In addition to the financial support available from Student Finance England, there is further information and guidance available to those starting their student journey.
When you become a student your entitlement to any benefits and/or universal credit may change. If you are already in receipt of any of these you must notify them of your change in circumstance as soon as possible. Ipswich and many of the surrounding areas are now fully rolled out on to the Universal Credit system. Any new application for support will be through Universal Credit.
Most students are ineligible to apply for benefit support whilst they are full-time students. There are however some exceptions to this, those with dependent children and those with a disability for example.
Your student funding will be counted as an income and will be used to adjust your award entitlement. Your annual funding figure will be split between the number of monthly assessment periods within your academic year of study. For most courses, this is usually 10 assessment periods (this does vary). There is an initial amount of your funding which cannot be counted by DWP as income and therefore will be disregarded each month. In addition to this, any grants or special support elements cannot be counted as income and will not affect your entitlement.
During the long holiday period, your Universal Credit entitlement may increase as your student funding is intended to cover your academic year only.
Unsure if you should be paying tax as a student? Take a look at the government advice for concise and useful information and frequently asked questions.
For the most up to date information please visit the gov.uk council tax website.
If you’re 18 or over and own or rent a home you will usually have to pay Council Tax. A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home. As a full-time student you are exempt from Council Tax liability.
You’ll get a Council Tax bill if there’s someone in your household who’s not a full-time student, but your household might still qualify for a discount. If there is only 1 other adult in the household they will be entitled to receive a 25% discount. You will not have to pay any Council Tax if everyone in your home, including you, is a full-time student.
To apply for a Council Tax exemption, you will need to speak to your local council. You can access this at the gov.uk council tax discount web page.
You may need a confirmation of student status letter to provide to your council. You will receive an email to your student account, once you have enrolled on your course, to set up a Gradintelligence account which you can then access via OASIS. Within Gradintelligence you can obtain a letter confirming your student status; if you are eligible for council tax exemption this will also be included in the same letter. You can share this letter by secure link with any third parties that need to see it, such as the council, your landlord or to set up a student bank account.
For advice and guidance on issues such as rent and council tax arrears, debt, benefits and Universal Credit and family issues you can speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
If you are estranged from your family or have recently become estranged you may be wondering where to turn for support. The Standalone web page offers support and information for student’s who find themselves in this situation.
If you need support in applying for your student finance funding as an estranged or independent student then please speak to the Student Centre in the first instance
There is also information and guidance available through the UCAS website.
Many charities offer non-repayable grants which can be based on where you live, your age, gender, past or current jobs, health conditions and/or nationality. The organisation Turn2us have a grants search on their website. You can search and apply through them.
Please contact the Student Centre and Admissions for information on latest bursary offers or take a look at the Bursary and Scholarships page.
Please be aware that a number of students in the UK have been targeted by fraudsters, and coerced into money laundering through their bank accounts. Majority of these students may not have been aware that operating their bank accounts in this manner can be potentially illegal, but it could have a big impact on their future. If caught bank accounts may be closed, there would be difficulty obtaining any credit such as phone contracts, loans, credit cards and even tenancy agreements and there is always the risk of going to prison. Always remember – If it is too good to be true, it probably is!
What to look out for
You could be approached in any way - online, in person or by phone for example. It could be what looks like a genuine job advert, but if it involves receiving large amounts of money into your bank account – be wary.
What to do and where to go
If you think you could have been a victim of fraud, we would encourage anyone who is concerned that their bank account may have been misused to speak either to Student Services or your Students' Union (once enrolled as a student) and/or your bank account provider, directly to the police or speak to Action Fraud.