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Student Finance England

edited September 2009 in Not Sports Related
are a bunch of useless, incompetent tossers!

They are the organisation students now have to apply to for finance. Tuition fees, maintenance loan and maintenance grant.

They had a deadline of 26 June 2009 and I paid £5.40 to send the completed form and documents guaranteed next day delivery (it arrived on 18 June 2009) so I could track it when some petty bureaucrat denied ever receiving it.

There is a section on the form requesting details of parents' income and they also request that you send in evidence of that income. As an organisation spawned by New Labour they assume that everybody is naturally guilty of fraud and thus insist on ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS as evidence.

Today my wife and I have both received, at the same address, separate letters enclosing a form for parental income details to be completed and, of course, the only acceptable evidence is ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS which the bastards have had (and still have) since June 18 when they received the completed forms they are now asking us to fill in!

My wife tried to speak to them on the phone but "data protection" prevents them discussing the matter without my daughter! Protection of our P60s with personal information apparently does not come under the scope of "data protection!"

To cut a long story short I am flummoxed as to how I can unravel this situation so that my daughter can receive her student finance. I cannot afford an unbudgeted £100 a week for her room at the hall of residence and I don't want to worry her as she is already having difficulties settling in.

Has anybody got any suggestions other than buying a sub machine gun and blowing away every bureaucrat that crosses my path which is what I feel like doing?

We've met their accursed dictatorial deadlines, sent them everything they asked for and still they f*** up!!!!

Sorry rant over!!!!

Comments

  • Can she not get a student overdraft until the money comes through? This kind of cock-up isn't exactly unprecedented though - when I went to university in 1991 it was the year the ILEA was abolished and London Councils took over the administration of student grants. I didn't get my grant cheque until February.
  • Sounds familiar Len and Ali. Maybe speak with the University to see if you can defer the payment considering the circumstances. The University of London back in my time (mid 90's) were pretty reasonable with this type of stuff, maybe they aren't anymore. All I know is that they won't give you your degree if you have a penny outstanding with them.
  • She should talk to the Student Union and also the Uni. there are hardship funds available. As for Student finance - no real suggestions. You could speak to your local authority, from whom the finance actually comes (Our sons finance came from Lewisham Council) explain the situation to them and see if they have any suggestions).

    I am pretty sure that Data Protection is bollocks, try phoning them again and see if you get someone with a brain. Other than that ditch the machine gun,dress up like Rambo and take a blunt knife to their most sensitive regions.
  • Might it be possible for you and your wife's employers to issue replacement P60s? Far from ideal I know but should be possible.

    And when you next call SFE ask calmly to be emailed a copy of their complaints procedure. If you are not satisfied with the attitude of whoever speaks to you, ask for their name/staff number and then ask to speak with their line manager. Explain that you have the printout that shows that they have received a registered mail from you - though of course there's no proof what was in it.

    As Kap and others say, speak immediately to the Uni's finance team. They will have had many cases like this. Like many companies, they can cope with late payment if there's a genuine reason. Is the Hall managed by the Uni? If it's an outside provider (as many are now) then speak immediately with them, as the same applies.

    Let us know how you get on.
  • I had the same problem last year with my loan being delayed. Walked into the student advisory centre and approximately half an hour later I had £100 cash (payable whenever) and the forms needed to get a bridging loan (around £450 which they take out of your loan when you finally receive it).

    Unions and Universities will be extra mindful this year, so get her into the SU and she should be fine.
  • Is it true the government is raising tuition to 4000 quid ? Still a bargain compared to the $52000 it is costing me over here !!!!
  • Not quite the bargain it is if you live in Scotland though!
  • edited September 2009
    My daughter got all hers through on Monday - tuition fees, grant, student loan etc. The Uni pays her bursary straight into her account on 1st November. So very happy.

    I've still got to find her accommodation costs from somewhere though.
  • The better half is having all kinds of problems with them. Useless ringing them.
  • Why are tuition fees free in Scotland? Where are they saving the money in their finances to pay for this? Or is it the same old story of them getting more money from the English taxpayer to pay this little subsidy? Students should have to pay the full insubsidised cost of their education at uni level. It can be recovered from future earnings by a graduate tax which will take it back (plus interest) from their salaries over their lifetime. It works in aus so can't see why it wouldn't here.
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  • [cite]Posted By: Steve Dowman[/cite]Why are tuition fees free in Scotland? Where are they saving the money in their finances to pay for this? Or is it the same old story of them getting more money from the English taxpayer to pay this little subsidy? Students should have to pay the full insubsidised cost of their education at uni level. It can be recovered from future earnings by a graduate tax which will take it back (plus interest) from their salaries over their lifetime. It works in aus so can't see why it wouldn't here.

