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To think this is a stupid student finance rule?

(25 Posts)
Inim Sun 16-Aug-15 16:23:44

Because I'm under 25 I was told that my finance is calculated based on my parents income..
Is that right? Even though Im a single parent to a toddler and live by myself, although I have only lived alone 1.5 years bit still, my parents are hardly going to give me money confused

scatterthenuns Sun 16-Aug-15 16:25:13

Pretty sure that you can declare yourself as independent.

Oswin Sun 16-Aug-15 16:25:35

I'm sure that's wrong. I think there's a rule saying its nothing to do with your parents if you have been living independently for a certain amount of time.

howtorebuild Sun 16-Aug-15 16:28:47

Have you spoken to your parents?

It's a daft rule.

NeverGoOutOfStyle Sun 16-Aug-15 16:29:04

You can actually contact them and provide evidence that you're financially independent from your parents and then they won't base your entitlement on their income.

tabulahrasa Sun 16-Aug-15 16:29:49

I'm pretty sure if you have children you're automatically classed as an independent student no matter what age you are.

tiggytape Sun 16-Aug-15 16:33:24

I think you need to be able to demonstrate you've been living independently for 2 or 3 years (pretty sure it was 2 years in my day).

But YANBU to think the parental element is very unfair - especially in your case but also generally.
Parental income is not a direct indicator of how well parents will help an individual child. They may have 3 other children at home and zero disposable income. They may be mortgaged to the hilt. They may not agree with the uni / course / path their adult child has chosen and refuse to help out. Lots of parents who could theoretically afford to pay X amount aren't actually going to hand over that cash or level of support for all number of reasons.

AngelWings74 Sun 16-Aug-15 16:34:25

Anything to do with student finance is hard work. When helping our Son with his application my husband accidentally ticked the box that said that my husband was female! We tried to change with no success. They wanted photographic evidence and a copy of his birth certificate, they even said they would be sensitive if he had changed sex and had previously dealt with applications like this! The whole thing held up my sons application and the uni threatened to throw him off the course if they didn't get their money!

Good luck OP

MaxieMouse Sun 16-Aug-15 16:35:18

Yabu to jump to conclusions before reading a bit about the rules. Get googling.

Pernicious Sun 16-Aug-15 16:36:27

It looks like you'll have to fill in the forms based on your parents income as it's based on income in 2013/2014, but fill in the current year income form as well, as your circumstances have changed and your parents' income won't be taken in to account as you're not financially dependent. www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance/household-income

Buttercup27 Sun 16-Aug-15 16:37:00

I was living with my fiancé when I went to uni but because I was under 25 my student loan was based on parents income, bit that was 8 years ago.

howtorebuild Sun 16-Aug-15 16:37:12

Bliley, all because you ticked the wrong box. shock

MrsHathaway Sun 16-Aug-15 16:56:54

A friend had similar problems even though her parents had essentially cut her off and emigrated. From memory it was simplest (!) to get some kind of declaration from her parents that they were not supporting her any more, but it was a huge huge faff.

Blueandwhitelover Sun 16-Aug-15 16:58:22

DS is 24 and off to Uni in September, he has lived on his own since he was 19/20 and has been accepted as independent, I think he had to provide his wage slips etc to prove it.

unweavedrainbow Sun 16-Aug-15 17:12:47

Right. For SFE purposes a independent student is someone who is:
25 or older
Married
Is responsible for a child
Has supported themselves for at least 3 years (with wage slips/benefit letters to prove it)
Is estranged (NC) from parents (normally need letter from GP/SW to back this up)/parents are dead
on the 1st of September of the academic year they are applying for.
This means that, as the OP has a child, the OP is an independent student.

The reason why SFE does it like this is that most students go home in the holidays (usually 22 weeks a year) where their parents support them-they don't live as self supporting independent adults, even if they think that they're adults! In general, if you live independently all year round then there will be a reason for it/enough proof that you can manage this that will mean that SFE will count you as an independent student.

toboldlygo Sun 16-Aug-15 18:43:48

You can still end up with the slightly bonkers scenario where I was living with a partner who worked full time and I worked part time while studying. Mine and my partner's income didn't count for anything, the decision was made based on the income of my mother, whose home I had left five years previously, and that of her partner, a man I had never lived with or had any financial connection to. confused

notquitehuman Sun 16-Aug-15 19:17:53

I got declared independent at 23, as I was off living with my boyfriend when I applied. It was pretty simple. I think my college tutor had to sign some form. Wouldn't surprise me if it'd become more complex since then.

