Postgrad students lose financial support after loan company mistake _ education _ the guardian

Mistakes by the Student Loans Company (SLC) have left more than 100 postgraduates struggling to fund their courses after they were promised loans that were later withdrawn.

Some students have had to leave their courses, others are facing financial hardship after paying out thousands of pounds in course and rental deposits that they had expected to recoup through the loans.

Many only discovered the money had been withdrawn after starting their courses, finding nothing had been paid into their bank accounts and phoning to check what was wrong.

“You make all your decisions on the assumption that they will give you the funding,” says Toby Pitts from Wales, who studied for an undergraduate degree in English at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Us government student loans After calling the SLC about his postgraduate loan, he was told that it had been unapproved. Grants to pay off student loans “It’s a signed agreement. Pay student loans Then it turns out that’s not what they are doing.”

The problem stems from confusion over the eligibility of students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland for new £10,000 postgraduate loans introduced this year by Student Finance England. Student loans compan The criteria state that students must have been living in England for the previous three years for reasons other than study in order to qualify for a loan. Student loans and financial aid EU students from outside the UK are eligible if they have been resident in the European Economic Area or Switzerland for the previous three years.

But Charlotte Winstone, also from Wales, says she repeatedly checked with the SLC whether she was eligible and was assured that the only criteria was living in England for three years, which she had done as an undergraduate at Goldsmiths. Government student loans bc She has had to withdraw from her MA in arts policy and management at Birkbeck, but still owes the college £1,000 because the delay in hearing from the SLC meant she missed the deferral deadline.

“It’s incredibly disheartening to be put in the position where you feel as if furthering your education and bettering yourself is only for the wealthy, or that it’s not worth investing in,” she says.

Pitts says he twice double checked his eligibility with the SLC and even asked for a payment schedule. Student loans gov Reassured, he decided to start a one-year master’s in digital humanities at King’s College London immediately rather than postponing for a year to earn money, paid a £1,500 deposit for his first three months rent and turned down the offer of a full-time job as assistant manager in a music shop.

On his first day at King’s, he rang Student Finance England to clarify what time he could expect the money in his account, only to learn that he would not be getting any.

He has been able to draw on savings and borrow from his parents to pay for his first term and says the university has been supportive, but he has found it tough and is still unsure what will happen next.

James Robertson, a mature student from Scotland, who graduated in the summer with a BA in music from Newcastle University and applied to stay on for a masters in arts, business and creativity, says he has had to take his three children out of after-school clubs and the family are contemplating using foodbanks because withdrawal of the promised loan has left them in poverty.

“For the first time in my life I have had to question my own ethnicity,” he says. Student loans government website “I have always seen myself as being British, I’m not a nationalist, but I can see how people sometimes feel the way they do because I have had to question my nationality.”

Hannah Collis, from Wales, who applied for a loan to fund an MSc at King’s in climate change, says she had been “absolutely delighted” when she heard she would get the loan. Pay federal student loans She paid £1,000 deposit for the course, £600 for her first month’s rent, moved up to London and then paid the first instalment of the course fees: £3,000.

Only after starting the course did she find out that the offer had been withdrawn and that the SLC had neglected to tell her. Student loans government forgiveness She eventually received an apology and £200.

“I just cannot believe that they can wriggle out of it just by saying they are sorry,” she says. Login federal student loans “If it was a similar situation with a private loans company, not dealing with students, and they said, ‘Here is a mortgage loan’, then turned around and said, ‘Actually, sorry’, and someone had gone ahead and bought a house, everyone would be horrified.”

A spokesman for the SLC says 108 students have been affected as “a result of human error in the interpretation of the regulations when processing these applications”.

“To be eligible to receive a postgraduate loan from the scheme provided by Student Finance England students must have been ordinarily resident in the UK and islands for three years prior to the start of their course and most recently in England, for reasons other than the purpose of study. Student loans gov help If a student believes that the decision Student Finance England made in relation to their funding application is incorrect, they have the right to appeal.”

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