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International payment scam

It has been brought to our attention that quite a large number of Chinese students in the UK (so far 150 students with payments totalling £500,000 but these figures are expected to rise) have fallen victim to a scam where fraudsters offer to pay tuition fees on behalf of the student. They claim access to significantly discounted exchange rates which could save the student a considerable amount of money. The fraudsters pay the fees online to the University, but use stolen credit card information - the student can then check their University account and see the fees have been paid and therefore pay the agreed discounted amount to the fraudster. It is only at a later date when the real cardholder realises their card has been used fraudulently that the University receives a chargeback on the card and the student’s full fees are therefore due again.

This scam has so far only impacted on Chinese students but I would caution all international student to be careful if they are approached by anyone with ‘to good to be true deals’ to pay tuition and if they are, please immediately contact the finance team ( at the University to seek advice.



Organised crime groups are targeting students specifically to launder the proceeds of crime. Student beneficiaries involved may not have been aware that opening a bank account in this manner is potentially illegal.
How can you avoid being a victim?
Please access the DON’T BE FOOLED website for further information as well as tips and advice on what to look out for.

Process update for Special Support Grant 

This concerns students who: 
  • have taken agreed time out from a course due to an illness or caring responsibility
  • are now waiting to go back to the course after the illness or caring responsibility has ended
These students may be entitled to partial Special Support Grant (SSG) or Special Support Element of the Maintenance Loan. This comes under the 'SSG time out due to illness or caring responsibility' category.

We want to raise awareness for students who may be eligible for additional support under this category.

The SSG or Special Support Element of the Maintenance Loan will be paid on a pro-rata basis. It will cover the time in which the student is fit to return, or the caring responsibility has ended, until the end of the academic year.

To qualify, students must meet the following criteria:
  • they suspended their studies due to an illness or caring responsibility
  • they are fit to return to studies, or their caring responsibility has ended, during the same suspended year
  • they have received payment through suspension due to financial hardship
  • their university has prevented them from returning in the same academic year
The SLC will need evidence of all of the above.

SFE students should send a Financial Hardship Confirmation form and their evidence to the Financial Hardship team at the address on the form.
SFW students should call to request the form. You can find the contact details here.

Once the Financial Hardship team has received the evidence, they will contact the students if they need any more information. An assessor will also let the students know once the request is accepted or declined.

Overpayment of Student Finance 

An overpayment can occur where a student has taken a break from studies. For students who have been overpaid, the overpayment will be recovered from the funding they will receive when they resume their studies. Student Finance will notify students of any overpayment once they have recalculated the award. Students apply for funding when they are due to return to their course and overpayment will show as a deduction on their student support notification. If students can demonstrate that this will cause financial hardship, Student finance may agree to defer recovery.


Changes to the payment of the child care grant from Student Finance 

From academic year 2019/20 childcare grants will no longer be paid directly to the student but will be paid to eligible child care providers.

Both new student and continuing student from 1st August 2019, can apply for the Childcare Grant online, as part of the main student finance application. If your application is approved, you will receive an email from the Childcare Grant Payment Service (CGPS) and you will need to register with them in order to enable the CGPS to make payments to your registered childcare provider.

If you have already applied for student finance but didn't apply for a childcare grant at the same time, please complete the application form here


SFE Postgraduate Master's Loan applications are now open for 2019/20

The Student Finance England Postgraduate Master's application services for AY2019/20 is now open.  Please apply online as soon as possible to ensure that your funding is approved in time for the start of the course


Reminder on Repayment


Remember, as of April 2019 the current thresholds for repayment for all Plan 2 loans has increased to £25,725 a year(or £2,143 a month or £494 a week). More information is available online here


Students who have accessed a postgraduate loan could enter into repayment for the first time in April 2019. The repayment threshold for postgraduate loans remains at £21,000 and is repaid concurrently with any undergraduate loans. Additional information is available online here


Current year income assessment

Has your income dropped. If the current household income has dropped by 15% or more since the tax year details the SLC have asked for in the student finance application, the student's parents or partner can ask us to use an estimate of their income for this year. Further information is available online here