cholyhead
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Please can you help?

I have been accepted to read Law as Aston University from September, however I have been refused funding for the tuition fee's because of previous unsuccessful study. I first studied year1 in 1999 and withdrew due to depression and financial issues and again in 2005 after again only completing 1 year of study. This second withdrawal was due to depression and both times were mainly due to depression and financial hardship.

I was studying Law. In 2009 I attempted to return to do a computer science degree but after starting the course the SLC informed me they wouldn't pay tuition fee's and the university were less than helpful so I had to withdraw mid year 1. Subsequently my depression spiralled and I was hospitalised on a number of occasions with self harm and suicidal behaviour, which eventually lead to a few mental health sections.

In 2019 I attempted to go to University again and got accepted at Aston uni, but the SLC again wouldn't fund my tuition fee's so I didn't start the course.

I am now in a similar position that I have been accepted to read Law at Aston University this September but the SLC will again only pay £0 towards my course and whilst their letter says I am accepted for finance they say I can only receive £4k a year living allowance despite having 2 children now and a mortgage.

I have tried writing to my MP for help and got pushback claiming because they are a private company my MP cannot do anything. The advise was actually just to get a loan, although I don't know how I could ever repay £20k whilst reading Law full time.

I've been waiting for a few months for my GP to give me a letter confirming my medical issues and hospitalisation in 2010 after the SLC refused my funding, but he has now stated he cannot locate the records or anything from 2005 when I was taking a range of different medicines with a different practice and has sent a letter back which is not helpful at all and merely states I have had depression and take anxiety medication.

I really do not know what to do. I feel it is my life ambition is to get my Law degree but I cannot afford £20k in tuition fee's. It is a 3 year course but the SLC have said I can only get funding for year 3 which is the final year. I really feel confident that I could succeed and the only stumbling block is the SLC, please can anyone advise? This has been hanging over me for almost 20 years and I feel without completing my studies I can never move on.
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artful_lounger
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So, in terms of the maintenance loan, the £4k is just the initial amount they approve for everyone as soon as they determine they are eligible, and then those who are eligible for higher amounts (due to lower incomes or having children etc) will be continued to be assessed and then have the amount changed to the higher amount later in the process (usually before the start of the academic year though if you applied early).

In terms of not being eligible for the tuition fee loan, given your prior withdrawals were due to mental health conditions, you may be able to apply for compelling personal reasons (CPR) for these to be eligible for further funding. Normally CPR is only awarded for a single year although I think in principle you can apply for it in multiple years, but it may not be accepted. I would suggest exploring this option - if you are going ahead with that, try and get as much evidence (e.g. doctors letters, admittance/discharge forms for any hospitalizations, anything confirming any particular treatment you had at the time etc) to prove your case, and write a sort of "cover letter" explaining the entire situation and how this evidence demonstrates that.

As an alternative, something else you might want to explore is part-time study. Part-time study funding is calculated separately from full-time study, and so even if you have had prior full-time study, if you didn't earn a qualification you should be eligible for full funding for part-time study. This may require you change your plans on where you might study and otherwise, or might be unfeasible for other reasons, but is definitely worth looking into I think!
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