Thread: Funding panic
28-08-2008, 02:53 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
OMG! What a bad day!
I've just found out this afternoon that my LEA won't award me a tuition fee loan, and I need to come up with £3145 in the next 2-3 weeks! I'm a grad, but have an OU degree and had never had funding before. In the past year, I've discussed my eligibility with a representative of an LEA at an open day, the Student Finance helpline, welfare officers, and with my own LEA student support officer, and been told variously that I will definitely get tuition funding, that it is discretionary but people have had it in the past, and that the 2008 entry regs had not yet been set and it couldn't be guaranteed. So I knew there was at least a chance I would miss out, but I am now being told that there is no precedent for OU grads to get tuition loans, that it's never happened before and was never going to happen for me. So...whatever else, I now feel that I've been given crap information by a succession of people who didn't know their jobs.
I've been told I can appeal, but have to do so direct to the DfES, who are hardly going to change their policy for me, I assume. In any case, an appeal isn't going to be resolved before term begins.
What's worse is that this decision knocks on - with no tuition loan, I'm not eligible for a maintenance grant (I would have got a full one of c.£3K), and, because of that, no bursary (would have been about £1500).
I'm going to talk to a student welfare officer at my uni tomorrow, and hope there may be some kind of hardship fund I can fall back on, but most other sources of funding seem to have had spring application deadlines, which I've obviously missed - if only I had been given the right info at the outset, I could have sorted something else out, I'm sure, but it seems like it's too late now. I'm wondering if my only option is to defer for a year and earn like mad (if my uni will let me), or even withdraw and reapply to GEPs (big risk...)
I'm totally gutted. If anyone has any ideas about how I could raise £3K in the next 2 weeks, I'd be glad to hear them! And ideas for how to tackle this over the next 5 years - I've got 3 young kids to factor in, so there was always a limit to how much paid work I was going to be able to combine with study. Failing that, commiserations would be just fine, rants about the unfairness of it all, etc, might make me feel a bit better...
28-08-2008, 03:00 AM #2
Is the fact that its an OU degree the reason for the LEA not helping out as i'm confused ??
I have a BA hons degree and one child and I was hoping on some funding next year, assuming I'm successful of course
Bad luck though, I feel for you
28-08-2008, 03:02 AM #3
If you have an OU degree surely you are eligible? Maybe they just screwed it up, they do all the time. On the form it says something like "have you completed 2 or more years of another degree at uni?". If you have an OU degree you haven't right? As in you don't actually go in? I don't know much about it. Anyway, if you haven't you are entitled to the loan. Their only argument against that could be that the OU is heavily subsidised by the gov, don't know if it is but if it is then you aren't eligible. That's the reason they give for not giving the loan to people who totally funded their first degree by themselves. If you aren't eligible either win lots of money, marry someone with lots of money (quickly), become a pimp or something similar or get a professional studies loan.FY1 Manchester
MBChB, BSc (Hons)
28-08-2008, 03:14 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
28-08-2008, 11:35 AM #5
- Join Date
- Oct 2007
That sucks - really can't see how they can not allow you the loan as you have had no LEA funding previously - unless, as the pp said, the degree is heavily subsidised by the gov anyhow. Is there anyone you can talk to at the OU? They might have had experience of dealing with this, or be able to give a you a more definitive answer that means you're n ot left wondering if a mistake has been made.
Meantime, hardship/ access funds will be available at your Uni, I applied and was awarded some funds during my Uni course. A family with children are always given high importance. When you get to Uni collect the application form and fill it in asap. Though, the funds are not allowed to factor in the fact that you have to pay your tuition fees (apparently). Make sure you're getting child tax credits, and that they know of your fall in income. Also, if your family income is below a certain level, you may be able to claim the parents learning fund and childcare grants from your LEA (if you haven't already) BUT these may be discretionary I'm not sure.
Also your tunition fees won't have to be all paid at once, you will be able to pay in instalments. Also talk to the finance people at your Uni and explain the situation, find out the absolutely last date that you will have needed to pay your fees by in order to move onto the next year - you might find with some extra time you will be able to manage it. If I had gone to UEA I planned to use my maintenance loan to pay my fees, then find funds from elsewhere to live on. It was my previous debts that meant that this wasn't feasible, added to the fact that I would have needed to find around £3000 to move, but general living costs I would have managed (beans on toast all round!)
Anyhow good luck with working it all out. It is a huge worry.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Current possibles for 2009:
UKCAT - 19th Sept (oh joy!)
BSMS - Unsuccessful
UEA - CONDITIONAL OFFER!!!! Withdrawn for financial and family reasons.
