Loan application rejected

(19 Posts)
bigoldbird Fri 06-Sep-13 19:12:53

My daughter has just gained her BSc, she was hoping to go on to do a Masters. She has stayed in her university town over the summer to work and I am collecting her tomorrow.

She asked me to open the letter which had come reference a career development loan. Her application was turned down. She aid not to bother to tell her what it said unless it was something major. I don't want to spoil her last night out with her friends so I haven't told her yet.

I am devastated, she will be devastated. We are a working class family on a very average income and can't possibly afford to pay the fees and keep her for a year. The place she was offered is the other end of the country.

Nothing anyone can do really, just needed to get it off my chest.

This is the first time I have opened a thread so I hope I haven't done anything wrong.

SoonToBeSix Fri 06-Sep-13 19:17:10

No advice sorry, but that's really crap for your dd.

mumblechum1 Fri 06-Sep-13 19:19:34

So was the loan from a high street bank, or through the Student Loan Co?

bigoldbird Fri 06-Sep-13 19:25:44

From a high street bank. Student Loan Company don't fund Masters if you have used them for a Bachelors degree.

They are sort of a government thing, you don't start to repay them for over a year (to give you time to gain the degree). They are only available via Barclays or the Coop.

She is hopeless with money and this is why she has been turned down. All her own fault. However, it still hurts me that she can't do it, and if we were wealthy, she would be able to do it. (Not a political rant, just a fact).

catham Fri 06-Sep-13 19:49:15

how much would the loan be for? can you not get a loan (in your name) and let her pay you? or does it not work that way

EsmereldaBelle Fri 06-Sep-13 20:03:34

My dp worked full time during his masters and cut down to part time during his Phd, is working alongside her study an option she would consider? smileIt can be hard but it is definitely do-able with good supportive family and friends.
I hope you find a solution thanks

nextphase Fri 06-Sep-13 20:20:39

Is there a similar course with funding attached?
I got a place of a funded MSC many years ago, and they paid all my fees, along with maybe £500/ mth living expenses.

I think the research councils also fund masters.

Has she already got the place on the course? Any chance of speaking to the Uni to see if they have any fund available? - my course only covered UK fees. I know one girl had her overseas fees covered by the Uni.

Good luck to your DD

bigoldbird Fri 06-Sep-13 20:26:28

Thank you for your messages. I am feeling a bit better now.

I think she would be willing to work and do her Masters. It's all early days and we have a lot to think about and look at.

I have alerted my siblings, my sister particularly is extremely sensible and level headed and will be full of helpful advice.

In theory I could get a loan and she could pay me back, however, in practice we have 4 children and not a great deal of money. What's good for one is good for all. Also, I am not in the first flush of youth (older mother, daughter had a couple of years at work before going to uni).

She will just have to live with it I think. I am sure all will be well, I am just dreading her reaction. As you all know, we love our children so much and want the best for them, and to give them every advantage. However, some things you just can't have, and I suppose she will just have to get used to that idea.

Thank you all again.

Moominmammacat Fri 06-Sep-13 21:12:54

I did my masters and worked as a secretarial temp and did a bit of tutoring. It was fine if you get up early. Good luck.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Fri 06-Sep-13 22:45:53

Oh, poor her.

The situation with Masters funding/loans makes me furious. next, it's been cut a lot in recent years, almost to nothing. Some (most?) universities ask for evidence of money up front at the start, and won't accept that you're working so will earn it gradually - Somerville college at Oxford had a run-in last year about this, though, so hopefully they are more nervous about it.

Sorry, I am sounding really negative and I'm not - just she needs to know to check this stuff (like that she might need to argue her case if she works alongside it).

sashh Sat 07-Sep-13 10:17:27

This is one of the problems with people being the first or new to the uni system, those 'in the know' register for an 'undergraduate masters' and get funded through the student loans company.

There is little your daughter can do, but there is something. And I know it will sound like begging and to someone from a working class background it can be incredibly hard to ask for things. Put your pride in your pocket for now and ask.

OK here's the plan.

Your daughter needs to go to a library (well she doesn't have to but I recommend it ) and get the 'directory of grant making trusts', it will probably be reference only and it is often available in Uni libraries.

www.amazon.co.uk/Directory-Grant-Making-Trusts-2012-2013/dp/1906294569

I used this to fund some of my uni costs, the smallest amount I got was £10, the largest £2500. As they are one off grants they don't affect benefits or tax (or they didn't, do check).

I used to treat getting funding as a full time job for the first week after term finished.

The way I did this was to sit in the library and type up a data base of all the trusts / charities that I may be eligible to get funding from. Then I would send out a standard letter to the trustees (hence the data base, much easier to do this with mail merge) asking for their application form.

Most didn't reply, I would get about 10 replies, some saying the money was no longer available and others with application forms or instructions on how to apply.

OK stage 2 - actually apply. Fill in the application form and sell yourself. How do you fit the criteria? What work have your parents done? Where were you born? Where do you live? Why should you have this funding? What are you going to do after your course?

Stage 3 cheques arrive. Some came to me, one for course funding was sent to the uni directly.

It can take some time, can your dd defer for a semester or even a year?

You can also apply to some through

www.dsc.org.uk/Publications/Fundraisingsources

Be warned, many of these trusts were set up in the 1880s so the language is often about persons 'who become impotent', or 'ladies with no means to support themselves in danger of becoming fallen women', or 'to train in a particular trade'.

All the eligibility criteria change, I got £250 for being born female in Yorkshire and attending a 'place of formal education'.

Many are for orphans where the parents (often just the father) was in the army or a particular trade such as a butcher or tailor.

There are other lists of trusts available. Oh and all trusts ask where else you have applied, they are more willing to give a grant if you have applied to several places.

