We have put together a list of frequently asked questions to try and help you get an answer to your queries quicker.
Below are some of the most common areas of concern that students have around their funding however if you are still unsure or can't see your question below then you can contact the Money Advice & Funds Service by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or book a one to one appointment by visiting the askUS desk.
Making the decision to study:
The answer is usually ‘no’. However, if you wish to study an Allied Healthcare Profession or Social Work you are not excluded on that basis. Part-time students studying computing, engineering or technology (STEM subjects) are not affected.
Yes you can, but entitlement may be reduced, so research this and seek advice before you commit to study.
For example, previous study in higher education for more than one extra year often means that you will not get a tuition fee loan for the whole course, meaning you may have to pay some fees yourself. Any self-funded years of study are directed towards the beginning of your course not the end.
With the exception of refugees (who are exempt), to qualify to be assessed for student funding you must qualify on the basis of UK residency. To get funding there is an unbroken 3 year UK residency requirement. This period runs for 3 years up to 1 September 2017 for September 2017 entrants.
For students from selected groups the answer is yes. These groups are high academic achievers, care leavers and some Greater Manchester residents. Visit our web page on Scholarships and Bursaries
Some of our bursaries have deadlines, the Salford Student Bursary has an application deadline of 31 October 2016. If you are a care leaver contact us early so you can be shortlisted.
Some students can, but be wary, as the rules are changing as Universal Credit becomes widely established in 2017. At the time of writing, single parents, many disabled students and student couples both in higher education can claim some benefits. Students who get PIP are currently allowed to claim ESA. Get expert advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The rules on claiming tax credits are unaffected by being a student, but you must claim any childcare expenses through the student funding system not through tax credits.
See the table below. Students with household incomes above £25,000pa lose £1 of loan for every complete £8.49 (away from home) or £8.59 (living at home) of income above £25,000 until the amount they receive reaches the minimum of £3,821 as in the table below.
|Household Income||Loan Reduced By||Total Loan Given (away from home)||Total Loan Given (living home)|
|£25,000 or less||£0||£8,200||£6,904|
Getting an offer, and before the next academic year starts:
Yes. You must apply for funding each year. Do it early to give yourself time to iron out any difficulties.
Apply as soon as you can to avoid going short of money at the start of the course. Students funded by Student Finance England should apply between February and June. Students on Allied Healthcare Professions should apply as soon as they get a course offer letter.
This is paid by BACS into your bank account. Ensure you notify your funder if you change your account or if your account details are incorrect on your Payment Timetable. Incorrect details will result in delays. You must have your own bank account in your own name to get student funds, so set one up if you do not have one.
If you can, choose a bank that offers 0% interest overdraft rates. Assess carefully the long-term benefits of any ‘free goodies’. Overdrafts are best used as repositories of emergency funding.
Registration and starting your studies:
You have a cooling off period which is up to 14 days after you have registered at the University to change your mind and withdraw from your course. This notice must be given in writing (should this not read via Student Portal and insert link?) so it can be proven later. Never withdraw verbally.
Allow 5 working days after completing your registration for the payment to reach your account. If you are still unpaid, there are a few possible reasons for that.
If your funding still doesn’t arrive then check these vital things:
- Have you registered with the university?
- Does your Student Finance Breakdown have the University of Salford as your University?
- Have you signed and returned your declaration form?
- Does your online student finance account ask you to submit other information?
Only registration can trigger your payment, so ring your student finance authority to see if they have received your ‘confirmation of attendance’ from the university? Check that they have your correct bank details.
If you have just switched university, your previous institution’s records office must know that you have formally withdrawn from them in writing, and they must have told SFE about this, or this will also stop you getting paid.
Speak to your family and try and arrange help from them. If you do not have access to other funds you may be eligible for an Emergency Welfare Loan. Eligible students must be able to answer yes to all of the below questions:
- Have you enrolled for the current academic year, and if in your 1st year, have you collected and scanned your Salford ID card?
- Have you applied for your student funding package?
- You are enrolled on a full-time course?
If you can answer yes to all of the above and wish to apply for an Emergency Loan, please contact the Money Advice & Funding Service Team to find out how to apply.
Emergency Hardship Loans are only available during the first term for students. If you are still experiencing hardship after getting your student funding, you may be eligible to apply for the Salford Support Fund
It is likely that previous study may have reduced your entitlement. See a student finance adviser before you register on your next academic year if possible. This is because registration counts as a funding year, regardless of attendance, further reducing entitlement.
This can happen when your funding authority conduct an audit. This will revise some student awards down. It also happens when childcare costs for the childcare grant are overestimated. It is essential to keep estimated childcare costs as close to the final value as possible, to prevent this. Get the full picture from your funder first. Book to see an adviser if you will be left in financial hardship, but can’t find a solution.
Changes to your study or circumstances:
Student Finance England will reassess your funding from the first day of the academic year until the official date of interruption. Excess funds will need repaying, and may be asked for immediately or clawed back from any future grant entitlement. Student Finance England will contact you about this.
If you are interrupting due to an illness, you may still be able to get full student funding for up to 60 days of the illness. In some cases, this may be extended such as if it may cause financial hardship or you have caring responsibilities.
Interrupted students are still classed as ‘students’. You may only receive benefits if you have taken time out because you are ill, pregnant, have to care for someone or were already getting them when attending.
If you would like to further discuss how your Student Finance funding will be affected, you can contact our Specialist Finance Adviser on email@example.com.
It could be affected. For example, you could lose a funding year, so if in any doubt whatsoever contact askUS for a financial appointment with a finance adviser before committing to an action.
Graduation and beyond:
Unfortunately you will not be allowed to attend graduation or receive your degree certificate if you have tuition fee debts with the university.
We recommend that you visit the Student Loans Company website for answers. If you are a recent graduate, then repayments will not start until the year after you graduate and you will only start repaying once you are earning over £21,000. You will repay 9% of your earnings over this amount.
If you are overseas for more than 3 years you will need to contact the Students Loan Company straight away. More information can be found here
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If you lost your job you would stop making any payments and if you took a reduction in salary the amount you repay would decrease. If your salary dropped below the £21,000 threshold then your repayments would automatically stop.