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Not eligible for tuition fees loan.

(12 Posts)
thesnootyfox Wed 13-Feb-13 22:34:41

I have been considering studying for a undergraduate degree in Humanities via the Open University for quite a while. The costs are now through the roof and I was planning on applying for a tuition fee loan and paying it back through the tax system.

However I have just discovered that I am probably not eligible for a loan as I have master level qualifications. This doesn't seem fair to me as I have self funded all my own studies.

My question is if I don't declare my qualifications on the tuition fees loan application how will they know that I already have higher level qualifications?

I know its wrong to lie etc and I probably won't even apply for the course now. I'm just wondering how on earth they check up on people.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 14-Feb-13 00:19:36

Oh, that's really tricky. sad

So did you not do your degrees in the UK or something?

I sort of think it is fair really - the tuition fee loan is to help people get a qualification. You already have one. But it is really tough.

Would you not be worried if they found out, you'd have such a lot to pay back?

thesnootyfox Thu 14-Feb-13 07:14:29

My qualifications were taken in the UK at various times at different colleges. My qualifications are all related to my profession. So although I may have high level qualifications I don't feel very educated.

I'm not really worried that they will find out because I really can't see how they can.

It's really disappointing. A few years ago I could have funded myself but at £9k a year that really isn't an option now and I don't think it will ever be an option. Particularly as it isn't going to further my career and earn me any extra money.

I was also looking into the option of studying for 'A' levels in subjects that interest me. However searching on various forums it seems that it is almost impossible to find somewhere to take the exam. It costs approx £360 for each A level which could prove to be a costly mistake if nobody will let me take the exam.

I read quite a lot but it doesn't feel enough. I feel I need to be tested on the material in order to fully understand it iyswim?

TinyDiamond Thu 14-Feb-13 09:22:59

hi, if you study at the ou now full time (so 120 credits a year) it will cost you 5k per year.
typically people do part time so on the new fee structure it will be 2.5k.
you won't be entitled for the loan but them finding out or not depends on how you funded your previous stuff I suppose. if you have any kind of student loan already then you'll be 'in the system' as it were.

how did you fund your previous degrees?

have you looked into OUSBA? this is how I pay mine, spreading the cost monthly. its on the website

good luck

thesnootyfox Thu 14-Feb-13 10:10:41

Thanks TinyDiamond. I will have a look at that although I fear I won't be able to afford it as I can't really afford anymore than £30 per month. It's also difficult to justify paying anything out of the family finances at the moment. Which is why the tuition fee loan appealed to me because it feels more like a graduate tax even if it isn't actually called that.

I'm not in the student loan system because my previous studies have either been paid upfront by myself or by my employers.

I might have thought twice about studying for my professional qualifications if I had realised that it would prevent me from getting an undergraduate degree.

I seem to have spent my life doing everything back to front!

TinyDiamond Thu 14-Feb-13 10:16:24

it would be more in the region of £200 pm I reckon. this is if you did part time so degree takes 6 years. it is such a shame as so many people are just priced out now. I know if I was starting now there's no way I could do it.
do you think your employer would contribute? it would be worth calling financial support at the ou to see where you stand.

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 14-Feb-13 10:23:15

You don't need to be in the student loans system for them to link you up.

There are people who try this every year, and every year they are kicked out of uni a few months in. In one case a girl made a successful appeal to stay, but had to take out an almost impossible loan to pay her fees immediately, and in the other cases the lying was enough that they were gone.

I went to uni with two people, one who had a degree from abroad and one who had self-funded, and both were found out. It takes them a few months but they do find out.

It's also worth finding out how your employer funded your studies last time. There used to be a lot of encouragement for employers to pay up, so the government would help a bit. My first year was funded like this - if any of your previous qualifications were, you will definitely be in the system, even if you've never applied.

The fees changed for the OU last year - if you've got any previous study with them, you might be able to appeal to their better nature? It's worth contacting them, explaining everything and seeing what they can offer. They had a big range of financial help, including a low interest, low payment finance plan, last time I was looking at studying.

titchy Thu 14-Feb-13 10:36:56

If you have never had an undergraduate degree funded before, either through a loan, or fees paid directly by Gov in the days before students had to contribute towards their fees, you may in fact be eligible for an SLC loan - ask the OU.

thesnootyfox Thu 14-Feb-13 11:31:50

I'm self employed now so don't have an employer to ask for help. The Humanities degree would purely be for pleasure and isn't in the slightest bit relevant to work.

I really don't think I would be in any system as I paid one course on my credit card and claimed it back through my expenses. The government didn't offer my employer any assistance. The other courses were paid by myself. It would be ironic if I was on some system as I needed to try and get a certificate for one of my postgrads and the university couldn't help me as they have no record of me!

I'm not going to lie because it isn't worth it. It is tempting though...

TinyDiamond Thu 14-Feb-13 12:10:02

the low interest payment plan is OUSBA. worth looking into if you really want to do it. for humanities you'd start with the module AA100, see if it takes your fancy you could try saving for it for another year, it won't be going anywhere

eatyourveg Thu 14-Feb-13 14:18:16

There are plenty of FE colleges that take mature students for A levels

Jamillalliamilli Tue 19-Feb-13 19:32:10

Re the A level exams there are exam centres where you can take them for a fee on top of the exam fee. But talk to private schools who use the same board, many of them will allow private candidates for just the board fee and a small admin fee, under charitable status. If you have difficulty finding one ask on the home ed board, and ask for the yahoo exams group link. (We all have to find our own exam centres)

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