Graduates celebrating

Graduating Students

Congratulations - you're graduating! What comes next?

Once you have completed your course of study at Keele, your IT Account will be affected. There will be no change to your account until 28 days following confirmation of the award (such as a degree). Typically for summer graduates this period will expire at the end of graduation week in July.

As a student you have access to a wide variety of systems, the majority of which will be blocked at the cut-off point. However, there are some exceptions; full details on IT account procedures are available from the Keele University website. 

Graduation is the perfect way to celebrate your achievement; however, graduation comes at a cost, for example, hire of your gown and hood etc. Many students do not realise the costs involved and struggle to find it at the last minute.  If you find yourself in this position, talk to the university's Financial Support team to see if they can help.

For information on your graduation ceremony and related items, please visit Graduation at Keele

Important: If you have outstanding tuition fees you will not be allowed to graduate. If you have any other fees outstanding with the University, you will be able to graduate but may not be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony.

At the end of your course you will become liable for council tax until the end of your tenancy, even if you move out early. This could mean you are liable for council tax in this area from early July to August-September. It is your responsibility to contact the council to tell them you're moving out and make sure you pay any council tax you are liable for, as costs can escalate quickly if you don't pay.

Remember, your course officially ends before your graduation ceremony so you will become liable for council tax before you graduate.

What do I need to do when moving out?

You are jointly responsible for the condition of any communal areas and if you are in a joint tenancy (rather than individual tenancies) you are also jointly liable for the condition of the whole property. 

You should leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in. Make sure you clean the property thoroughly, remove all your belongings and empty the bins - your landlord can take money from your deposit to cover reasonable costs for cleaning, replacing broken items, and for removing items.

Take plenty of photos of the property to show you left the house in a good, clean condition. If you paid for any service or bought any products to help you leave the house in good condition, keep the receipts as proof.

If you're responsible for bills, contact the utility companies to let them know the final date of your tenancy. Read the meters on the final day (and keep a record), tell the company to close your account and get the final bill sent on to your forwarding address. Send proof of paying final bills to the landlord, as some won't return your deposit unless they have this proof.

Make sure you return your keys and follow any check out procedures outlined in your tenancy agreement.

 

What can I do if my landlord isn't returning my deposit, or wants to make deductions I don't agree with?

This will depend on your type of tenancy and whether your deposit has been protected - you can visit our Deposits page for advice on your options.

Finding graduate accommodation is a new experience compared to searching as a student.

You may be returning home to your parents for a while, but if that is not an option you will find lots of letting agencies on the internet.  Before you commit to anything it may be worth checking out the ‘finding accommodation’ advice outlined on the Citizens Advice public website. You can also visit our Tenancy Agreements page for advice on your rights.

If you have a loan with Student Finance you will start repayments the April after you graduate, but only if you're working and earning enough money.  The earnings threshold and the amount you pay per month will depend on your income, who gave you the loan, and which plan you were on. See the Student Loans Company (SLC) to find out more about which repayment plan you are on and how much per month you will be expected to repay.

When you start making repayments they will be deducted monthly from your income, i.e. from your salary.

If you go travelling or work abroad, you are still eligible to repay your student loan if you have an income.  It is your responsibility to maintain contact with the Student Loans Company (SLC) as non-contact could lead to them activating their debt recovery procedures.  In short, this would have a negative impact upon your credit rating and may include legal processes.

Most students have had a part-time job during their studies and are familiar with pay-slips.  However, when you begin working as a non-student, additional deductions will be taken from your gross salary, particularly Income Tax, National Insurance and Pension contributions as well as your student loan.

The Government has introduced an auto-enrolment pension system, which means that all employers must sign all staff up to a pension system.  Larger employers will have national pension schemes, e.g. NHS, Local Authorities, Government, Universities and Education. You will see your pension contributions on your payslip.

You can read a good summary about payslips and what the different sections mean on the Money Helper website. You can find out more information about pensions at Pension Wise and about taxes on the HMRC website.

If you have a student bank account at graduation, you are encouraged to visit your bank.  Most banks will offer a graduate account, which lets you keep most of the benefits of your student account for at least one year, including your 0% overdraft facility. Be aware that the overdraft will need to be paid off by the end of that period otherwise you will be charged for your overdraft. If you are going onto post-graduate study, tell your bank and see if you can keep your student account rather than go onto a graduate account straight away.

You can read more about graduate accounts and find the best offers by visiting Money Saving Expert.

UK Students who do not have a job when their course ends may be entitled to claim unemployment benefit through Universal Credit. You may also be able to get help with housing costs and get a reduction in council tax.

If you have an illness or disability there may be additional benefits available to you. You can visit our Disabled Students page for more information.

Important: The relevant date is the last date of your course, not the day you graduate.

Now you've graduated, what's the next step?  Accurate careers information, advice and guidance are all essential when planning your future. If you need expert advice why not contact the Careers Team at the University.