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    • Thread Starter

    Hi, my name is Nathan i am 25 and this June i will have completed a part time (2 year) foundation degree in combined studies at the University of Sheffield.

    I have applied for funding for september 2016 in order to complete a History 3 year degree and SFE have replied basically declining my application. Their reply is as follows;

    "Due to your previous study, the fee support you can expect to recieve for your proposed course is calculated as follows. The length of your new course is 3 years plus 1, which totals 4. Then minus the number of years you spent on your previous course of 2 years gives you an entitlement of 2 remaining years of support.

    As the number of years fee support available to you is less than the duration of your proposed course you will not be eligible to recieve any fee support for the 16/17 academic year. You will however, be eligible for maintenance support during the remaning years of your course. If you need to repeat any years of study on your current course then this may affect your entitlement for support".

    I am absolutely shocked and abit dumbfounded. I dont understand what the point of me doing what was essentially an access course onto Higher education, to then be turned away once i gain the qualifications to finally study it. From what i percieve, they are basically saying that i wont recieve any funding for the first year, but then funding for the next two? Is this correct?

    If so then it is near on impossible for me to self fund 9grand for a years tuition and its ridiculous considering some of the personal sacrafices i have made to try and go back into education (when i was 23) and try to improve my career path.

    Can anyone help? Is there any way i can go to University? Am I overreacting and reading this wrong? What are my options?

    P.S. I have also contacted the student support officer at the University to arrange a meeting but i thought id create this post in addition!

    Hi there

    The exact same thing happened to me I'm afraid. It was like I had been punched in the stomach. 😱 The only way around it for me was....
    Defer a year and save as much as possible. Apply for maximum loan which I then gave straight back to derby uni as my tuition fee. Then I lived off my savings from my gap year and worked every hour God sends to make the difference. I'm just coming to the end of my first year and it's been tough....but if you want the career badly enough you will make it happen. Hope this helps. Ask me anything of your stuck
    • Official TSR Representative

    Official TSR Representative
    Hi there.

    We always have to take into consideration any previous study that's been undertaken at a higher education level. Unfortunately this is not an access course so does need to be included in the calculation.

    Where a student undertakes a preliminary course to enter onto another, such as a foundation degree, HND, etc before an honours degree, they would normally then be a direct entrant into the latter years of the honours degree and essentially skip first year. This means they would still get full funding for all years.

    In a situation where a student begins the new course from year one, regulations state they will always need to self-fund the first year due to the previous study.


    I have received a similar letter to Nathan today. I completed a part time HNC in 1999. The course was fully funded by my employer at the time and I have never received funding for a course before. I have now been been accepted on a degree course and have been told by SFE that I will have to finance the first year of tuition fees myself due to my 'previous study'. It would be great if I could use my HNC as an exemption from the first year but I seriously doubt the university will do that when I completed it 17 years ago. I am devastated as I am 43 and saw this as my last chance.
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