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What financial support is available for independent students by SLC watch

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    Got a question about applying for student finance as an independent student? Our experts are here to help.

    Please be aware all answers will be posted on Tuesday 13 February.
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    what is an independent student?
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    Hello.
    I would like to apply for an undergraduate tuition/maintenance loan for 2018/2019. I live alone in London (EEA citizen with permanent residence in the UK) and work full time at the moment. How much would I get from the loan? Do I have the right to apply for other financial help? Thank you.
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    (Original post by yuki013)
    Hello.
    I would like to apply for an undergraduate tuition/maintenance loan for 2018/2019. I live alone in London (EEA citizen with permanent residence in the UK) and work full time at the moment. How much would I get from the loan? Do I have the right to apply for other financial help? Thank you.

    Hi yuki013,

    How long have you been living in the UK for? And where are you originally from?

    Thank you,
    Courtney
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    what evidence do i need to show i have supported myself financially for 3 years? is it 3 consecutive years?
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    (Original post by ben55902)
    what evidence do i need to show i have supported myself financially for 3 years? is it 3 consecutive years?
    Hi ben55902,

    The 3 years do not have to be consecutive, the evidence you send just needs to cover 3 years in total.

    You can send P60's, payslips, tax returns, benefit letters, statement of earnings, and employers/accountants letters.

    Thank you,
    Courtney
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    (Original post by Abbas khoja)
    what is an independent student?
    Hello

    A student is initially assessed as dependent if they are under the age of 25 prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course, and as such we would request household income details from the students parents (called Sponsors) to enable the student receive the maximum available student finance.

    However, in the following circumstances a student who is under 25 years old, may wish to be classed as independent. This would entitle them to be assessed based on their income rather than their parents.

    The student can be assessed as an independent student if they:
    • are 25 or over before the start of the academic year
    • are under 25 and married/divorced before the start of the academic year
    • have care of a child on the first day of the academic year
    • are married or in a civil partnership before the start of the academic year
    • have no living parents
    • are irreconcilably estranged from their parents
    • have been the subject of a care order
    • cannot find their parents or it's not reasonably practical to get in touch with them

    A student can also be considered independent if they supported themselves financially for at least three years prior to the start of study. The three years can include periods when they were:
    • In paid full-time employment
    • In receipt of Income Support, JSA or other state benefits paid to a person who is registered as unemployed
    • In receipt of incapacity benefits, invalidity pension or maternity allowance
    • Receiving training under any scheme for the unemployed or other funding by any state authority or agency

    I hope this information is of assistance.
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    (Original post by Courtney Barber)
    Hi ben55902,

    The 3 years do not have to be consecutive, the evidence you send just needs to cover 3 years in total.

    You can send P60's, payslips, tax returns, benefit letters, statement of earnings, and employers/accountants letters.

    Thank you,
    Courtney
    thanks.

    could I also ask what is acceptable evidence of estrangement? for example who can the evidence be from?
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    (Original post by ben55902)
    thanks.

    could I also ask what is acceptable evidence of estrangement? for example who can the evidence be from?
    Hi,

    Student Finance require some form of evidence/information from an Independent person with good standing in the community, such as a doctor, teacher, social worker, University finance/support advisor etc.

    Students must provide a signed and dated letter from one of the above people confirming:
    • Their relationship to the student and the length of time they have known them
    • The reasons for the estrangement from both their parents and when this occurred
    • Current contact levels with both parents and if a reconciliation is likely.

    I have included some examples of evidence below:

    • A letter from your social worker
    • A letter from an advice worker, personal tutor or teacher
    • If you have visited your doctor because of problems relating to your broken relationship with your parents, a letter to confirm your circumstances
    • A letter from a counsellor, an organisation, employer or a charity
    • A letter from a member of the clergy, a rabbi or imam that explains that he/she was aware of the difficulties in the student’s family and their subsequent estrangement
    • A statement of incident from the police
    • A statutory declaration signed/stamped by solicitor
    • A letter from a solicitor
    • A signed and dated Estrangement declaration form* completed by any Independent person with good standing in the community. (this can be sent out if requested by calling 0300 100 0607)

    Thank you,
    Courtney
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    i am hoping to start diagnostic radiography in london in september, i am 28 and having been working since i was 20 bar a gap year in 2014. i live at home with my mum and brother - their incomes won't be taken into consideration in my application will they?

    also is there any help with commuting costs? or perhaps grants for healthcare courses?

    thanks
    ellie
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    (Original post by elpalm)
    i am hoping to start diagnostic radiography in london in september, i am 28 and having been working since i was 20 bar a gap year in 2014. i live at home with my mum and brother - their incomes won't be taken into consideration in my application will they?

    also is there any help with commuting costs? or perhaps grants for healthcare courses?

    thanks
    ellie
    Dear Ellie

    As you are over 25 and based on your circumstances as outlined you would be assessed as an independent student and your mum and brothers income would not be required.

    Student Finance can provide funding for Tuition Fees and a maintenance loan to assist with living costs - additional funding may also be available through the NHS.
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    if i have a child but i am under the age of 25 but live with my parents would i be classed as an independent student?
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    (Original post by trustworthyguy)
    if i have a child but i am under the age of 25 but live with my parents would i be classed as an independent student?
    Hi,

    An independent student can be someone who:

    • has care of a child on the first day of the academic year

    As you fall into this category you would be assessed as independent.
    We would require evidence to show you have a dependent child, which would be a copy of the child's birth certificate, and the most recent Tax Credit Award Notice/Child Benefit Letter/Universal Credit Letter.

    Thank you,
    Courtney
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    That's the end of the chat - thanks to Neil and Courtney for their help!
 
 
 
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