The Student Room Group

How does it work?! Mature students…

So… I’ve recently been speaking to some mature students who tell me that they have had really generous financial support through SFE for their courses… I feel too embarrassed to ask how?!

I would love to continue in education but financially it’s not viable. I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia so I’m wondering if this may enable me to be eligible for some extra financial support? And if not what other options are there?!

Any help or advice would be much appreciated x
Reply 1
Are they just referring to maintenance loans? I’m pretty sure anyone is eligible for that as long as you earn below a certain amount (which is pretty high).

Also for certain NHS courses you can get bursaries which don’t need to be paid back. £5000 a year if you don’t have children and £7000 with children.

I hope that helps? Definitely worth checking out the Student Finance site x
Reply 2
I would also like to know as I am a mature student however within universities you can also get bursaries which is extra financial help with people with health conditions, each uni is different so have a look around :smile: Check the gov website on funding students in education
Original post by Indigo~Blue
So… I’ve recently been speaking to some mature students who tell me that they have had really generous financial support through SFE for their courses… I feel too embarrassed to ask how?!

I would love to continue in education but financially it’s not viable. I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia so I’m wondering if this may enable me to be eligible for some extra financial support? And if not what other options are there?!

Any help or advice would be much appreciated x

If you haven't previously studied at university level then usually you will be entitled to a full tuition fee loan (paid directly to your university) and also a means tested maintenance loan (paid to your bank account). You can apply to Student Finance England/Wales/NI for this.

I suspect mature students saying they had "generous" support from SFE probably reflects that SFE considers all applicants over the age of 25 to be independent students and therefore do not means test the maintenance loan based on parental income (only unearned income of the student). So many end up being eligible for the maximum maintenance loan then (but may not have been before). This was the case for me.

If you have a disability or other condition that could affect your studies, you should also apply for Disabled Student's Allowance. You will then have a "Needs Assessment" with your uni where they will look to see what adjustments you need to accommodate your condition (which can range from e.g. extra time, to specialist equipment and support). The DSA is used to pay for these adjustments. Note though you aren't paid DSA directly to your bank like with the maintenance loan - it just means you don't have to pay for those things and the uni sorts it out with SFE. You can also get a discounted laptop if you are entitled to DSA. You also apply for this through Student Finance England/Wales/NI (although it's a separate application).

Also most unis have additional bursaries available for those from low income backgrounds. Most also have student hardship/support funds which can provide smaller and/or temporary amounts of money for students in financial crisis and at risk (those funds aren't suitable for long term financial shortfalls though).

As noted above some courses also have specific additional/alternate funding arrangements (mostly NHS related ones). Note though funding arrangements for Scottish students studying in Scotland are different and run through SAAS.
(edited 2 months ago)

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