Will I be able to attain Student Finance funding for the remainder of my degree?

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Katie_Ariana
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Hi,

I have a complex set of circumstances with regards to my university study and have been asked by my School to consult regarding my ability to receive further funding from Student Finance.

I was due to start my degree in September 2015, but due to the decline of the terminal illness of my mother, I had to postpone for a year to more actively participate in assisting my dad to care for her at home.

Unfortunately, I had to postpone my studies again in January 2018 due to a very serious health issue of my own, which has led to chronic toxicity and ongoing loss of facial tissue and therefore will now need to to postpone again until January 2021. I am currently doing everything I can (including paying considerable money to see consultants privately) to see that this gets resolved as soon as possible.

This is further complicated by the fact that I changed my degree course from German and Politics to German and Italian after year 1 of my studies, meaning that I was repeating the first year of study to incorporate Italian.

Therefore in total I will have already used my grace year to repeat this year due to decision with my School to repeat the first year.

However, I am hoping that the small amount of funding that I received in 2015 will not be counted due to these Compelling Personal Reasons (i.e. caring for my mother). I have all the documents relating to my mother's illness and my caring for her, as well as my illness, so I am hoping that Student Finance will approve of this being used as Compelling Personal Reasons.

In that case, I will have used 1 grace year.

My question therefore is, would I be able to apply for the funding to complete my degree i.e. the remaining 3 years (which includes the study abroad year which is compulsory to my programme)?

In order to understand this better, please see the timeline outlined below:

2015-2016: I was due to start my studies, but due to the deterioration of my mother's terminal illness, I had to postpone to aid my father in caring for her
2016-2017: Completed first year of studies (German and Politics)
September 2017-January 2018: Completed one semester of German and Italian
January 2018: Postponed studies due to health reasons
January 2021: Due to resume second semester of second year of degree
September 2021: Due to participate in Study Abroad year
September 2022: Due to complete final year of Study

As stated, this would leave me with the grace year being 2017-2018, providing that my compelling personal reasons for 2015-2016 are accepted by Student Finance.

My question is, would it still be possible for me to potentially receive Student Finance funding for the remaining 3 years of study (including the year abroad)? I am unsure whether the year abroad is usually counted within the normal funding system anyway?
Last edited by Katie_Ariana; 10 months ago
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Claire SFE
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(Original post by Katie_Ariana)
Hi,

I have a complex set of circumstances with regards to my university study and have been asked by my School to consult regarding my ability to receive further funding from Student Finance.

I was due to start my degree in September 2015, but due to the decline of the terminal illness of my mother, I had to postpone for a year to more actively participate in assisting my dad to care for her at home.

Unfortunately, I had to postpone my studies again in January 2018 due to a very serious health issue of my own, which has led to chronic toxicity and ongoing loss of facial tissue and therefore will now need to to postpone again until January 2021. I am currently doing everything I can (including paying considerable money to see consultants privately) to see that this gets resolved as soon as possible.

This is further complicated by the fact that I changed my degree course from German and Politics to German and Italian after year 1 of my studies, meaning that I was repeating the first year of study to incorporate Italian.

Therefore in total I will have already used my grace year to repeat this year due to decision with my School to repeat the first year.

However, I am hoping that the small amount of funding that I received in 2015 will not be counted due to these Compelling Personal Reasons (i.e. caring for my mother). I have all the documents relating to my mother's illness and my caring for her, as well as my illness, so I am hoping that Student Finance will approve of this being used as Compelling Personal Reasons.

In that case, I will have used 1 grace year.

My question therefore is, would I be able to apply for the funding to complete my degree i.e. the remaining 3 years (which includes the study abroad year which is compulsory to my programme)?

In order to understand this better, please see the timeline outlined below:

2015-2016: I was due to start my studies, but due to the deterioration of my mother's terminal illness, I had to postpone to aid my father in caring for her
2016-2017: Completed first year of studies (German and Politics)
September 2017-January 2018: Completed one semester of German and Italian
January 2018: Postponed studies due to health reasons
January 2021: Due to resume second semester of second year of degree
September 2021: Due to participate in Study Abroad year
September 2022: Due to complete final year of Study

As stated, this would leave me with the grace year being 2017-2018, providing that my compelling personal reasons for 2015-2016 are accepted by Student Finance.

