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Frequently Asked Questions

Help! Iím really short of money. What can I do?

You may be eligible to apply to the Access to Learning Fund or one of the other funding and bursary schemes for financial support. You must be a Ďhomeí student to apply to the Fund. If eligible the Access to Learning Fund may be able to help you with living and study-related costs, childcare, rent and travel. You cannot apply for help with your tuition fees or debt repayments. We will compare your income against your expenditure and consider your personal circumstances before making an award. You may only apply to the fund once per academic year, unless you can prove that your circumstances have changed. Payments are usually made by cheque. Occasionally large awards may be paid in instalments.

Contact the Funding Team in Student Support for further information and an application pack.

I cannot register as I am in debt. What should I do?

You should obtain some proof of when/how the debt will be paid, for example if you are waiting for monies from a sponsor you should obtain a written document from them such as a bank transfer. Take this to Income in the Finance Section, if you are still unable to register then you should come to Student Support for further advice.

Am I entitled to any benefits?

For information, see Benefits eligibility.

Iím an international student. Can I apply to the Access to Learning Fund?

No. Unfortunately international students are not eligible to apply to the Access to Learning Fund. However, depending on your individual circumstances you may be eligible for a small award from one of the other bursary schemes run by the University if you can prove that you have severe, unforeseen and exceptional financial difficulties. Contact Student Support for further information.

Iíve been awarded some money from the Access to Learning Fund. Will I have to pay it back?

No. Awards from the Access to Learning Fund and other funding and bursary schemes are grants. They do not have to be paid back in normal circumstances.

Can I apply for help from the Access to Learning Fund outside term time?

There is a limited amount of money available to students who are unable to work over the summer vacation due to an illness or disability and those who have dependant children/adults.  This fund is not available to postgraduates or students who have just completed their final year of study.

Contact the Funding Team in Student Support for more details and an application form.

Iíve already applied to the Access to Learning Fund but my financial situation has since got much worse. What can I do?

You could make a Change in Circumstance application to the Access to Learning Fund if you can prove that your personal situation has changed and/or your finances have significantly deteriorated since your original application. We may be able to make you an (additional) award depending on your circumstances.

Contact the Funding Team in Student Support for more details and an application form.

My application to the Access to Learning Fund has been rejected. Iím not happy with this decision. What can I do?

If you are not happy with the outcome of your application to the Access to Learning Fund you have the right to request a review of your application within four weeks of the original application. Following review, if you are still not satisfied with the outcome and feel that there may have been procedural irregularities in the processing of your application, you may submit an appeal.

Contact Student Support for more details.

Iíve already applied for my student loan, but for another University, what should I do?

As soon as you have confirmation of a place at another institution you should inform Student Finance England/Wales, NI or SAAS in writing that you will no longer be going to your original choice of University. You should provide them with details of the new University, i.e. name, course, start date and duration of study.

I havenít applied for my student loan yet. What should I do?

You can apply for your loan up until 9 months after the 1st September in the year that you started your course.  If you want to apply - you should do so as soon as possible as it can take several weeks to process.  For more details on how to apply - see our webpage.

Don't forget - you need to reapply for every year of study.

Iím starting a course at University soon. How will it affect my benefits?

Student entitlement to welfare benefits is an extremely complex subject and it is difficult to give a definitive answer without knowing an individualís personal and financial situation. Most full-time students are not eligible for any means tested benefits (although, in most circumstances you will be exempt from paying Council Tax for the duration of your course). This includes Income Support, Housing Benefit and JSA. However, if you are a part-time student, a lone parent, have a disability or live with a partner who is also a full-time student and responsible for dependant children, you may be eligible for certain payments. More information on benefits.

Iím a postgraduate student. What financial help can I get?

Unfortunately, there are few funding options available to postgraduate students and no government-administered help with tuition fees or living costs. Most postgraduate students fund their studies through a combination of loans, parental contributions, savings and part-time work. You may be fortunate enough to secure funding from one of the Research Councils, a charitable trust or sponsorship, but competition is fierce. Further funding information

Is there any extra help for student parents?

Here is our web page with information for students with children. Depending on their circumstances, most UK undergraduate students with families can access help with the cost of childcare and study, through the Childcare Grant and Parentís Learning Allowance. You can apply for these at the same time as your Student Loan.

Student parents are also eligible to apply for Child Tax Credits.

In some circumstances, student parents may also be eligible for some welfare benefits. Follow the link above or contact Student Support for advice.


Iím a part-time undergraduate student Ė what help is available to me?

Information for part-time undergraduate students.

If I withdraw from my course how will it affect my funding for the future?

If you intend to withdraw permanently from your course you should inform your funding body immediately.  If you are in receipt of grants, such as the Maintenance Grant, Childcare Grant or Parentís Learning Allowance you will have to repay the balance of these from the point at which you withdraw.

If you are planning to temporarily withdraw, or intermit, your award can be suspended for up to one year and reinstated upon your return. If you have to repeat all or part of a year on your return, you will normally be entitled to continued funding, providing you are repeating for the first time.

While you are intermitting, you will not receive a Student Loan, but you will not be expected to make any repayments on the loan amount you already owe, but may be asked to repay any grant overpayments.

If I transfer to another course at the University, or another institution, how will this affect my funding?

If you transfer to a new University you should inform your funding body as soon as possible.  Funding will be dependant on the amount of years of previous study you have.

I'm planning on working abroad after I finish my studies.  What will happen to my Student Loan repayments?

Contrary to popular belief, working overseas will not exempt you from making Student Loan repayments!  Although the Inland Revenue will not be able to take repayments directly from your wages, you will have to arrange to make payments direct to the Student Loan Company (providing your income exceeds the repayment threshold).  Otherwise, they could take legal action against you.  For more info see the Student Loan Company website.


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