What happens with my tuition fees if I get the loan?
The tuition loan is paid directly to the University on your behalf and you won't start repaying the loan until you are earning over £27,0295 per year (as of April 2021). Under the current terms of the loan you will repay the loan to the Student Loans Company at a rate of 9% of any earnings over £27,095. This threshold does change so check the government's website for current repayment rates.
How many years of funding do I get?
The normal tuition loan entitlement is the duration of your course plus one 'gift year', but minus any previous years of higher education study.
For example, if you studied on a previous course for two years then left and have now started a three year course at Keele, your entitlement would be:
3 (length of course) + 1 (gift year) - 2 (years of previous study) = 2 years
If you need to repeat more than one year, or if you have any previous years of study, you may need to self-fund. They will normally make sure you are paid for your final year, so if you don't have enough funding to cover the whole course you will usually be expected to self-fund either your first or second year.
Your maintenance loan is different, and you can still be eligible even if you have no tuition loan entitlement.
Can I get more years of funding?
If you failed to complete a year you may be able to claim Compelling Personal Reasons (CPR) to get extra funding. CPR is where you failed/had to leave an academic year because of personal reasons such as illness, bereavement, or other issues or responsibilities beyond your control. You can write a letter and send evidence to Student Finance explaining what happened and asking for an extra year of funding. Please see 'Compelling Personal Reasons' below for more information.
I have studied on a previous course (in part or completed), can I get funding for this one?
If you studied a previous course but didn't complete it, those years will count as previous study and will be deducted from your entitlement unless you can claim Compelling Personal Reasons (see How many years of funding do I get?). Even if you were only enrolled for one day and didn't attend anything it will count as a full academic year when calculating your entitlement.
If you completed a previous course then you are not normally entitled to any more funding unless you are studying at a higher level or you're studying Nursing, Midwifery or some Allied Health courses such as Physiotherapy.
I'm studying a Foundation Year, can I get funding for this?
If you're studying a standalone Foundation Year - at Keele this is the General Foundation Year - then unfortunately you will not be eligible for Student Finance.
If you're studying a Foundation Year that leads directly into a course then you will be entitled to Student Finance.
I'm taking a repeat year or a reassessment-only year, do I get funding?
Repeat years will be funded as normal and will go against your funding entitlement. Normal entitlement includes one extra year in case you need to repeat but if you have previous years of study or take more than one repeat year, please see our 'Compelling Personal Reasons' section for information about how to ask for more funding.
If you're just taking reassessments without any attendance you will not owe tuition fees this year and will not be eligible for the tuition loan. This year will also not count against your funding entitlement.
SFE told me I'd be entitled to their funding but now they're saying I'm not. Is there anything I can do?
First, make sure the latest assessment is correct. ASK can help you with this and we can also access a practitioners' line to talk to Student Finance advisers.
Unfortunately, if you're not eligible for any funding then there isn't much you can do. If you left a job because you were wrongly advised by Student Finance that you would get funding, this may be something you could argue.
I wasn't eligible for support at the start of my course due to my immigration status - can I become eligible and start claiming during the course?
You can only change your eligibility for Student Finance in very specific circumstances, known as 'events'. These events are:
- Your course becomes a designated course;
- You or your spouse, civil partner or parent is recognised as a refugee or becomes a person granted humanitarian protection;
- You or a family member is are a citizen of a state that accedes to the EU;
- You a family member of an EU national;
- You acquire the right of permanent residence;
- You become the child of a Turkish worker;
- You become a person described in paragraph 6(1)(a) of Schedule 1 - this means an EEA migrant worker or an EEA self-employed person; a Swiss employed person or a Swiss self-employed person; a family member of the two previous categories; an EEA frontier worker or an EEA frontier self-employed person; a Swiss frontier employed person or a Swiss frontier self-employed person; or a family member of the two previous categories.
- You become the child of a Swiss national;
- You are granted section 67 leave;
- You are granted indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence or domestic abuse;
- You are granted Calais leave.
Please note, the EU categories will change soon due to Brexit - this will be updated when new legislation is announced.
The most common way we see students become eligibile during their course is when they are granted Permanent Residence. Note this is not the same as having indefinite leave to remain and you will not automatically become eligible for Student Finance after being in the UK for five years.