The Student Room Group

Part-time Distance-learning Maintenance Loan

Hello,

I plan on studying a part-time distance-learning undergraduate course with The Open University beginning in October 2023. I am in the process of applying for student finance and will be applying for a Maintenance Loan. I would qualify due to a long-term disability, meaning I am unable to attend a university course in-person.

Please can I ask what a GP/health professional must explicitly state in the evidence letter detailing my eligibility? So far I have the following:

1) Unable to travel to/from university
2) Unable to attend university in-person
3) That distance-learning would be my only possible mode of study

Would this be sufficient for my GP evidence letter or is there anything I am missing?

Thanks!
@Sfe (not sure if I need to tag!)
Original post by Watermelon1324
Hello,

I plan on studying a part-time distance-learning undergraduate course with The Open University beginning in October 2023. I am in the process of applying for student finance and will be applying for a Maintenance Loan. I would qualify due to a long-term disability, meaning I am unable to attend a university course in-person.

Please can I ask what a GP/health professional must explicitly state in the evidence letter detailing my eligibility? So far I have the following:

1) Unable to travel to/from university
2) Unable to attend university in-person
3) That distance-learning would be my only possible mode of study

Would this be sufficient for my GP evidence letter or is there anything I am missing?

Thanks!


Hi there, Yes, as long as the evidence covers all of the points it can be used as evidence of Distance Learning being your only study option. Thanks, Angela
Original post by Angela SFE
Hi there, Yes, as long as the evidence covers all of the points it can be used as evidence of Distance Learning being your only study option. Thanks, Angela


Hi Angela, thank you for your reply! I have another question if that's OK

I've applied for a Part-Time Tuition Fee Loan, a Maintenance Loan (pending evidence), and DSA support (pending evidence).

I'm worried that my Tuition-Fee Loan won't be approved before my course start date if I'm still waiting for the Maintenance Loan and DSA evidence in the next week or two.

Can I ask if the Tuition-Fee Loan is approved separately from DSA and the Maintenance Loan? Or are they all contingent on each other? If so, I think I may need to drop my DSA and Maintenance Loan application to give myself the best chance of having the tuition fees sorted before my course start date.

Thanks!
Original post by Watermelon1324
Hi Angela, thank you for your reply! I have another question if that's OK

I've applied for a Part-Time Tuition Fee Loan, a Maintenance Loan (pending evidence), and DSA support (pending evidence).

I'm worried that my Tuition-Fee Loan won't be approved before my course start date if I'm still waiting for the Maintenance Loan and DSA evidence in the next week or two.

Can I ask if the Tuition-Fee Loan is approved separately from DSA and the Maintenance Loan? Or are they all contingent on each other? If so, I think I may need to drop my DSA and Maintenance Loan application to give myself the best chance of having the tuition fees sorted before my course start date.

Thanks!


@Sfe if tag is needed!
Original post by Watermelon1324
Hi Angela, thank you for your reply! I have another question if that's OK

I've applied for a Part-Time Tuition Fee Loan, a Maintenance Loan (pending evidence), and DSA support (pending evidence).

I'm worried that my Tuition-Fee Loan won't be approved before my course start date if I'm still waiting for the Maintenance Loan and DSA evidence in the next week or two.

Can I ask if the Tuition-Fee Loan is approved separately from DSA and the Maintenance Loan? Or are they all contingent on each other? If so, I think I may need to drop my DSA and Maintenance Loan application to give myself the best chance of having the tuition fees sorted before my course start date.

Thanks!

Hi there,

It is separated from DSA however, if we have received evidence for the Maintenance Loan, your application status may change which would prevent the Tuition Fee Loan from being paid out until it is reviewed/approved. Our current timescales are approximately 20 working days from the date the evidence is received, with subject to change depending on our current volumes.

Thanks, Clare
Original post by SFE Clare
Hi there,

It is separated from DSA however, if we have received evidence for the Maintenance Loan, your application status may change which would prevent the Tuition Fee Loan from being paid out until it is reviewed/approved. Our current timescales are approximately 20 working days from the date the evidence is received, with subject to change depending on our current volumes.

Thanks, Clare


Hi Clare, thank you for your response! I'm really grateful that my tuition-fee loan has now been approved :smile:

I've supplied medical evidence and a cover letter for the maintenance loan aspect; however, I've now been asked for evidence on how I support myself. I was a bit confused by this as I've applied for the minimum amount regardless of household income.

Can I ask what the reason would be for needing to supply this evidence?
Original post by Watermelon1324
Hi Clare, thank you for your response! I'm really grateful that my tuition-fee loan has now been approved :smile:

I've supplied medical evidence and a cover letter for the maintenance loan aspect; however, I've now been asked for evidence on how I support myself. I was a bit confused by this as I've applied for the minimum amount regardless of household income.

Can I ask what the reason would be for needing to supply this evidence?

