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Student finance and illness

(4 Posts)
cashmerecardigans Thu 05-Jan-17 21:03:57

My DSD is at uni and has been told she needs a major operation, likely to be in March/April. Does anyone know what position this leaves her in with her student loan? Shes committed to rent etc for the rest of the year and her uni is saying that if she doesn't attend they will inform Student finance and her money will be withheld.
Is this right? I would have thought in these circumstances, backed up with medical info, that her loan would be honoured. It's causing massive stress which she really doesn't need at the moment.
She's at a small FE institution which is affiliated to a larger HE provider, so it doesn't help that they're probably not used to dealing with this sort of thing.
Any help much appreciated

rightsaidfrederickII Sat 07-Jan-17 00:06:09

Given it's so close to the end of the academic year, would it be possible for her to have the op just after her exams, perhaps in late May / early June? I'm guessing that if she has to wait 2-3 months, then chances are it won't harm her physical health enormously if she has to wait an extra month or two - but I'm not a doctor!

Alternatively, speak to the college - it may be that, following the mitigating circumstances policy, she may be able to either
(a) be exempted from the exam(s) on the basis that she's not fit to sit - often easier if she has already completed some coursework for that module as they can use those grades, or
(b) sit the exams in August - this is normally a resit time of year, but if she got it declared a 'first sitting' (again, via mitigating circumstances) then she wouldn't be capped at 40%

There's some info here on what happens with regards to student finance if a student has to defer their studies due to illness www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/media/2571/sfe_withdrawing_factsheet_1516_d.pdf However, I'd recommend putting in a phone call to SFE, as they will be able to give you chapter and verse, tailored to her individual circumstances.

cashmerecardigans Sat 07-Jan-17 20:10:23

right, thanks for your response. It's likely the rehab will be at least 3 months, so although they've already offered an extension, its very unlikely she'll be well enough to cope. She's also suffering massively with anxiety at the mo (history of MH issues too) and will really struggle to focus on work at all until the op. It's a brain operation, so really scary for herb- she's a mature student with a 5yo son, so she's massively worried about the impact on him too.
I'm trying to encourage her to speak with student finance but she's very worried, as her loan is vital to her rent.

onadifferentplanet Sun 08-Jan-17 18:46:47

Ds had to intercalate a couple of years ago for personal and health reasons. He didn't have any loan while he took time out as he lived at home and had a part time job, but I believe he could have applied to keep his loan and grant and that all cases are considered on individual grounds. Have a look under intercalation at the Uni she is at.

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