One of the main factors in assessing eligibility for funding and the key starting point for assessing your eligibility for funding is your residency status. Please check here to gain some more information about residency status.
It is really important to check with Student Finance if you have any concerns about your residency status and student funding. This is because in most circumstances you need to meet the residency criteria by the beginning of the academic year in which you commence your course in order to be eligible for funding for the remainder of your studies.
Please note residency status can be complicated and applying in good time will allow Student Finance to assess your eligibility before the start of the Academic Year and before you commit to a course. For the purpose of student finance, the academic year commences on 1 September for students starting their course in September/October, and on 1 January for students starting their course in February.
Other factors can also affect your eligibility such as whether you have studied before, or already hold a degree or Equivalent Level Qualification (E.L.Q). Some courses are eligible for funding as a second degree such as some pre-registration healthcare courses. Again, applying early will enable your funding eligibility to be checked in good time.
All the information on tuition fees and maintenance loans pertains to students who are applying to Student Finance England (SFE) for their funding. This is because the majority of undergraduates who come to study at Suffolk will have SFE as their funding body.
After applying for a tuition fee loan then the next step for eligible students is to apply for a maintenance loan. This is also known as the “Living Costs Loan.” Your eligibility to apply for a maintenance loan depends on various factors with residency status and previous study being key factors to consider.
Maintenance loans have to be repaid, but not until you have graduated and earning above a certain income. The threshold at which you start repaying depends upon when you started your course. From the start of the new tax year 2019/2020 and for courses that started after 1 September 2012 you start repaying your maintenance loan once you start earning £25,725 and above.
However, if you leave your course early you may be asked to repay some of the maintenance loan earlier if you go into overpayment at the point you leave. For example if you are a September 2018 starter and you leave your course in the second week of January 2019, Student Finance will have released the second instalment of your maintenance loan at the beginning of January 2019. This will mean that you will go in to overpayment for some of the maintenance loan for that academic quarter and will be asked to make arrangements to repay the overpayment. Like the tuition fee loan, any monies left unpaid after 30 years will be written off. More information regarding repayments.
For those students who are aged 60 at the start of the academic year and commenced a full time undergraduate course after the 1 August 2016, there is a means assessed Special Support Loan that you may be eligible to apply for. A special support loan is still a loan that has to be repaid if you reach the repayment threshold. However the DWP should disregard this loan when assessing your eligibility for certain DWP benefits.