And if you are thinking there is no money available, I did my degree part time and it took seven years. I was open about the funding I applied for and encouraged others to also apply. One fellow student went as far as filling in a form for what was then EGAS and they sent her a list of trusts she fulfilled the eligibility criteria for, but she 'couldn't be bothered' to fill in any more paperwork.

The initial letter should be something like this

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to ask about the possibility of obtaining funding from the 'XYZ' trust.

My name is bigoldbird'd daughter. I am a (isert age) old woman. I am looking to fund my postgraduate studies. Please could you send me your application form? Or if you do not use application forms then please contact me with your preferred method of application.

Thank you in anticipation

bigoldbird's daughter

If there is not a form then the application letter should be along the lines of

Dear Sirs (unless you have a name)

My name is bigoldbird's daughter I am a (insert age) old woman. My family background is working class, my parents have worked all their lives as an X and Y.

I am the first in my family (if this is the case, if not then perhaps 'one of the first' or one of the few) to attend university. (can also mention the only one to take up further education if this is the case)

I have/did have - anything that makes study difficult goes here, it could be dyslexia, disability, a close relative who dies during the course, anything that gives an extra claim for funding. I had to leave one career through becoming disabled so this gave me brownie points.

I have obtained a (first or 2:1) Bc(Hons) in X and I have been offered a place at Y university to study for a masters in Z.

I have spent the summer working away from home to finance my studies, but I have not been able to earn enough money for both my fees and to live on for a year.

As Y uni is Xmiles from home living with my parents is not an option.

My experience of higher education has been life altering, I value the opportunity I was given to study at this level and wish my parents / family / previous generations had had the opportunity.

I am passionate about continuing my studies and gaining a career, this would be the best reward I could give my parents for supporting me throughout my studies to date. They are not in a position to help financially but have always been there to support me in any way they could.

I am applying to your trust and also to

Trust A
Trust B
Trust C
Trust D

My total funding goal is X course fees and Y living expenses. I will obviously continue to work part time whist undertaking my masters. (list anything else such as bench fees, subscribing to a professional body, travel to conferences, books, a new computer- but break it down. If any funding has already been received then add that in here too)

Thank you for considering me.

yours sincerely / faithfully

bigoldbird's daughter

Depending on her field of study she could also try businesses in her chosen field and ask them for support/sponsorship and that their name will be on any academic publications and on her thesis. Also she should be prepared to be in the local paper if it is a local company. Something along the lines of 'bigoldbird's daughter's dream comes true due to the generosity of local company....'

Companies may not have spare money but may be able to supply goods that are relevant to your dd's study or just practical things.

Here are a couple of options which are probably totally unsuitable

www.dialog-semiconductor.com/careers/graduates/student-sponsorship

Also their may be sponsorship and bursaries through the uni.

sashh Sat 07-Sep-13 10:22:34

sashh that looks very helpful.
I have a DS just applying to uni for the first time, the courses he's looking at are all 4 year MMath courses, does this mean he won't get funded in his 4th year?

sashh Sat 07-Sep-13 18:35:11

secretscwirrels

No it means he will be funded, because he has applied as an undergraduate and it is part of his degree. But when I applied for uni I had no idea you could do this, and it's the same for a lot of people, they find they have the ability to do a masters but because they didn't know they could apply for one at undergraduate level then they are left sith no funding.

TinyDiamond Sun 08-Sep-13 09:08:43

what subject does she want to study? If something that the OU teach it is worth looking into as they have a pay as you go option (+5% interest) through their OUSBA account. This is how I've paid for my degree. It would take her 2 years rather than 1 but if she was working and living at home it could be a way. Also scour her universities own website to see if they offer any scholarships for graduates. Sometimes it means they would have to stay at the same institution though. Most universities have at least 1 postgraduate scholarship that any graduate can apply for.

Phew thanks sashh. I am so pleased I discovered this before I suggested he apply for a 3 year undergrad course and decide later about Masters.

webwiz Sun 08-Sep-13 15:27:25

secretscwirrels he would still be funded if he switched onto a MMath course during his first or second year but if it was a separate standalone masters he wouldn't.

LondonMother Sun 08-Sep-13 16:17:27

There aren't that many subjects, though, where you can apply at 18 for a 4-year Master's instead of a Bachelor's degree. It's very expensive to do a Master's and in many cases if you do substantial hours of paid work alongside a full-time Master's you really will reduce your chance of doing well and you'll also have such an exhausting time that you won't get the most out of the course. You want to get value for money and that means only taking the Master's when your finances are such that you can give your studies the time and concentration they need.

I'd suggest look at the following:
1. Ask if the place can be deferred for a year.
2. Ask if there is any option to transfer to part-time study and aim to work 2-3 days a week to fund the course and living expenses.
3. Put the whole thing on hold for a couple of years and save up enough money to fund a full-time year by working in the mean time (easier said than done in the current climate, though).
4. Use Sashh's excellent tips to get additional funding, regardless of which of the above she does.

The whole thing makes me pretty angry. We're now in a position in the UK where it's become really important to get a Master's for many jobs/careers to differentiate yourself from the vast number with 2.1s/1sts and yet there's hardly any funding. It's hidden discrimination as only young people with family support have any hope of doing a Master's in many fields. Even when you can get a Career Development Loan it won't fund the whole thing and you start having to pay it back very quickly after you complete the course, regardless of whether you're earning or not.

mumeeee Sun 08-Sep-13 17:07:29

You are right Londonmother DD2 would love to do a Masters but she can't afford it and there is no way we can help her. She may look into it again in a few years time, DD1 is doing a Masters next year but she has just been made head of Science and the School are paying something towards it.

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