Overchipped
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Hi

I started an Open University course at full time intensity about five months ago in April of this year as part of the 2019/20 academic year, with an expectation of undertaking four modules over twelve months. I will now be restarting that first academic year in October as I did not do well on the first two modules.

I will now be starting four modules over the period of twelve months at full time velocity starting in October which I understand will be part of the 2020/21 academic year.

Can I ask how I have impacted my entitlement for funding, will those two modules be considered as having used the "gift year" where funding will still be available for the following academic years (the course is a typical three year course).

Thanks in advance,

Ben
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Overchipped
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I would add that the course I was undertaking with the Open University was Computing and IT.
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by Overchipped)
Hi

I started an Open University course at full time intensity about five months ago in April of this year as part of the 2019/20 academic year, with an expectation of undertaking four modules over twelve months. I will now be restarting that first academic year in October as I did not do well on the first two modules.

I will now be starting four modules over the period of twelve months at full time velocity starting in October which I understand will be part of the 2020/21 academic year.

Can I ask how I have impacted my entitlement for funding, will those two modules be considered as having used the "gift year" where funding will still be available for the following academic years (the course is a typical three year course).

Thanks in advance,

Ben
(Original post by Overchipped)
I would add that the course I was undertaking with the Open University was Computing and IT.
Hi, part time applicants can have up to a maximum of 16 years part time support if they:
- Complete the course within 4 times the length of the full time equivalent (FTE); and
- Study at an intensity of at least 25% in each academic year and for the overall course


So you will still be funded.

If your first course started in April 2020 then this course academic year doesn't end until March 2021 so we will still class you as being on the April intake if you are a continuing student.
Thanks, Isaac
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Overchipped
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Hi Isaac,

Thank your for the reply. Can I clarify your response as I am a little confused. If I am considered to be part of the April 2019/20 intake then does that mean that the first two Year 1 modules I take in October 2020 would be considered part of that first academic year, but the second two Year 1 modules I take in April would be considered part of the next academic year, which would require a seperate application - that application would then cover two Year 2 modules in October 2021 - I am trying to figure out what the implications are for the Open University modules that effectively overlap seperate academic years for the purposes of finance.

Thanks,

Ben
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Overchipped
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(Original post by Overchipped)
Hi Isaac,

Thank your for the reply. Can I clarify your response as I am a little confused. If I am considered to be part of the April 2019/20 intake then does that mean that the first two Year 1 modules I take in October 2020 would be considered part of that first academic year, but the second two Year 1 modules I take in April would be considered part of the next academic year, which would require a seperate application - that application would then cover two Year 2 modules in October 2021 - I am trying to figure out what the implications are for the Open University modules that effectively overlap seperate academic years for the purposes of finance.

Thanks,

Ben
Hi Isaac,

I have attached my intended study pattern below. I have assessment banked some credit from the modules that I already attempted; however when asking to register onto that module (there are limited places available and the assessment banking must be used with 13 months), it states that I have exceeded my maximum number of units available for that academic year. Given that I have already applied for student finance for the new academic year 2020/21 - is it not possible to request that I be classed as part of the September 2020/21 cohort as this would allow me to study the modules for the first year in the correct order and without losing the assessment banking credits. I except that this would mean I would likely lose entitlement to the remainder of support available from that first academic year.

Thanks,

Ben

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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by Overchipped)
Hi Isaac,

Thank your for the reply. Can I clarify your response as I am a little confused. If I am considered to be part of the April 2019/20 intake then does that mean that the first two Year 1 modules I take in October 2020 would be considered part of that first academic year, but the second two Year 1 modules I take in April would be considered part of the next academic year, which would require a seperate application - that application would then cover two Year 2 modules in October 2021 - I am trying to figure out what the implications are for the Open University modules that effectively overlap seperate academic years for the purposes of finance.

Thanks,

Ben
(Original post by Overchipped)
Hi Isaac,

I have attached my intended study pattern below. I have assessment banked some credit from the modules that I already attempted; however when asking to register onto that module (there are limited places available and the assessment banking must be used with 13 months), it states that I have exceeded my maximum number of units available for that academic year. Given that I have already applied for student finance for the new academic year 2020/21 - is it not possible to request that I be classed as part of the September 2020/21 cohort as this would allow me to study the modules for the first year in the correct order and without losing the assessment banking credits. I except that this would mean I would likely lose entitlement to the remainder of support available from that first academic year.

Thanks,

Ben

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Hi, it's not possible for returning applicants to change intake. Your 2019/20 academic year does not end until March next year so the only way we will class you as starting in September is if you were a new applicant. Your application can be approved for September but our assessors should keep the payment schedule the same as if you were starting in April.