Kings GEP - Unsuccessful
Soton GEP - Reserve
28-08-2008, 01:09 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
- North London
firstly i am really sorry that you have only just found this out with 3 weeks to go... it really sucks.
but to be honest there is nothing you can do. if you already hold an honours degree you are only entitled to the maintenance loan...there is no discresion
i know it seems harsh but there are many people in this situation. itd judt the way it is.
and i dont know why you were under the impression it would be different for you when everyone on this site could have told you.
in my first degree i didnt get any grants or bursaries, and paid my own fees... so at first i though there was a chance (having not had this before) that i would get a tuition fee loan/bursary/grant etc (especially as due to family income i have been awarded the max loan when i only took the minimum last time)
i spoke to my LEA and student finance, but they seemed to not understand the difference between GEP and a graduate doing a standard course so i decided to disregard any of their advice and find out for sure by contacting the uni finance team directly.
this is the reply
"Unfortunately it is more difficult to manage your finances if you are a graduate taking a second undergraduate degree programme. Although you may not have used all of the grants available during your first degree, you may find that you are not now eligible to apply for them. Most graduates seem to depend on personal finance or graduate loans from their bank. There are some charities that offer scholarships but these have an application process, not everyone is eligible and there is no guarantee of success. Please find details of some of these below:
15 St Helen’s place
Sidney Perry Foundation
PO Box 1689
If you are getting worried about funding yourself on the medical degree programme, you might want to make an appointment with an advisor at your bank to find out what sort of loans and help are available to graduates. The only other thing to consider is whether you would like to defer your place (i.e. to start in September 2009) and to use the intervening year to work and try to save up as much money as possible."
hope this helps
28-08-2008, 02:04 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
Thanks for your advice anyway. One of my other problems is that my credit rating is pretty unimpressive. I might have made different decisions about other matters if I had known I had to find £15K over the next five years. In a way, I'm less pissed off about not getting the loan than about having been led up the garden path about it. Raising the money would prob not have been a big deal if I had just been given the right info this time last year.
Kangy: I'm so sorry you've had to withdraw. I really feel for you. Did UEA not let you defer? I think deferring is my best option at this point, though I really don't want to and don't know if I will be allowed at this late stage. If I can use my maintenance loan to pay my tuition, as you mention, I think I could just about cope, but the problem is cashflow as much as anything, with the maintenance coming in 3 instalments etc. Maybe when I speak to uni today they will let me do something flexible with paying my tuition. These are all good ideas - thank you.
I really wish you luck with your new application.
28-08-2008, 02:10 PM #8
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
What a terrible story, the people who misled you ought to be ashamed. Nor surprised, I know of someone who had a degree taken outside the UK (and therefore self funded) who got the same response.
Let's think positive. Need to reset the brain on this one. First of all, you really REALLY want to be a doctor, right? (If not, then obvously you may decide to do something different).
If you were an American, for example, you would need to spend something like £120k to qualify in the US as a doctor, no loans or state support unless you were very lucky. US students regularly borrow most of this, and I think the average debt on qualifying is 2/3 of this figure. Also, students who can't get in to a US school, go to Caribbean schools and pay/borrow even more. So having to borrow a lot is not something that would stop them.
Whats the lastest you could pay the cash? Try to give yourself some time, talk to the Med School.
I am sure I read somewhere on here that bank commercial loans are possible, the banks see medical students as a good bet (because future earning potential is good). There were two banks mentioned- do a search on commercial loans or educational loans on here and see - might have been HSBC and possibly Lloyds (not sure).
Go see them and be confident and clear:
- not your fault, you were misled (banks hate people who have last minute crises)
- how much you need (and build in plan to earn some cash yourself)
- do not present the problem as "I need £3000 in the next month" as you actually need more than that over the next 4 / 5 years.
- come over as someone who has thought it all through and has a plan to succeed and pay the loans back
Also, definitely talk to the medical school.
Any family members (distant, even) or friends who could help?
What's the gap??? - you are presumably getting the full maintenance loan of just under 5k a year. What's the least you can manage on per year? Depends on where you are studying but I suggest answer is between 10k and 12k all in. Let's say 11k. So you need 6k a year x 4 or 5 years = 24k or 30k. That's all - think of those US students borrowing £100k.
What realistically could you earn a year? £3-4K ? That halves the gap to £15k. Is there no-one in the world would lend you a bit? Sure? Can the Med School help a bit or suggest a source? What's left is what you need the bank to fund.
Asking the bank to lend you (say £15k) over 4-5 years when you should be a (relatively) well paid grad at the end of it is a credible thing to try.
Good Luck anyway !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!
28-08-2008, 02:18 PM #9
I assume you have actually checked with a bank that you couldnt get a professional studies loan? Because you are training to enter a well paid job they might be a bit more leniant than for a normal loan? Its def worth an ask if you havent yet...although as you seem to have explored your options you prob have!Oxford GEP fresher Medic 2009
28-08-2008, 02:33 PM #10
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
To add to my last post:
This is the post I meant, about Professional Studies Loans - see that HSBC actually have a brochure on it, so its obviously a well trodden path (we can but hope.....)
Clearing existing debt with a Professional Studies Loan.
The following sites may help:
HSBC - Postgraduate Loan for Professional Studies: HSBC Bank UK - says you can borrow up to 25k, starting to be repayable at end of course
Also 3 banks do Career Development Loans - see Funding postgraduate study with a loan
This article in the Telegraph is worth reading too:
Hats off to the postgraduate loans - Telegraph
Also a Canadian at UEA has posted a helpful post:
financial issue:Sallie Mae UK
Sallie Mae are a loan company that North Americans use for their student loans, if they are prepared to lend to UK residents that could be VERY helpful - remember, the small amounts you want to borrow will be low compared to in the US.
Also, in my earlier post - if you are outside London maybe my guess of 11k a year all in is too high - if you can get cheap accom you maybe can manage on less than this.
If you can borrow more, do so - you can pay it back if not required and you my find med school hard enough without doing masses of paid work (unless you are a genius of course......)
again, good luck!
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