Doctoal Loan Payments spread over 4 years for 3 year degree Watch

Denverlady
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I have successfully been able to apply for my doctoral loan online and now have a payment schedule available to view online. However, the payments are spread out over four years instead of three.

When I selected my course from the drop down list during the application process, it only listed my degree as a four year (full time) or seven year (part time) option. There was no three year option. My degree only takes three years, four years is the longest time in which people have to complete, giving students an extra year to complete should they need it, but the university requires students to go through an application and review process if they wish to extend their degree to four years and they have to have strong justifiable reasons to extend to this extra year.

Money is tight for me and every penny counts. I can't really afford to miss out on a quarter of the doctoral loan because it will only be paid if I take an extra year to complete my degree, is there anyway for this to be changed? More concerning is that I won't be able to afford the first tuition payment when it is due because the student loan as it is currently split ,gives me a first payment that is less than my first tuition bill.

The payment schedule doesn't seem to be very well thought through, I need a lot of money up front to pay tuition and settle in my new university town, dividing the payments as they are currently set out makes it impossible for me to afford to pay tuition, let alone pay for other initial costs.
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PQ
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The university determines the length of your course. It’s likely that your course starts in the autumn. If it lasts for 3 calendar years from your start date then that spans 4 academic years (because the academic year starts on 1 August). Which is why your university likely lists the course as 4 years on student finance.

Speak to your university about your concerns - they might have some different payment plans available for fees if you have a doctoral loan.
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SFE Tegan
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Hi,

We'd recommend that you contact us over Facebook or Twitter regarding this so that we can check your account.

Thanks, Tégan
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Denverlady
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(Original post by SFE Tegan)
Hi,

We'd recommend that you contact us over Facebook or Twitter regarding this so that we can check your account.

Thanks, Tégan
I don’t use social media, is there an email address I can use to get in touch?
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Denverlady
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(Original post by PQ)
The university determines the length of your course. It’s likely that your course starts in the autumn. If it lasts for 3 calendar years from your start date then that spans 4 academic years (because the academic year starts on 1 August). Which is why your university likely lists the course as 4 years on student finance.

Speak to your university about your concerns - they might have some different payment plans available for fees if you have a doctoral loan.
According to the university it is 3 years. The maximum time someone can take is 4 years and the process to go through to get the fourth year is complicated and only authorised in exceptional circumstances, for example a medical situation. They only have two payment plans for graduate students; the full year up front, or two payments, one in the first week of October and the second in mid January. There is no tuition payment in the third term.

In any case, my concern is also about missing out on a quarter of the loan because I’ll graduate in three years and then won’t be able to use the money that student finance set aside for the non existent fourth year.
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SFE Tegan
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Hi,

We don't have an email address for general queries. I would recommend you call us on 0300 100 0031.

Thanks, Tégan
(Original post by Denverlady)
I don’t use social media, is there an email address I can use to get in touch?
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Denverlady
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I can't call as I am out of the country until mid August and have no way of making an international call. It would be really helpful if SFE offered an email address for us oldies who don't use social media, besides, it can't be easy to verify someone's identity on social media when anyone could make a profile pretending to be someone else (this is one reason why I don't do it), whereas communicating with the email address SFE has on record for a particular person is a little more secure. If I had the ability to call I wouldn't have posted on this forum in the first place. This is a serious accessibility issue, particularly for individuals with special needs.
(Original post by SFE Tegan)
Hi,

We don't have an email address for general queries. I would recommend you call us on 0300 100 0031.

Thanks, Tégan
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PQ
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(Original post by Denverlady)
According to the university it is 3 years. The maximum time someone can take is 4 years and the process to go through to get the fourth year is complicated and only authorised in exceptional circumstances, for example a medical situation. They only have two payment plans for graduate students; the full year up front, or two payments, one in the first week of October and the second in mid January. There is no tuition payment in the third term.

In any case, my concern is also about missing out on a quarter of the loan because I’ll graduate in three years and then won’t be able to use the money that student finance set aside for the non existent fourth year.
I understand that. My point is that a course that’s 3 calendar years starting in September 2019 will span 4 ACADEMIC/FUNDING years (2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22 and the first 2 months of 2022/23). That’s why the course is listed as 4 years on the SFE website. If you applied for approval to take 4 calendar years then the course would span 5 academic years. Unless the course starts on August 1st then a PhD course will always span into an extra academic year.