CurlyBlueberry Sun 16-Aug-15 19:40:51

I think it's all bonkers. There's no legal obligation for parents to support their adult offspring at uni, yet it is assumed they will. What if they don't? - and I do know some people whose parents refused and they really had to scrape by, completely unfair considering others got grants due to living with their mother while their father (divorced) was wealthy and gave them money. I think the system should be changed personally as everyone should be treated with the same blank slate. I've got no personal connection, I've finished uni and my parents were both able to and happy to help me with funds, but I do think it's unfair for those whose parents can't (as the calculation doesn't take into account the expenses of the parents) or won't.

Also, although I went home for Christmas and a week at Easter, I didn't go to a uni in a "university" town, so had to rent a flat all year round and lived there permanently, using income from a part-time job. I certainly wasn't living with my parents 22 weeks of the year!

Fluffyears Sun 16-Aug-15 19:55:22

The other thing they don't do is link siblings. So my brother and me had two separate applications where the awarded finance based on
Parental contributions but didn't take into account that there were two students to provide support to. Also trying to get the p60 info separately for each was a major faff. My parents also had no money as my dad drank most of it but all they saw was his earning not the mortgage or various loans. I worked all through uni as did my brother.

littlejohnnydory Sun 16-Aug-15 20:27:08

The rules are very unfair to students who are nc with parents - they require a letter from a professional confirming 'family breakdown' but obviously if people go nc as an adult there is no sw involvement.

IgglePiggleIsDead Sun 16-Aug-15 20:41:23

I'm a lone parent going into my 2nd year at uni and I'm 23...I don't remember having to prove or provide anything to say I am financially independent from my parents, the forms were pretty straightforward so you should definitely be able to do the same, the must be a misunderstanding or a mistake made somewhere. Have you rang them up and explained the circumstances? They've always been really nice and helpful to me on the phone.

Anniesaunt Sun 16-Aug-15 20:49:30

I do think that student finance make things more complicated than they need to be.

I have just finished uni as a mature student (well over 25) and my husband doesn't work so has no income. They initially said signed statements from both of us would suffice but they rejected that. When I called them they said it would be ok just send in pay slips to show no income. Cue 20 min telephone conversation with me trying to explain why there were no pay slips then they decided they wanted signed statement from his employer leading to another 20min banging head against wall conversation. We then sent his bank statements with no income except what I transferred him and my bank statements to show where they came from, p 45 and redundancy letter and the JCPlus letter from when he was no longer eligible for.contribution based JSA. This got rejected and had a repeat of the pay slip/ employer conversation, them wanting proof my dad was dead (no sensible to why they wanted this). Only got sorted when I demand to speak to a manager and demanded how they, when no one else could could without doubt prove a negative. Got a few threats of fraud investigation but got my payment in time for course start date.

OP hope you get it sorted quickly and good luck with your course.

Kafri Sun 16-Aug-15 21:03:28

Dealing with SFE is hard work full stop! Every time you speak to someone you get a different answer.

I got my award paper a while back and panicked like hell cos it didn't have my childcare element on there. Called them to be told that I wasn't entitled to it so would need to make other arrangements. After speaking with uni I called them back to check a few details and got told that I was entitled to it, my file just hadn't been to the relevant department yet.
I've had problems with each year I've applied for my next years finance.

Becca19962014 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:56:13

I went to uni when there were grants as well as loans. Unfortunately my parents refused to support me at university at all. They did everything they could to stop me going to university and because my course was so intensive (and they would not allow working along side study - those who tried dropped out) I ended up getting a personal bank loan to get through. It was a total nightmare.

My parents wouldn't give me a letter stating they refused to help me either so I couldn't access the full grant or the hardship fund. It was a nightmare from beginning to end.

I did get my degree in the end which is the main thing!!

MrsMook Sun 16-Aug-15 23:16:29

I had my finances based on my mother's income even though I hadn't lived with her since I was a toddler. It wasn't so bad as an undergraduate other than the LEA trying to bend the rules as her circumstances meant there was no assessable income. After a year out, I applied for finance for a post graduate course, and again it was my mother's income. There'd been some fall outs not long before, and she wasn't in favour of my choice of course, and she resented having to trawl through her finances yet again and said some deeply hurtful things in her ire.

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