    I thought this was a thread to give Len some advice, if we start getting into the politics of loans and grants, devolution v central gov't, Scotlands oil money versus subsidising students, it'll soon become a sink.

    Personally my grant and loans and fee;s fromt he 70's were paid my Gov't funds, but I have paid them back in spades in taxes and NI since 1978
  • [cite]Posted By: Steve Dowman[/cite]Why are tuition fees free in Scotland? Where are they saving the money in their finances to pay for this? Or is it the same old story of them getting more money from the English taxpayer to pay this little subsidy? Students should have to pay the full insubsidised cost of their education at uni level. It can be recovered from future earnings by a graduate tax which will take it back (plus interest) from their salaries over their lifetime. It works in aus so can't see why it wouldn't here.

    There is no such tax as that here in Australia.

    Students here take out HECS debts whilst at University for their fees/living costs and pay them back once they enter the workforce - at a very low interest rate just like they do in the UK. Its not a tax, its a loan repayment.

    The last thing Australia would bring in is a "Graduate Tax" because they make a fortune selling degrees to foreign students in return for permanent residency here and would not want to jeopardise that.
  • [quote][cite]Posted By: Steve Dowman[/cite]Why are tuition fees free in Scotland? Where are they saving the money in their finances to pay for this?[/quote]

    By charging English students to study at Scottish universities!
  • I know that the uni I work at has an Emergency Hardship Loan system which can tide students over until the student loan gets paid - which is then paid off with the student loan.
  • FINALLY she has her loan!!

    I had to get the MP involved and even he was given the runaround!

    He has taken up my complaint which sugggests that my assertion that they are an incompetent bunch of tossers is correct!!
  • A fair few people still don't have their loans.

    One of my housemates isnt even recorded on the system at all, despite the fact they managed to pay him last year.

    The Mrs is being threatend with eviction as one of her housemates hasnt had his loan yet, so can't pay any rent, with it being a private landlord not connected to the uni at all, it's just bad luck on her.

    It's their first year dealing with the student loans and it certainly should be the last.
  • I graduated this summer (still looking for a job!) and I had problems with them during my degree. They just outright refused to talk to me once because I forgot my password. Proper jobsworths there. I'm starting a part-time MA in January and (luckily?) the student finance company don't provide any type of loans to pay tuition fees for them. Does anyone know any companies or bodies that do finance MA's at all? Otherwsie I'm paying it up front as I go along!
  • [quote][cite]Posted By: The Red Robin[/cite]I graduated this summer (still looking for a job!) and I had problems with them during my degree. They just outright refused to talk to me once because I forgot my password. Proper jobsworths there. I'm starting a part-time MA in January and (luckily?) the student finance company don't provide any type of loans to pay tuition fees for them. Does anyone know any companies or bodies that do finance MA's at all? Otherwsie I'm paying it up front as I go along![/quote]

    I think the only chance really is a graduate loan, although worth contacting the place you are attending for your MA to find out if they have any funding suggestions/ideas

    If you want to do follow your masters up with a PhD however you could possibly get funding from one of the various funding councils (Economic and Social Research, Arts and Humanities Research council) although competition is pretty fierce.
  • [cite]Posted By: The Red Robin[/cite]I graduated this summer (still looking for a job!) and I had problems with them during my degree. They just outright refused to talk to me once because I forgot my password. Proper jobsworths there. I'm starting a part-time MA in January and (luckily?) the student finance company don't provide any type of loans to pay tuition fees for them. Does anyone know any companies or bodies that do finance MA's at all? Otherwsie I'm paying it up front as I go along!

    It probably depends on the nature of your MA but two of my daughters took professional studies loans with Barclays for their postgrad studies.

    This was pre credit crunch though.
  • [cite]Posted By: Thommo[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: The Red Robin[/cite]I graduated this summer (still looking for a job!) and I had problems with them during my degree. They just outright refused to talk to me once because I forgot my password. Proper jobsworths there. I'm starting a part-time MA in January and (luckily?) the student finance company don't provide any type of loans to pay tuition fees for them. Does anyone know any companies or bodies that do finance MA's at all? Otherwsie I'm paying it up front as I go along!

