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1 year Certificate of Higher Education and Student Funding

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    Hello there i have received a certificate for 1 year higher education from my previous university. However i quit that University on the 20th of August, in order to take up a place at a new university which is also a 4 year course.

    I therefore ask the following, given that i received this certificate will i not be eligible for my first year of funding with Student Finance England on my new course? (Which was not the main qualification of the course, which was aiming for an 4 year honours course) as i assumed it was the case that it was 4 years -1 +1 gift year.

    If i am not eligible for the tuition loan would i still be entitled to a maintenance loan?

    Also if this means i am not eligible to have my new studies covered for the first year, can i appeal to have funding given that i am a low income student?

    Finally for any students, as i would need to borrow to pay off my tuition, which place would other students recommend i borrow money off of?

    Thank You.
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    (Original post by Jimmyjamjames)
    I therefore ask the following, given that i received this certificate will i not be eligible for my first year of funding with Student Finance England on my new course?
    No, you won't get full SF funding for the first year of your new course.

    Under the ELQ (Equivalent or Lower Qualification) rule, you cannot get full SF funding for a qualification which is equivalent to, or lower than, one you already hold. The first year of a degree course is equivalent to a CertHE, so your full SF funding will kick back in for your second and subsequent years. You will get a minimum Maintenance Loan for your first year but nothing more.

    (Which was not the main qualification of the course, which was aiming for an 4 year honours course) as i assumed it was the case that it was 4 years -1 +1 gift year.
    If you had not accepted the CertHE from your first course, then this equasion would apply. However, now you have the CertHE, the ELQ rule trumps the entitlement equasion.

    If i am not eligible for the tuition loan would i still be entitled to a maintenance loan?
    Only the minimum, non-income assessed part of the Maintenance Loan.

    Also if this means i am not eligible to have my new studies covered for the first year, can i appeal to have funding given that i am a low income student?
    No. No part of your first year of SF can be income-assessed and there is no path of appeal for this. The ELQ rule is a long-established principle. However your uni is likely to have bursaries for low-income students which might help. Check their website.

    Finally for any students, as i would need to borrow to pay off my tuition, which place would other students recommend i borrow money off of?
    Only one private lender. However they start demanding repayments whilst you are still studying, and commercial-type interest rates (much higher than SF) are applied from the minute you get the money. Given your financial situation, it seems unlikely that you could afford this type of debt and I certainly wouldn't recommend it.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    No, you won't get full SF funding for the first year of your new course.

    Under the ELQ (Equivalent or Lower Qualification) rule, you cannot get full SF funding for a qualification which is equivalent to, or lower than, one you already hold. The first year of a degree course is equivalent to a CertHE, so your full SF funding will kick back in for your second and subsequent years. You will get a minimum Maintenance Loan for your first year but nothing more.


    If you had not accepted the CertHE from your first course, then this equasion would apply. However, now you have the CertHE, the ELQ rule trumps the entitlement equasion.


    Only the minimum, non-income assessed part of the Maintenance Loan.


    No. No part of your first year of SF can be income-assessed and there is no path of appeal for this. The ELQ rule is a long-established principle. However your uni is likely to have bursaries for low-income students which might help. Check their website.


    Only one private lender. However they start demanding repayments whilst you are still studying, and commercial-type interest rates (much higher than SF) are applied from the minute you get the money. Given your financial situation, it seems unlikely that you could afford this type of debt and I certainly wouldn't recommend it.
    So i am assuming that means if went through an appeals process i could not gain any emergency funding.

    Could i ask my previous uni to retroactively take that qualification away from me?

    So i assume my next best option is to go to the bank and attempt to take out a loan, or should i just drop out?

    because i simply cannot afford to pay these student debts
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    (Original post by Jimmyjamjames)
    So i am assuming that means if went through an appeals process i could not gain any emergency funding.
    What would you be appealing on? The rules are there which you can't appeal against.
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    (Original post by Jimmyjamjames)
    So i am assuming that means if went through an appeals process i could not gain any emergency funding.
    Tiger is right - there's no way of appealing. There's a clear rule which applies to your situation. Your financial hardship isn't grounds for an appeal. SF don't have an emergency funding function, so that route is closed.

    Most unis have Hardship Funds, but that's more to cover unforseen financial hardship, rather than problems caused by the correct implementation of existing SF rules. You could ask your uni, but I wouldn't be optimistic.

    Could i ask my previous uni to retroactively take that qualification away from me?
    You can always ask, but I wouldn't expect them to. Withdrawing a qualification once awarded is a very serious matter. It's normally a sanction reserved for graduates who have disgraced themselves and done something which brings the uni into disrepute.

