“I just don’t have enough money.”
We can work through your finances with you to make sure that (a) you’re getting everything you’re entitled to and (b) consider all options to maximise your income. There are so many different potential sources of cash that it’s easy to overlook sometimes - check out our Hardship Funding page for some sources of funding. You may wish to work part-time or have something you no longer use which you can sell. Check out money-saving websites, apps and the NUS Extra to help you save the pennies.
“My loan hasn’t come through yet.”
We have access to a Practitioners’ Help Line at Student Finance England, and we’re always happy to call them on your behalf. Often it’s something small and administrative that can be cleared up quickly. We know that not getting your loan can be stressful and we aim to reduce that stress as far as we can. You can apply for the Emergency Loan via askBU and the Small Emergency Grant. Check out our Hardship Funding page for more information.
“Do I qualify for any benefits?”
The short answer is, in the majority of cases, no. But there are exceptions – most obviously for students with disabilities and students with children – so it’s always worth asking us to investigate for you. If you want to check your entitlement yourself, have look at the Government’s Benefits Adviser. Also, check out the information on the Turn2Us website.
"What happens to my Student Finance if I suspend or withdraw?"
Students are entitled to enough funding to cover the length of their course, plus on year, also known as a gift year. If you have to repeat units from one level twice then you could see yourself run out of tuition fee loan support. You can however continue to receive the Maintenance Loan. As soon as you tell BU you wish to suspend or withdraw, BU will notify SF of your change of circumstances and your funding will be reviewed by SF. Its important that you contact SF to find out exactly how suspending or withdrawing could impact on your finance. It is also important to be aware of the BU Fees Policy to ensure you do not pay more fees than necessary. The Policy can be found on the BU website under the Finance section.
What are Compelling Personal Reasons?
If your studies have been affected by situations or circumstances beyond your control (e.g. bereavement, illness, personal or family crisis) you can apply for Student Finance to take your circumstances into consideration under Compelling Personal Reasons and provide you with an additional year of funding (beyond the standard entitlement of the length of your course, plus the additional ‘gift’ year). This may be applicable if you transferred courses and find you have to repeat units of study over the following academic year (or, if you haven’t changed courses but you are repeating studies for a second time).
Applying to SF to have your circumstances taken into consideration could entitle you to access an additional year of Tuition Fee Loan funding (please note you could receive the Maintenance Loan without applying for Compelling Personal Reasons).
How do I Apply?
We would recommend applying in writing to: Student Finance England, PO BOX 210, Darlington, DL1 9HJ. Please ensure you include your Customer Reference Number in any correspondence. Other Student Finance England contact details can be found here.
It is important to provide an account of the underlying reasons your studies have been affected and to explain upon how your circumstances have affected your studies.
It is also very important that any request is supported with evidence, requests for additional funding are unlikely to be accepted if they are not supported with independent evidence. This could be a letter from the university (especially if the letter states you can repeat your studies uncapped due to mitigating circumstances), a GP letter or confirmation of hospital appointments (please note this list is not exhaustive).
What if I suspend or withdraw?
If you suspend (interrupt) or withdraw from your course the university has a duty to notify Student Finance that you have done so. If you withdraw from your course completely, you would no longer be deemed as eligible to receive Student Finance. If you suspend your studies, your payments would stop until you have re-enrolled back onto your programme, but it is possible to receive further funding whilst you have suspended your studies via Discretionary Payments.
In order to continue to receive payments whilst you have suspended your studies, the only method to achieve this would be to submit a request to Student Finance to continue funding under Discretionary Payments. Again, we would recommend submitting any request in writing and would recommend that you explain why you are unable to support yourself financially, for example this could be due to ill health and as a suspended student it would be unlikely that you would be eligible to claim any of the associated benefits.
If you have any questions, please come and speak with a SUBU Advice Worker and we can help you to prepare your case. We can review your circumstances and advise you regarding the evidence that may be available to support your request for additional funding. If required, we can draft letters to support your request and support you to make follow up enquiries to see how your application is progressing.