Thread: NHS Funding for GEP
22-04-2008, 12:52 PM #1
NHS Funding for GEP
I'm hoping to get some advice from people in their 1st and 2nd year of a GEP. I've just started to look in slightly more detail at the funding. I'll be classed as an independent student in terms of student loans and grants as i'm 25, but not for NHS funding as i've only supported myself for about 2 and a half years, not the 3 years needed for independent status. This is incredibly frustrating, and seems completely ludicrous that after this time i should be expected to rely on my parents for funding.
So, i'm hoping someone could tell me just how strict the NHS rules are. Would they be likely to consider -6 months or so for independent status?
If not, i noticed that you can just apply for tuition fee funding. If you did this, are you still entitled to the full student loan and grant from the SLC?
Given the 50% drop in loan funding that comes with the NHS bursary, my income is actually going to halve after the 1st year because of the different rules in independent status. I understand that this is to do with age discrimination rigmarole, but I'm completely stunned that there is this much discrepancy.
Advice much appreciated!
xBart's GEP 08
26-04-2008, 11:06 PM #2
I don't know what it's like for medicine programmes, but the form I filled in for the NHS bursary last year just required proof of earnings as independent status, so I sent my P46's from the last 3 years. I support myself - run a car, work, pay rent etc. but live with my parents. I was absolutely honest with my situation and they accepted the P46 forms as evidence of independence.
It seems ridiculous for you to miss out on independent status for the sake of 6 months.
Edit: also congratulations on your offers this year!South Bank University, PgDip Therapeutic Radiography 2007 - almost finished and have just been offered a job!!!
27-04-2008, 06:17 PM #3
- Join Date
- Sep 2005
I *think* that if you are eligible for NHS funding, you can only get 50% of the loan, even if you aren't entitled to any bursary. This is how it was in my year - lots of people were therefore worse off.
It's a stupid rule and people have tried to change it - so maybe they have been successful by now, I'm not sure.
I don't think they are very flexible with the 3 year cut off, but I could be wrong.
If you're struggling to fund yourself then I'd recommend a professional studies loan. They are scary things to take out but actually not that bad in reality. The interest rate is only about 2% higher than a student loan too.
28-04-2008, 02:20 PM #4
The professional development loan is always a possibility, but there’s always the interest free overdraft that student bank accounts have traditionally offered (whether that will change with the success of the OFT against the banks in the recent court case, who knows?) Although that won’t contribute much. In theory I’d still be better off (by a few pounds – and certainly not enough to live on) with the NHS bursary paying fees (which is not means tested) and getting half a student loan than just getting a student loan (as will happen in first year) – I’m lucky insomuch that I won’t have to put the theory into practice since, on paper, I meet all the criteria for independence. To be honest, I think the only option I would have if I weren’t classed as independent would be the professional development loan. Their 3-year self-support requirement seems completely arbitrary!
On the subject of student loans this year’s interest rate has been an all-time high of 4.8% for September 2007 - August 2008 and will be coming down to 3.8% for September 2008 - August 2009 (it's based on March - March RPI for some obscure reason) and has historically been lower:
Sep 2002 - Aug 2003 1.3%
Sep 2003 - Aug 2004 3.1%
Sep 2004 - Aug 2005 2.6%
Sep 2005 - Aug 2006 3.2%
Sep 2006 - Aug 2007 2.4%
Now I’ve gone completely off topic, I think I should draw my useless waffle to a close.
28-04-2008, 02:49 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
it is true- you do only get 50% (about £2200 out of London) if you have a bursery regardless of the amount of money you get from the bursery- which is crap! The whole system really annoys me. My partner earns quite a lot so ill only get a small bursery but he never has and never will give me any of his money, so why should this be taken into account.
28-04-2008, 03:25 PM #6
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
Scottish student studying in England
Hi, on a similar theme, I am 'ordinarily resident' scotland though i spent the majority of the year in england between uni etc. this means i'm ineligible for the NHS bursary for the last three years of the GEP which seems a bit harsh...
Does anyone know of any way around this? the saas say apply for an NHS bursary, the NHS say apply to the saas...help!Barts GEP '08- conditional offer!!!
08-05-2008, 01:02 AM #7
The only way around this is to move to England. Now. And get a job and apply from an English address. If you can convince them you've got an English address when starting, you should be OK - St George's actually advised me to do this. Of course, as I was still funded by SAAS for my first degree until June, they weren't going to buy the change, so I'm paying my fees for the next three years (or maybe just two, if I'm mega lucky - as everyone gets their last year paid for I believe). The BMA has limited funding available, but I'm fortunate enough to have my parents helping so I chose not to apply.
Don't forget the minimum loan for Scots is also less - £2k not £3k, broadly speaking. It really is much better to move early if you can.
09-05-2008, 06:58 PM #8
They are very vague about what they mean by 'ordinarily resident' and from my reading there is no definitive legal definition. It is just that you have to have been living in England prior to the start of the course for a reason other than attending a univeristy course. However, I have no idea how they evaluate this in practice.
The eligibility guidance says:
To be eligible for NHS Bursary support ALL students regardless of nationality must be able to satisfy the following requirements on the first day of the first academic year of the course (the ‘prescribed date’). On that day, all applicants must:
be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years preceding the prescribed date, apart from occasional or temporary absences;
be ordinarily resident in England, Scotland , Wales or Northen Ireland on the prescribed date (other than medical and dental students who must be ordinarily resident in England.);
have ‘settled status’ in the UK - within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971. This means that there must be no restrictions on your length of stay in the UK.
I'd have thought that since they specify a length of time for being ordinarily resident in the UK/Channel Islands/Isle of Man they would have provided a length of time for being ordinarily resident in England. So the implication is that the term 'ordinarily resident' doesn't have an implicit time component so if you move to England a few months before you start the course and get a job it is possible you would qualify - unless there is any specific guidance to the contrary that I have missed.
All things considered it might be worth trying, since I can't see there's much to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
Last edited by Imhotep; 09-05-2008 at 07:13 PM.
11-05-2008, 11:46 AM #9
Stephen is right. People have done it, according to St George's anyway.
13-05-2008, 06:50 PM #10
I've sent them p60s / p45s for the last four years and am hoping for the best, but I'm not that hopeful. Does anyone have any experience of what they do in this situation? It's so unfair, why can't we get the loan if we can't get the bursary, it's only a loan! They really don't seem to want graduates to do medicineBirmingham GEC 2007
Coventry & Warwick Foundation School 2011!!