Hello fellow internet people and students.
As I’ve said in one f my previous posts (link opens in new tab/window) I am doing a year in industry which to recap is where I take a year out from being taught and spend it in a place where I want to eventually end up working. For me I am an IT technician at a school, which although it’s not what I want to do when I graduate it’s teaching me skills I may need in my future job.
Right this is going to be quiet a serious post as it is todo with student finance England….Yes the company that gives out the loans to students. This is about the struggles I have faced with my year 3 application…. I seriously hope none of you guys have to face this and if you have I do feel sorry for you. Sorting out your SFE is a major part of university as without an approved loaned you wont be able to pay your accommodation/tuition fees.
Way back when I first applied for SFE in 2012 I put down that my course was a 4 year sandwich course, this was all approved and I was stress free and getting my payments. Then they changed the way the website worked and you were automatically enrolled for loans. This messed up my application. A lot.
So I am sitting there checking up for my application at the start of the year (2014 that is) when I noticed that it had been changed to a 3 year full time course…this isnt right I hear you say…
So I leave it an hope it changes then I get my letter through for next years loan to the univeristy. So I call up SFE and ask them and they said “oh yes there’s a button on the website you can press to change it” I go to the website and at that time there wasn’t. So I leave it a while before calling back. I was then told that they will put a note on my file and get it changed. IT still wasn’t and I get another letter through about next year. So I called back to say it still hasn’t changed and the guy says I have to fill in a form, so that is filled in sent off. Then I get another letter with a change in the amount: the tuition fee is £1 (i think they had to put a value) and my maintenance loan was slightly lower. FINALLY something has been done and my application has been changed…….Yeah I was wrong.
I go online to see if I can change the tuition loan fee when I discover that my application still hadn’t been changed. I again got another letter through for my third year fees -_- so back online I went and this time there was a button so I pressed the change in circumstances and hoped that would work….until 22nd August when I received the tuition fees for what they think is my final year.
I rang up SFE and was told to go to another depart as the one dept systems was down. I got through and after about 15 mins of being on hold my application has been put in for manual amendment.
This makes me think about how students finances are being managed. The IT people for one should have made sure that when they migrated the data over all the data was correct and that there were no errors. The company should have checked that students who on the old system said they were doing 4 year placement, were still put down for that on the new system. Another thing is that the case should have been solved on the first or second call not on the 6th.
As pleasant as they seem on the phone I am annoyed at SFE for stressing me out. I would urge all students to keep an eye on what they are actually getting for them and to monitor their account online especially if you are doing a placement.