You can add more modules in your first year and the OU can request to increase the fee.
Thanks, Isaac
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Maximum amount of loans for living costs: eligible part-time students with full entitlement

157G.—(1) Subject to Chapters 3 and 4 of this Part and paragraph (5), the maximum amount of loan for living costs for which an eligible part-time student with full entitlement qualifies in respect of an academic year of a designated part-time course is equal to—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

X is—
(a)

for a student in category A, £7,324;
(b)

for a student in category B, £11,354;
(c)

for a student in category C, £9,963;
(d)

for a student in category D, £8,700; and

Y is—
(a)

for a student in category A, £1 for every complete £8.10 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000;
(b)

for a student in category B, £1 for every complete £7.87 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000;
(c)

for a student in category C, £1 for every complete £7.93 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000;
(d)

for a student in category D, £1 for every complete £8.01 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), the maximum amount of loan for living costs calculated in accordance with paragraph (1) is made up of—

(a)a special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3); and

(b)a maintenance loan.

(3) The amount of special support loan is—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

Z is £3,680.

(4) Where the amount of special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3) is equal to or higher than the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1)—

(a)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is made up of a special support loan only; and

(b)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is equal to the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1).

(5) Where the maximum amount of loan for living costs is calculated in accordance with paragraph (1) and is less than the minimum level for the academic year specified in regulation 157J, the minimum level for the academic year is payable.
Maximum amount of loans for living costs: eligible part-time students with reduced entitlement

157H.—(1) Subject to Chapters 3 and 4 of this Part, the maximum amount of loan for living costs for which an eligible part-time student with reduced entitlement qualifies in respect of an academic year of a designated part-time course is equal to—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

B is —
(a)

for a student in category A, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(i);
(b)

for a student in category B, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(ii);
(c)

for a student in category C, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(iii);
(d)

for a student in category D, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(iv).

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), the maximum amount of loan for living costs which is calculated in accordance with paragraph (1) is made up of—

(a)a special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3); and

(b)a maintenance loan.

(3) The amount of special support loan is—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

Z is £3,680.

(4) Where the amount of special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3) is equal to or higher than the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1)—

(a)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is made up of a special support loan only; and

(b)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is equal to the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1).
Calculation of household income and residual income

157I.—(1) For the purposes of regulation 157G, an eligible part-time student’s household income is assessed in accordance with Schedule 6.

(2) The Secretary of State may require an eligible part-time student to provide from time to time such information as the Secretary of State considers necessary as to the income of any person whose means are relevant to the assessment of the student’s household income.
Minimum level of loan for living costs for part-time courses

157J.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), for an eligible part-time student with full entitlement, the “minimum level for the academic year” in regulation 157G is equal to—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

B is
(a)

£3,224 in the case of a student in category A;
(b)

£5,654 in the case of a student in category B;
(c)

£4,816 in the case of a student in category C;
(d)

£4,054 in the case of a student in category D.

(2) Where different categories apply for different quarters of the academic year, the minimum level in paragraph (1) is the aggregate of the amounts determined under paragraph (3) for each of the quarters in respect of which a loan is payable.

(3) The amount determined for each quarter is one third of the amount in paragraph (1) which corresponds to the rate applicable for the quarter.

(4) The rate applicable for a quarter is determined in accordance with regulation 157L.
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Overchipped
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(Original post by Overchipped)
Maximum amount of loans for living costs: eligible part-time students with full entitlement

157G.—(1) Subject to Chapters 3 and 4 of this Part and paragraph (5), the maximum amount of loan for living costs for which an eligible part-time student with full entitlement qualifies in respect of an academic year of a designated part-time course is equal to—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

X is—
(a)

for a student in category A, £7,324;
(b)

for a student in category B, £11,354;
(c)

for a student in category C, £9,963;
(d)

for a student in category D, £8,700; and

Y is—
(a)

for a student in category A, £1 for every complete £8.10 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000;
(b)

for a student in category B, £1 for every complete £7.87 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000;
(c)

for a student in category C, £1 for every complete £7.93 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000;
(d)

for a student in category D, £1 for every complete £8.01 by which the student’s household income exceeds £25,000.

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), the maximum amount of loan for living costs calculated in accordance with paragraph (1) is made up of—

(a)a special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3); and

(b)a maintenance loan.

(3) The amount of special support loan is—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

Z is £3,680.

(4) Where the amount of special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3) is equal to or higher than the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1)—

(a)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is made up of a special support loan only; and

(b)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is equal to the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1).

(5) Where the maximum amount of loan for living costs is calculated in accordance with paragraph (1) and is less than the minimum level for the academic year specified in regulation 157J, the minimum level for the academic year is payable.
Maximum amount of loans for living costs: eligible part-time students with reduced entitlement

157H.—(1) Subject to Chapters 3 and 4 of this Part, the maximum amount of loan for living costs for which an eligible part-time student with reduced entitlement qualifies in respect of an academic year of a designated part-time course is equal to—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

B is —
(a)

for a student in category A, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(i);
(b)

for a student in category B, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(ii);
(c)

for a student in category C, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(iii);
(d)

for a student in category D, the amount in regulation 80(1)(f)(iv).

(2) Subject to paragraph (4), the maximum amount of loan for living costs which is calculated in accordance with paragraph (1) is made up of—

(a)a special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3); and

(b)a maintenance loan.

(3) The amount of special support loan is—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

Z is £3,680.