    So i assume my next best option is to go to the bank and attempt to take out a loan
    Unfortunately there is only one bank loan available for study, the Professional and Career Development Loan from the Co-Op Bank, and you can't get that for undergrad study. There is the private lender I mentioned above, but I would stay well clear of them, even in a crisis.

    or should i just drop out?
    You may have no other option at present. It sounds like you'll have to save up for a while in order to afford the first year of your next degree.

    Bear in mind that even if you leave now, term has started. You may still owe a proportion of the year's tuition fees to the uni, and also, you may be tied in to an accommodation contract which you'll be obliged to pay for even if you don't live there any more.

    In your shoes, I would ask for a meeting with a Student Union rep who knows all of the wrinkles around student funding. Just make sure that you've covered all the bases before dropping out.
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    (Original post by Jimmyjamjames)
    Hello
    Only just seen this thread, apologies for the bump. If you completed the Certificate of Higher Education in one year then you will receive full funding for your new four-year degree (including maintenance loans).
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Only just seen this thread, apologies for the bump. If you completed the Certificate of Higher Education in one year then you will receive full funding for your new four-year degree (including maintenance loans).
    Could you clarify why the ELQ rule doesn't apply in this situation? It's related to the qualification gained, not the amount of time it took to get the qualification, surely?
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    Could you clarify why the ELQ rule doesn't apply in this situation? It's related to the qualification gained, not the amount of time it took to get the qualification, surely?
    Because a bachelor's degree is a higher qualification than a CertHE. It doesn't matter that the OP would in effect have to redo CertHE-level work during the first year of their degree, they'd still qualify for a loan because it is the level of the final qualification which matters. The OP will lose a year of loan entitlement, but as long as they don't need to repeat a year in the future, they will have enough loan entitlement to complete a degree.
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Because a bachelor's degree is a higher qualification than a CertHE. It doesn't matter that the OP would in effect have to redo CertHE-level work during the first year of their degree, they'd still qualify for a loan because it is the level of the final qualification which matters. The OP will lose a year of loan entitlement, but as long as they don't need to repeat a year in the future, they will have enough loan entitlement to complete a degree.
    I genuinely don't believe that's correct. With the CertHE being the equivalent of the first year of a degree, the first year of a new degree won't be funded by SF. I'm sure we've encountered this situation on TSR before. I'll see if I can find an example.

    I guess the advice (as usual) is that the OP should check direct with SF before making plans.
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    Post #25 on page 2 here, from one of the TSR's official SF advisors, seems pretty clear on funding for someone who already holds a CertHE:

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...3712545&page=2

    Yes, we are unable to fund your for another course of the same level. It must be topping-up to a higher level to attract funding. This is classed as equivalent level qualification (ELQ) which we cannot fund. Please speak with your place of study to see if you may be eligible to receive funding from any other sources.
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    I genuinely don't believe that's correct. With the CertHE being the equivalent of the first year of a degree, the first year of a new degree won't be funded by SF. I'm sure we've encountered this situation on TSR before. I'll see if I can find an example.

    I guess the advice (as usual) is that the OP should check direct with SF before making plans.
    That same advisor (and several others) have said that you can get a full student loan for a BA even if you've already have done a CertHE, as long as the certificate didn't take more than one year. I know this because I have asked on several occasions. I actually asked my MP to ask Student Finance on my behalf to confirm whether I would get a full loan for a BA even though I did a CertHE - they told my MP I would. But I agree, the only way to the OP can get a definitive answer is to speak to SF directly.

    (Original post by Mark Lee - SFE Official Adviser)
    Hello

    The 1 year CertHE course may be funded. You would need to call us with the exact course details to find out on 0300 100 0607 to find out. You would get funding for the degree course regardless if not funded you would have your course length plus your gift year to finish the course. If the CertHE course is funded you would have used your gift year. But would still have full funding for a degree only if you had to repeat any years would you have some funding blocked for the repeat year.

    Thanks
    (Original post by Mark Lee - SFE Official Adviser)
    Hello Snufkin,

    As I confirmed on the other post, it looks as though you only had one year of funding for your certHE, so that year will just be classed as your gift year, meaning you will have full funding for all 4 years of the new course.

    Thanks
    (Original post by Mark Lee - SFE Official Adviser)
    Hi Samual,

    This will very much depend on how many years of funding you've already had and both the level of qualification you will possess and the one you will be studying for.

    If you've never had any funding before then after you've finished the part-time CertHE you should be able to apply for full funding for another course of a higher level.

    Hope this helps,
    Mark
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    It does seem to be a bit muddy! Glad it worked out for you - but a bit hairy that you had to go via your MP to confirm.

    The ELQ regs are more negotiable than I (and other contributors to the thread) believed.
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    Yes, that is slightly confusing. I always thought that you'd only get the extra year if you'd actually failed the year.
 
 
 
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