Unless you complete the course in less than 35 months then you’ll get the final year loan instalments as you’ll have to enrol in the 2022/23 academic year for your final submission/award. But if you’re concerned then speak to the student records team at the university. Doctoral loans are new and they might not have realised that the course dates they provide to SFE results in the payment pattern you have received. If it was unintentional then they can adjust the term dates provided to SFE.
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Denverlady
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The end of the year for final year for Phd students in June, in time for graduation.
(Original post by PQ)
I understand that. My point is that a course that’s 3 calendar years starting in September 2019 will span 4 ACADEMIC/FUNDING years (2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22 and the first 2 months of 2022/23). That’s why the course is listed as 4 years on the SFE website. If you applied for approval to take 4 calendar years then the course would span 5 academic years. Unless the course starts on August 1st then a PhD course will always span into an extra academic year.

Unless you complete the course in less than 35 months then you’ll get the final year loan instalments as you’ll have to enrol in the 2022/23 academic year for your final submission/award. But if you’re concerned then speak to the student records team at the university. Doctoral loans are new and they might not have realised that the course dates they provide to SFE results in the payment pattern you have received. If it was unintentional then they can adjust the term dates provided to SFE.
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PQ
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(Original post by Denverlady)
The end of the year for final year for Phd students in June, in time for graduation.
Then that isn’t a 3 yr/36 month course and you definitely need to speak to the student records team about your payment schedule extending into 2022/23.
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Denverlady
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(Original post by PQ)
Then that isn’t a 3 yr/36 month course and you definitely need to speak to the student records team about your payment schedule extending into 2022/23.
It is a three year course. Students are expected to take the summer off, not work all year round. I’ll graduate in June 2022.
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PQ
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(Original post by Denverlady)
It is a three year course. Students are expected to take the summer off, not work all year round. I’ll graduate in June 2022.
If you will complete the course in June 2022 then you should not have scheduled payments in the 2022/23 academic year (which starts on August 1 2022).

Contact the university student records team and let them know that your course dates are incorrect on student finance.

It’s an unusual PhD if you get the summers off and complete within 33-34 months
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Denverlady
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(Original post by PQ)
If you will complete the course in June 2022 then you should not have scheduled payments in the 2022/23 academic year (which starts on August 1 2022).

Contact the university student records team and let them know that your course dates are incorrect on student finance.

It’s an unusual PhD if you get the summers off and complete within 33-34 months
This is what I’m trying to sort out because SFE only gives the four year or seven year option. Four years is the absolute longest time someone can take when studying full time, for example if something goes wrong and they need extra time to finish. It’s not normal and requires students to apply for the extension and demonstrate extenuating circumstances.

Students are required to take time off by my institution firstly because they legally need to take time off and aren’t expected to work 52 weeks of the year, typically they expect students to take the summer off because faculty are less likely to be around during this time.

This seems to be a SFE issue, not an issue with the university, my admissions paperwork from the university has all the correct dates and explanation of the four year max situation.
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PQ
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(Original post by Denverlady)
This is what I’m trying to sort out because SFE only gives the four year or seven year option. Four years is the absolute longest time someone can take when studying full time, for example if something goes wrong and they need extra time to finish. It’s not normal and requires students to apply for the extension and demonstrate extenuating circumstances.

Students are required to take time off by my institution firstly because they legally need to take time off and aren’t expected to work 52 weeks of the year, typically they expect students to take the summer off because faculty are less likely to be around during this time.

This seems to be a SFE issue, not an issue with the university, my admissions paperwork from the university has all the correct dates and explanation of the four year max situation.
The dates and years on SFE are the dates and years that the student records team at your university has provided them. If they need corrections then that’s the responsibility of the university.
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SFE Erin N
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Hello,

We schedule payments according to the length of the course provided by you university; these are set by the payment system so can’t be altered. If your course is normally 3 years long then we’d need your university to update the course details on our database; once we receive this we’ll be able to update the payment instalments.

Thanks, Erin N.
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