(4) Where the amount of special support loan calculated in accordance with paragraph (3) is equal to or higher than the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1)—

(a)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is made up of a special support loan only; and

(b)the maximum amount of loan for living costs is equal to the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (1).
Calculation of household income and residual income

157I.—(1) For the purposes of regulation 157G, an eligible part-time student’s household income is assessed in accordance with Schedule 6.

(2) The Secretary of State may require an eligible part-time student to provide from time to time such information as the Secretary of State considers necessary as to the income of any person whose means are relevant to the assessment of the student’s household income.
Minimum level of loan for living costs for part-time courses

157J.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), for an eligible part-time student with full entitlement, the “minimum level for the academic year” in regulation 157G is equal to—

where—

A is the relevant intensity of study; and

B is
(a)

£3,224 in the case of a student in category A;
(b)

£5,654 in the case of a student in category B;
(c)

£4,816 in the case of a student in category C;
(d)

£4,054 in the case of a student in category D.

(2) Where different categories apply for different quarters of the academic year, the minimum level in paragraph (1) is the aggregate of the amounts determined under paragraph (3) for each of the quarters in respect of which a loan is payable.

(3) The amount determined for each quarter is one third of the amount in paragraph (1) which corresponds to the rate applicable for the quarter.

(4) The rate applicable for a quarter is determined in accordance with regulation 157L.
Hi Isaac, thank you for your response. I was told that support for part time students to the special support loan did not exist. However, upon looking up the legislation above, it would seem that given that I am considered to be a student with full entitlement who is attending a distance learning course due to a disability; then entitlement would be made up of both the maintenance loan AND the special support loan.

I am currently entitlted to the PIP component specified in the legislation which I understand would make me eligible for the special support loan based on the calculation of study intensity. Please can you confirm this for me before I send my documentation in to the SFE office with the relevant legislation. It might simply be that I was told incorrect information and so having not provided my PIP award letter was therefore not assessed for the special support loan component and it is simply a case of needing to send this in.

Best regards,

Ben
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by Overchipped)
Hi Isaac, thank you for your response. I was told that support for part time students to the special support loan did not exist. However, upon looking up the legislation above, it would seem that given that I am considered to be a student with full entitlement who is attending a distance learning course due to a disability; then entitlement would be made up of both the maintenance loan AND the special support loan.

I am currently entitlted to the PIP component specified in the legislation which I understand would make me eligible for the special support loan based on the calculation of study intensity. Please can you confirm this for me before I send my documentation in to the SFE office with the relevant legislation. It might simply be that I was told incorrect information and so having not provided my PIP award letter was therefore not assessed for the special support loan component and it is simply a case of needing to send this in.

Best regards,

Ben
Part time applicants can not apply for the special support element of the loan, they can apply for a Maintenance Loan though.

The full list of evidence required:
-Medical evidence from your GP and/or Consultant confirming that the your condition prevents you from travelling to/from your university and physically attending your university.
-Evidence (this could be emails/correspondence between the yourself and different universities) detailing that you have had discussions with different universities about the facilities available or accessibility as well as why the universities cannot accommodate the your requirements/needs.
-Written confirmation from yourself on how your condition impacts your day-to-day life.

-Evidence from yourself showing how you support yourself financially i.e. benefits/employment.

Thanks, Isaac
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Overchipped
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Hi Isaac,

I have started a new thread on this topic because of the importance of this issue, it's important that SFE answers reflect their confirming within the legislative framework quoted above - I don't believe this has necessarily happened given your response and I believe that there is a sufficient public interest in these answers that a clear response to this question can be observed for the benefit of other students.

Regards,

Ben
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by Overchipped)
Hi Isaac,

I have started a new thread on this topic because of the importance of this issue, it's important that SFE answers reflect their confirming within the legislative framework quoted above - I don't believe this has necessarily happened given your response and I believe that there is a sufficient public interest in these answers that a clear response to this question can be observed for the benefit of other students.

Regards,

Ben
Hi, please avoid creating duplicate threads.
Thanks, Isaac
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by Overchipped)
Hi Isaac,

I have started a new thread on this topic because of the importance of this issue, it's important that SFE answers reflect their confirming within the legislative framework quoted above - I don't believe this has necessarily happened given your response and I believe that there is a sufficient public interest in these answers that a clear response to this question can be observed for the benefit of other students.

Regards,

Ben
I have discussed your case with an assessor. I was wrong in my first post, apologies. Part time students can receive the special support element, but it's not separate that you apply for, it is included with the Maintenance Loan.

Part time students who are eligible for benefits have part of their PTML disregarded by the Department for Work and Pensions as student income for maintenance when their benefits are calculated. This is the Special Support Element (SSE), referred to in the Student Support Regulations. The Special Support Element at the 100% FTE rate in AY 20/21 is £3893. The amount of SSE will depend on your intensity of study.
From our Guidance Chapters I found the following paragraph. Please see page 23:

https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/...21-england.pdf

If you require a full breakdown then you can contact us by calling or messaging on Twitter/Facebook
Thanks, Isaac
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