How do I use the "gift" year from Student Finance?

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TheLostChord
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#1
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#1
I am going to be repeating two modules from my third and what would've been last year and I read online that every student who's using a student loan is entitled to one extra year of financing for any reason but it's not clear to me how I'm supposed to take advantage of this. Do I have to contact them beforehand, is it something that must be done through the student finance website or something else? Does anyone who has experience or just in general know?
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Kelvin080801
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#2
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#2
I’m in the same situation and require a gift year as well I’m also wondering the same thing
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artful_lounger
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#3
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#3
You just apply for finance for the year you are repeating again. They will then assess you and see that you have the "gift year" remaining (it's nothing special, just another year of funding in case you need to retake etc; the term "gift year" is just an informal terminology used to indicate that there is an additional year of funding as well as funding for the length of your degree). Your uni will need to confirm your attendance and so on as usual (like every year you've applied for SFE funding).
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Kelvin080801
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#4
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#4
(Original post by artful_lounger)
You just apply for finance for the year you are repeating again. They will then assess you and see that you have the "gift year" remaining (it's nothing special, just another year of funding in case you need to retake etc; the term "gift year" is just an informal terminology used to indicate that there is an additional year of funding as well as funding for the length of your degree). Your uni will need to confirm your attendance and so on as usual (like every year you've applied for SFE funding).
I see although my uni doesn’t seem to want confirm my attendance for my repeat year will I not be funded because of this?
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artful_lounger
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#5
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(Original post by Kelvin080801)
I see although my uni doesn’t seem to want confirm my attendance for my repeat year will I not be funded because of this?
If they aren't going to confirm your attendance as far as SFE are concerned you aren't going to uni and hence would be ineligible for any funding. They don't just give funding out for students they have no official record are actually attending a uni! If you are going to be attending contact hour activities at the uni, and sitting exams and so on, the uni surely has to confirm your attendance because...you are attending? Unless your uni just lets anyone walk in off the street into the lectures and to register for the exams (the lectures I could see being a possibility, I think some unis have in principle public lectures, but few if any will permit anyone not fully registered and paying tuition fees to sit for exams and receive qualifications from them).
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TheLostChord
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#6
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#6
(Original post by artful_lounger)
You just apply for finance for the year you are repeating again. They will then assess you and see that you have the "gift year" remaining (it's nothing special, just another year of funding in case you need to retake etc; the term "gift year" is just an informal terminology used to indicate that there is an additional year of funding as well as funding for the length of your degree). Your uni will need to confirm your attendance and so on as usual (like every year you've applied for SFE funding).
But how do I apply for an additional year of finance again in my case? That's what I'm wondering.
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artful_lounger
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#7
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#7
(Original post by TheLostChord)
But how do I apply for an additional year of finance again in my case? That's what I'm wondering.
You need to be registered on an actual degree programme, where your uni is going to confirm your attendance, and then you just apply for SFE funding again as a continuing student in exactly the same way as usual.

If you were withdrawn from your programme or graduate (even with an ordinary degree rather than an honours degree) you will not be eligible for funding from SFE normally...
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TheLostChord
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#8
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#8
(Original post by artful_lounger)
You need to be registered on an actual degree programme, where your uni is going to confirm your attendance, and then you just apply for SFE funding again as a continuing student in exactly the same way as usual.

If you were withdrawn from your programme or graduate (even with an ordinary degree rather than an honours degree) you will not be eligible for funding from SFE normally...
I am registered and attending but I don't really remember what the application process was like. I think they used to send out physical letters automatically each year? But now I have to do something myself since it's after the year I was supposed to have graduated?
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artful_lounger
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#9
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#9
(Original post by TheLostChord)
I am registered and attending but I don't really remember what the application process was like. I think they used to send out physical letters automatically each year? But now I have to do something myself since it's after the year I was supposed to have graduated?
You login to the SFE website like you would have to do every single year of your degree...you were never automatically registered for student finance. Did you not apply for student finance every year?

You say it's the year after you were supposed to have graduated - did you complete the degree programme (whether you failed or not)? Has your university mandated that you retake these modules in order to graduate? Were you not studying last year due to an intermission/interruption of studies?

If you previously failed your degree you can't just go back and retake some modules to change that normally, nor can you get funding to do so.
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TheLostChord
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#10
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#10
(Original post by artful_lounger)
You login to the SFE website like you would have to do every single year of your degree...you were never automatically registered for student finance. Did you not apply for student finance every year?

You say it's the year after you were supposed to have graduated - did you complete the degree programme (whether you failed or not)? Has your university mandated that you retake these modules in order to graduate? Were you not studying last year due to an intermission/interruption of studies?

If you previously failed your degree you can't just go back and retake some modules to change that normally, nor can you get funding to do so.
They've mandated that I need to retake these modules in order to graduate. And I did apply but so much has happened since only a year ago that I don't remember the exact things I did when I applied. When I go onto the website I can see the option "Re-apply or start another application" and when I click it there's two options undergraduate and postgraduate. Undergraduate is not clickable and postgraduate is for masters and phd so that's not relevant. I don't know what to do from here..
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artful_lounger
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#11
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#11
(Original post by TheLostChord)
They've mandated that I need to retake these modules in order to graduate. And I did apply but so much has happened since only a year ago that I don't remember the exact things I did when I applied. When I go onto the website I can see the option "Re-apply or start another application" and when I click it there's two options undergraduate and postgraduate. Undergraduate is not clickable and postgraduate is for masters and phd so that's not relevant. I don't know what to do from here..
You will probably need to call SFE then - your situation may require you make a paper application. You would normally click "undergraduate" and re-apply for the same course, selecting the course year as 3 again presumably.
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TheLostChord
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#12
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#12
(Original post by artful_lounger)
You will probably need to call SFE then - your situation may require you make a paper application. You would normally click "undergraduate" and re-apply for the same course, selecting the course year as 3 again presumably.
I see, do you know if they can be contacted via email instead?
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artful_lounger
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#13
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#13
(Original post by TheLostChord)
I see, do you know if they can be contacted via email instead?
Not to my knowledge, however you can contact them by DMing them on Twitter or Facebook (privately) or making a post in this forum on TSR:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=910 (this is public though so don't post any personal details). Both routes are managed by SFE permanent staff at their Darlington HQ I gather
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