My question is, would it still be possible for me to potentially receive Student Finance funding for the remaining 3 years of study (including the year abroad)? I am unsure whether the year abroad is usually counted within the normal funding system anyway?
Hi there,

we can't confirm for definite if you will be awarded funding but we would advise you to apply and send evidence of the Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR) as soon as possible.

The evidence can be a letter from someone in a profession i.e Doctor or Lecturer who knows of the CPR. They would need to confirm they know what the CPR is, how it affected your studies and dates of when it affected you. The letter must be on headed paper signed/stamped and dated. Once received it would be up to the assessor if they're happy to accept it.

Thanks,
Claire
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Katie_Ariana
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(Original post by Claire SFE)
Hi there,

we can't confirm for definite if you will be awarded funding but we would advise you to apply and send evidence of the Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR) as soon as possible.

The evidence can be a letter from someone in a profession i.e Doctor or Lecturer who knows of the CPR. They would need to confirm they know what the CPR is, how it affected your studies and dates of when it affected you. The letter must be on headed paper signed/stamped and dated. Once received it would be up to the assessor if they're happy to accept it.

Thanks,
Claire
Thanks for your reply Claire, has been very helpful.

What I'm also asking is: will the year abroad affect this in any way? i.e. is the year abroad counted as a person's gift year (i.e. it's included in the calculations with regards to funding and may influence how much funding a person who has already used a gift year is eligible for) is it counted separately?

Many thanks.
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Erin SFE
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(Original post by Katie_Ariana)
Thanks for your reply Claire, has been very helpful.

What I'm also asking is: will the year abroad affect this in any way? i.e. is the year abroad counted as a person's gift year (i.e. it's included in the calculations with regards to funding and may influence how much funding a person who has already used a gift year is eligible for) is it counted separately?

Many thanks.
Hi there,

Yes the year abroad is used in the calculation the same as other years of funding.

Thanks, Erin
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Katie_Ariana
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(Original post by Erin SFE)
Hi there,

Yes the year abroad is used in the calculation the same as other years of funding.

Thanks, Erin
Hi, thanks for the reply. What I'm trying to ask if: if a student is usually entitled to 3 years of funding, is the year abroad counted as their gift year or as an extra year of SF funding due it being a compulsory part of some degrees? i.e. does my year abroad complicate things in the sense that, having used my gift year, the year abroad will mean that I will now no longer be eligible for the final year of Student Finance funding?

If students are doing a compulsory 4 year degree (due to the compulsory year abroad) instead of 3 years, is the gift year then permitted in addition to the 4 years as opposed to the 3?
Last edited by Katie_Ariana; 10 months ago
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Jen SFE
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(Original post by Katie_Ariana)
Hi, thanks for the reply. What I'm trying to ask if: if a student is usually entitled to 3 years of funding, is the year abroad counted as their gift year or as an extra year of SF funding due it being a compulsory part of some degrees? i.e. does my year abroad complicate things in the sense that, having used my gift year, the year abroad will mean that I will now no longer be eligible for the final year of Student Finance funding?

If students are doing a compulsory 4 year degree (due to the compulsory year abroad) instead of 3 years, is the gift year then permitted in addition to the 4 years as opposed to the 3?
Hi Katie,

Yes, we would incorporate this into your previous study calculation. To give you an idea, the rule regarding previous study states that students are entitled to the ordinary duration of their course plus 1 additional year, minus any previous study, for e.g. 3 + 1 - 2 = 2 years remaining entitlement. New Course + Additional Year (awarded for possible repeats or transfers) – Previous Study = Entitlement.

Thanks, Jen
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Katie_Ariana
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(Original post by Jen SFE)
Hi Katie,

Yes, we would incorporate this into your previous study calculation. To give you an idea, the rule regarding previous study states that students are entitled to the ordinary duration of their course plus 1 additional year, minus any previous study, for e.g. 3 + 1 - 2 = 2 years remaining entitlement. New Course + Additional Year (awarded for possible repeats or transfers) – Previous Study = Entitlement.

Thanks, Jen
Hi Jen,

Thanks for the helpful reply. So as my course was always 4 years long (due to the compulsory year abroad), this year abroad would be factored in as one of the normal years of funding when calculating SF entitlement, and not counted as an extra "gift" year?

