
    You're not considered independent under SFE rules - from their point of view your nana will be the most appropriate person to assess.

    It's not a perfect system by a long shot - and given your circumstances you'll end up with the same outcome as a dependent student assessed on your nana's income as you would as an independent student (but having SFE assess your nana's income will be a lot easier than evidencing that you meet their criteria for independent status).
 
 
 
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