    I think the only chance really is a graduate loan, although worth contacting the place you are attending for your MA to find out if they have any funding suggestions/ideas

    If you want to do follow your masters up with a PhD however you could possibly get funding from one of the various funding councils (Economic and Social Research, Arts and Humanities Research council) although competition is pretty fierce.

    Thanks guys! I'm going up there Monday so I'll ask about that. My intention is to do a PhD so I might look further into funding. Thanks!
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  • Hi all,

    Long time lurker, first time poster - admittedly a strange thread for me to arrive on!

    Red Robin, I'm doing a PhD at the moment, and it has been privately funded (I'm doing it for a company, so they pay for it), and I would highly recommend this route. In my opinion it is a much better bet than the AHRC option - it pays more (mine is about £14k a year), they generally pay all your expenses (tuition fees, travel, laptop, books etc), and they are slightly less competitive than the AHRC (which is 1 in 10 or something silly).

    The downsides are that you generally do not get to pick your own topic, and they could be more fussy about completion dates (mine is required to be finished within 3 years), so it's difficult to run over.

    Let me know if you want any more info. :)
  • Thanks Si, I've sent you a PM
  • all i know is the loan ain't enough
  • [cite]Posted By: LenGlover[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: The Red Robin[/cite]I graduated this summer (still looking for a job!) and I had problems with them during my degree. They just outright refused to talk to me once because I forgot my password. Proper jobsworths there. I'm starting a part-time MA in January and (luckily?) the student finance company don't provide any type of loans to pay tuition fees for them. Does anyone know any companies or bodies that do finance MA's at all? Otherwsie I'm paying it up front as I go along!

    It probably depends on the nature of your MA but two of my daughters took professional studies loans with Barclays for their postgrad studies.

    This was pre credit crunch though.

    So Len, 2 of your girls have done post grads & another is an under grad - they obviously get it from their mother! :-p
  • Si, think your estimate of 1 in 10 successes for Research Council studentships is rather on the conservative side. Have worked in Finance for three Uni's within the University of London for the last 8 years and its more like 1 in 15-20 for those from the AHRC or ESRC. Its more like 1 in 10 in the Science & Engineering sector (EPSRC, BBSRC and STFC).

    Red Robin, if you need advice, go to see your Uni careers advisor first, then go and see your Research Support Unit. They should have access to at least one of the many funding opportunity databases available (ResearchResearch.com is the best one by far) and they should be able to provide you with a list of any company or HEI offering research studentships in your chosen field or subject.

    Si, dont know what University you are at but the minimum recommended RCUK maintenance stipend is £15,290 for academic year 09/10, so you might like to check with your Uni that you are getting paid the correct amount. Do bear in mind that is the minimum, so depending upon your Uni's circumstances and your relationship with your supervisor, you may be able to persuade them to give you more. We have a number of exceptional students here which are on significantly more than the minimum recommended level.

    If either of you need further info or advice, send me a whisper...
  • lol you cant make it up with this bunch of muppets

    Daughter got a call saying she will not be getting nothing as they have just started processing her forms and have said they cannot do anthing as her proof of ID her passport number has expired.............my daughter explained thats because its taken you 6 months to process it and its only expired a month ago......ooo the joys of dealing with jobsworths !!!
  • mate

    I work for a uni and we are having the problem in multiples. If your daughter is in accomodation owned by the university then I would suggest she lets them know the problem. In our cases here we have granted extension on the payments until SLC have caught up

    Whisper me if you want any further info

    cheers
  • [cite]Posted By: F-Blocker[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: LenGlover[/cite]
    [cite]Posted By: The Red Robin[/cite]I graduated this summer (still looking for a job!) and I had problems with them during my degree. They just outright refused to talk to me once because I forgot my password. Proper jobsworths there. I'm starting a part-time MA in January and (luckily?) the student finance company don't provide any type of loans to pay tuition fees for them. Does anyone know any companies or bodies that do finance MA's at all? Otherwsie I'm paying it up front as I go along!

    It probably depends on the nature of your MA but two of my daughters took professional studies loans with Barclays for their postgrad studies.

    This was pre credit crunch though.

    So Len, 2 of your girls have done post grads & another is an under grad - they obviously get it from their mother! :-p

    or the milkman!:-)
  • Will sort Brighton on Monday. Will get 4 as 2 per person. Doug will come

    Yes mate, getting picked up at 7-30 from Dartford
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