My other question is: is it recommended to best include a cover or supplementary letter from an official from my university when applying for Compelling Personal Reasons, or would it suffice to write my own and provide extra evidence (doctor's notes, death certificate etc)?

Many thanks, Sarah
Last edited by Katie_Ariana; 10 months ago
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Amy SFE
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(Original post by Katie_Ariana)
Hi Jen,

Thanks for the helpful reply. So as my course was always 4 years long (due to the compulsory year abroad), this year abroad would be factored in as one of the normal years of funding when calculating SF entitlement, and not counted as an extra "gift" year?

My other question is: is it recommended to best include a cover or supplementary letter from an official from my university when applying for Compelling Personal Reasons, or would it suffice to write my own and provide extra evidence (doctor's notes, death certificate etc)?

Many thanks, Sarah
Hi Sarah,

Yes, if your course includes the year abroad this is included and would not be classed as a gift year.

You should send us a letter detailing your reasons for leaving your course, along with any evidence of your mitigating circumstances. Where you can, the evidence (signed and dated) should confirm your reason, when it took place and how it negatively impacted your ability to study.

The evidence can include:

- Medical evidence from a GP on headed paper
- Letter from HEP on headed paper
- Letter from Social Services on headed paper
- Letter from clergy or professional person on headed paper
- Death Certificate and/or a Birth Certificate.

This list is not exhaustive and any evidence that can support your claim should be sent to us for consideration. In some circumstances one piece of evidence may not be sufficient, so please send us as much evidence as possible. You can send photocopies of all evidence.


Thanks, Amy
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Katie_Ariana
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(Original post by Amy SFE)
Hi Sarah,

Yes, if your course includes the year abroad this is included and would not be classed as a gift year.

You should send us a letter detailing your reasons for leaving your course, along with any evidence of your mitigating circumstances. Where you can, the evidence (signed and dated) should confirm your reason, when it took place and how it negatively impacted your ability to study.

The evidence can include:

- Medical evidence from a GP on headed paper
- Letter from HEP on headed paper
- Letter from Social Services on headed paper
- Letter from clergy or professional person on headed paper
- Death Certificate and/or a Birth Certificate.

This list is not exhaustive and any evidence that can support your claim should be sent to us for consideration. In some circumstances one piece of evidence may not be sufficient, so please send us as much evidence as possible. You can send photocopies of all evidence.


Thanks, Amy
Thank you.

As one of the pieces of evidence, I have an email from my previous employer with company header and footer regarding how my illness affected me in work and how it caused me to have to drop my hours right down.

- Would this headed e-mail suffice, or must I sent an actual physical letter addressed to student finance?

I also have doctors notes and consultant appointment letters from that time.

- Would these also be suitable or must I contact the doctors and ask them to write a letter specifically addressed to student finance?

I am currently unable to physically go into my university due to Coronavirus and it is on very minimal staff, so if I am unable to attain a letter from the university, may the other evidence suffice, or is it highly recommended in most circumstances to include a university covering letter?

Thank you very much.
Last edited by Katie_Ariana; 9 months ago
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by Katie_Ariana)
Thank you.

As one of the pieces of evidence, I have an email from my previous employer with company header and footer regarding how my illness affected me in work and how it caused me to have to drop my hours right down.

- Would this headed e-mail suffice, or must I sent an actual physical letter addressed to student finance?

I also have doctors notes and consultant appointment letters from that time.

- Would these also be suitable or must I contact the doctors and ask them to write a letter specifically addressed to student finance?

I am currently unable to physically go into my university due to Coronavirus and it is on very minimal staff, so if I am unable to attain a letter from the university, may the other evidence suffice, or is it highly recommended in most circumstances to include a university covering letter?

Thank you very much.
Hi Katie, apologies for the delay in responding.
You can view guidance on the evidence here http://ow.ly/MsMM30pjjOm - I do advise you to send the actual physical letter instead of the email as it should be professional and on letter headed paper.

You don’t need to include a university letter but it’s best to send as much evidence as possible. Perhaps if you ask your university to email you a letter and then print this out to include with your evidence.
Thanks, Isaac.
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