Applying for support 2008/09
Please Note, Most the information in this FAQ relates to full time English students. Students from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should check their respective Student Support websites for confirmation. This FAQ is also not applicable to those on NHS courses, social work courses, or teaching courses. Please see us for more information.
Do I have to apply?
You have to apply for support every year - it does not automatically carry over. You should automatically get a letter instructing you to re-apply.
Which form do I use?
If you want to, you can apply online through the Student Finance England
website. Once you have submitted the form, some paperwork will be sent which you will have to sign and return along with any required evidence.
If you prefer to do the process through paper forms
, you will need one of the following:
• PN1 is for NEW students.
• PR1 is from RETURNING students including those who have transferred.
What should I apply for?
For students who started in Sept 2006 or later, the following support is available:
Disabled Student Allowance - this is an additional grant made available to help with the extra costs you incur as part of your studies due to a disability. The Learning Support Unit will help assess you for this.
Tuition Fee Loan - This is the loan to pay your tuition fees. MMU is charging the maximum allowed amount of tuition fees - £3225. This is completely covered by the Tuition Fee Loan.
The Maintenance Loan - this is the portion of loan everyone is entitled to if they meet the eligibility criteria. This is £3564 if living away from your parent's home or £2763 if living at home.
The Additional Maintenance Loan - this is the means tested portion of the loan. It is important that you request this as well if you intend to try and claim the full amount. At MMU we have three extra weeks making the maximum total amount of loan (inluding the non-means tested part) £5199 (away from parental home) and £4000 (living at parental home).We can check your eligibility for all support if you pop into the Advice Centre.
Special Support Grant - This is a grant of up to £2906. It is only for people who fall into certain groups such as lone parents and disabled people. If you want to check your eligibility, please come and see us at The Advice Centre.
Maintenance Grant - If you are not eligible for the Special Support Grant you will be eligible for the Maintenance Grant. This is also worth up to £2906 depending on your income, but overlaps with your loan entitlement.
Parents' Learning Allowance - This is available to anyone who has a dependent child. It is means tested and worth up to £1508. If you are unsure if you qualify or not, please come and see us at The Advice Centre.
Adult Dependent's Grant - This is a means tested grant of up to £2642 and paid in respect of a dependent adult such as a husband, wife or partner. If you or your partner are under 25, please contact us for advice.
Childcare Grant - A grant for paying up to 85% of your childcare costs. You will need to provide receipts throughout the year and there is a maximum weekly amount they will consider.
Travel Grant - This grant is only available to those on medical or dentistry courses (which we do not run at MMU) and students who have to go abroad. Please contact us for more information.
If you started in September 2005 or before, you will not be eligible for the Special Support or Maintenance Grant. Instead you will be entitled to the Higher Education Grant of up to £1000 (means tested). This grant is not available if you started before September 2004. You may also be entitled to a Tuition Fee Grant of up to £1285 - although the Tuition Fee Contribution Loan can top up the difference between any grant award and the £1285 fee.
- If you are being charged the full fees, MMU offer a means tested bursary
of up to £1000. To apply for this you will need to agree to the information you and you family provide on the form to be shared with "the institution". This enables MMU to carry out the means test and arrange payments.
What is means testing?
Means testing is comparing your income with the amount the government thinks you need to live on. When calculating student support, the government assumes that a portion of the Residual Household Income* can go towards your living costs. This "Assessed Contribution" is made against your Fee Grant, Higher Education / Maintenance / Special Support Grant, and Additional Maintenance Loan.
For new students in 2008 or 2009 who's Residual Household Income is below £25,000 full support will be available. If you started before 2008 you only get full support if your Residual Household Income is less than £18,360. If you started before 2006, you will only get full support if your Residual Houshold Income is below £16,750.
If you have dependents, a separate means test is applied to Adult Dependents Grant, Parents Learning Allowance and Childcare Grant. See us
for more information.
* The Residual Household Income is the amount of household income after certain allowances have been taken off
When should I apply?
The ultimate deadline for applying for support is 9 months after the start of the Academic Year - for most students this will be the end of May 2010 for the 2009/10 academic year.
If you are not applying for any means tested support and the Local Authority/Student Finance England receives your form by 24th April 2009, they should guarantee to have your support in place for the start of term.
If you are a continuing student applying for means tested support and the Local Authority/Student Finance England receives your form by 22nd May, they should guarantee having your support in place for the start of term.
If you are a new student applying for means tested support and your form is received by Student Finance England by 26th June, they should guarantee your funding being in place for the start of term.
If you are on a conditional offer, you should still apply now.
It is important to apply as early as possible because the first term is often the most expensive - course books often need purchasing, Freshers' Week activities need paying for, rent and deposits may need paying. Not having your support in place could make life very difficult for you.
If you are looking at going through clearing you will need to apply later. If your support is late because of this, the university can offer limited emergency loans to cover the start of term. More details will be available nearer the time - but please contact The Advice Centre
for a full picture of the help available.
What information will I get?
Financial Notification - this informs you how much you will receive and breaking it down. It is a good idea to ensure you make copies of this as the university will want a copy as will other people later in the year.
Payment Schedule - This tells you when you will get paid. Again it is a good idea to ensure you keep a copy of this for yourself before handing it over to those who need it.
MMU Bursary Award Letter - This will be sent out during the year and outlines what, if any, MMU Bursary you will be entitled to and when it will be paid.
When will I be paid?
The first instalment of student support in an academic year is paid once you've enroled. The university will inform you of your enrolment date and it is important that you follow the instructions and turn up at the right time. Even if you are able to enrol electronically, the information will not be passed to the Student Loan Company until the enrolment date. The Student Loan Company cannot release your student support until they have that confirmation from the university. It can take a couple of days for the money to work its way through to your bank account.
Subsequent terms should be paid on the first day of term. You do not need to re-enrol, but it may still take a few days to go through the bank's systems.
The MMU Bursary is paid in February and May. Further details will be sent to you once MMU has carried out the calculations.
What if I think the amount is wrong?
If you are concerned that your student support has been calculated incorrectly please contact The Advice Centre
for checking and assistance.
What if the amount is not enough?
Most students are not entitled to benefits such as Income Support or Housing Benefit however, there are exceptions. If you would like to know more please contact The Advice Centre
where we can also help with budgeting advice.
The University offers a hardship fund - The Access to Learning Fund
- which is open to all students but has certain priority groups. The awards are made for the whole academic year so apply before you get into difficulty. We can assist you with applications.
There is also some non-statutory support available. There are lots of trust funds which exist to assist students but the qualifying criteria make it difficult to identify those you can apply for. The Educational Grants Advisory Service
has a web-based form you can fill out to identify the funds you may be eligible for. You will then have to contact the funds yourself for details of how to apply. These often meet and award funding late in the academic year for the following year so apply early.
Do I need a bank account?
Your Student Loan is expected to be paid into a bank account, so yes, you will need one. There are many types of accounts on offer, but the two of most interest to students are the Student Account and the Basic Account.
A Student Account is typically a special current account with a bank which offers free or low interest overdrafts, attractive terms and some form of gift incentive. It is worth looking beyond the free gift incentive to look at the facilities the bank is offering.
A Basic Bank Account is exactly what it says on the tin. They usually have no overdraft facilities, no free incentive gifts, restricted direct debits or standing orders, no cheque guarantee card. The plus side is that most people can open one of these regardless of credit history. They will also help prevent you getting into debt by not giving you an overdraft. Again, it is worth looking at the facilities the banks are offering.