Hi there,

This is because maintenance loan is not awarded for distance learning courses unless students are unable to physically attend a university. So the evidence needed is related to your disability. You would upload a cover letter advising on this for it to be reviewed. Thanks, Jason
Original post by SFE Jason
Hi there,

This is because maintenance loan is not awarded for distance learning courses unless students are unable to physically attend a university. So the evidence needed is related to your disability. You would upload a cover letter advising on this for it to be reviewed. Thanks, Jason

Hi Jason, thank you for the response :smile:
I understand the other pieces of evidence and have submitted these, but was unsure why I needed to evidence how I support myself when I've applied for the minimum amount of maintenance loan. I didn't remember needing to do that when I applied for the minimum amount on a full time course a couple of years ago. It also wasn't on the original request for evidence (this was only a cover letter and medical evidence) and I was emailed about the financial aspect about a week after applying.

I'm happy to supply this information, but in all honesty I'm really worried that "depends on parents and fiancé financially" will harm my application :frown: I had a remote job earlier in the year before being made redundant, and paid rent to the 'rents with this. I'm also living off savings from this job, which are soon running out.

Any insight on that part would be really helpful, thank you :smile:
(edited 8 months ago)
Original post by Watermelon1324
Hi Jason, thank you for the response :smile:
I understand the other pieces of evidence and have submitted these, but was unsure why I needed to evidence how I support myself when I've applied for the minimum amount of maintenance loan. I didn't remember needing to do that when I applied for the minimum amount on a full time course a couple of years ago.

Any insight on that part would be really helpful, thank you :smile:

It's not based on the amount you've applied for it's due to you applying for the distance learning maintenance loan. It's just to outline any details about any current employment or benefits you claim. Thanks, Jason
Original post by SFE Jason
It's not based on the amount you've applied for it's due to you applying for the distance learning maintenance loan. It's just to outline any details about any current employment or benefits you claim. Thanks, Jason

Ahh ok, thank you for clarifying that. I don't claim any benefits or PIP as I've never had the financial need to. I'm really lucky to have found a remote job earlier in the year and to live with parents currently. I guess I just need to bite the bullet as that fact will most likely harm my application :frown:

Thank you for your help, Jason
Original post by Watermelon1324
Ahh ok, thank you for clarifying that. I don't claim any benefits or PIP as I've never had the financial need to. I'm really lucky to have found a remote job earlier in the year and to live with parents currently. I guess I just need to bite the bullet as that fact will most likely harm my application :frown:

Thank you for your help, Jason


If you state this on a cover letter and upload it to your account. Just advising your current situation this will be updated accordingly. Thanks, Jason
Original post by SFE Jason
If you state this on a cover letter and upload it to your account. Just advising your current situation this will be updated accordingly. Thanks, Jason

Hi Jason,

Sorry to come back with another question!

When I originally applied, I was only asked to provide medical evidence and a cover letter. I've now seen some places online state that I need to have contacted a brick and mortar uni and ask for accessible arrangements. I would then need to provide evidence to SFE showing that these accessible arrangements would not be possible.

Is this evidence required? It hasn't been stated on my SFE page or on a call to an advisor. I've emailed the University of Lincoln just in case, and asked if they'd offer their course on a 100% remote basis.

Also, can I ask if the process for maintenance loan applications is identical for returning PT Distance Learning students? As in, next year, would I need to provide a refreshed GP letter, a new cover letter, additional financial support evidence etc.

Thank you for your help :smile:
Original post by Watermelon1324
Hi Jason,

Sorry to come back with another question!

When I originally applied, I was only asked to provide medical evidence and a cover letter. I've now seen some places online state that I need to have contacted a brick and mortar uni and ask for accessible arrangements. I would then need to provide evidence to SFE showing that these accessible arrangements would not be possible.

Is this evidence required? It hasn't been stated on my SFE page or on a call to an advisor. I've emailed the University of Lincoln just in case, and asked if they'd offer their course on a 100% remote basis.

Also, can I ask if the process for maintenance loan applications is identical for returning PT Distance Learning students? As in, next year, would I need to provide a refreshed GP letter, a new cover letter, additional financial support evidence etc.

Thank you for your help :smile:

It does depend so next year they may require this evidence again (an updated GP letter). We can't access accounts on this platform but if you're being asked to submit that evidence from the university I would encourage you to do this. Alternatively, if you do want to contact us via 0300 100 0607 or the live chat in your account we can take a look into this and help you further. Thanks, Jason
Hi Jason,

I hadn't been asked for this evidence specifically, but I have seen it mentioned online a lot. So I wasn't sure if every PTML application requires the evidence of an applicant asking a FT uni about accessible arrangements and being denied
Original post by Watermelon1324
Hi Jason,

I hadn't been asked for this evidence specifically, but I have seen it mentioned online a lot. So I wasn't sure if every PTML application requires the evidence of an applicant asking a FT uni about accessible arrangements and being denied


If you've not been requested then you don't need to send this. Every application is different. Thanks, Jason

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