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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
Posts: 1104
So sorry, best of luck.

my dd only qualified for a small maintenance loan, and with her post-year 13 summer work savings from a children's camp for a few weeks, survived well in her first year with only a bit of top-up from us, and as it was means-tested I think that was fair that we paid for her rent in halls (she chose the cheapest option they had). she has now taken the smallest room in her shared flat for subsequent years and was gladly given a smaller share of the rent-no one else wanted that room and she is happy with it, thinks it is fine. she is out all the time anyway, her course is out of the town and very full-on. and she has yet to find anyone paying less that she is. she is vegan so I think that actually saved money as well. She has more of a problem this year as she has had to take a lot of unpaid work experience, leaving no time to earn money. So, don't do a course like that!

She may qualify for financial help or scholarships from the university she chooses, definitely ask about it.

It is definitely feasible and the loans are A) only paid back if they reach a certain income, B) only a percentage of the excess income over the limit, C) don't have to pay if their income goes back down and D) are forgiven after 30 years. compared to i.e. the USA this is a very good deal, and is not like a real loan at all. I was really worried until I read up on it.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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Sounds like lots of emotions - for many reasons taking a gap year seems sensible as she has a lot on her plate and it might mean she can "forget" uni temporarily and concentrate on doing the best she can at her A levels.

In short, yes it is possible and doable and lots do. She will of course have to choose her 1st year uni accommodation carefully - she could consider sharing in halls as that is by far the cheapest way - to keep her costs down. The maount she gets in her maintenance loan is means tested but how she spends it is up to her - by being economical, (usually self catering works out cheaper if she is an ok cook), she can stretch the maintenance loan to cover her rent AND her living/social costs. Most students work now to help fund uni - either all the way through (student union bars or supermarket shifts) or in the holidays - personally I am a little wary of any student who doesn't work!! Even full on degrees like medicine a student can do holiday work for the first couple of years - and every £ earned is another £ to help support them.

There are some bursaries/scholarships/hardship grants at unis - my research shows that (oxbridge aside), generally the none RG uni are far better at offering financial support - Leicester/UEA seemed really good, for example, Birmingham, Bristol, Notts less so. And the cost of living in the locations varies massively (all unis publish average rents for 2nd and subsequent years so you can make a rough comparison - remember, cheap rent in an unsae area is probably a false economy!)

I would also support encouraging her to go to uni where she can live away - it is part of the experience and unless you live in a city with the perfect course, she may well end up paying a lot in travel if she tried to commute. She could ask family to pay a bit into her account in lieu of birthday and Christmas gifts so she can use that to live off too - and, all student accounts come with an interest free overdraft so there is a safety net (albeit one she may not want to use) if she has any unexpected bills.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 4956
Location: london
I'm so sorry for your situation and echo what others have said about a gap year and studying away from home.
Regarding finances several of DDs' friends are on full loans and have managed well. Many parents (certainly me!) make up the 'gap' from to full loan but no more, and both my DDs have coped well will this, working in the holidays (but not full time) and choosing accommodation carefully. It does sound as though it might take a while for your loan status/eligibility to become clear and from my experience it is those who do not qualify for a full loan but cannot afford to top up who find it most challenging. Greater clarity of your loan eligibility and time to process what has happened might be another benefit of a gap year. Good luck and wishing you well in such a difficult situation.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 3030
Praying for you and your daughter at this unimaginably tough time.
I'm another who recommends a year out.
It doesn't need to be a traditional 'Gap' year but time to process and start to heal emotionally could be valuable before the upheaval of University. I can imagine that with everything you have been through, moving away might not be helpful just yet.
There are so many decisions to be made it sounds like there is a real danger of being totally overwhelmed.
If your DD can work for the year it will give her a good buffer against the extra costs and also help in finding vacation employment.
As others have said, getting through A levels this year sounds like it will be challenging enough without adding UCAS and all that entails into the mix.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:30 am
Posts: 463
Location: Harrow
Our DD survived without any financial support from us, apart from some food parcels from her mum. It would have been tight though if she hadn't get a bursary off her uni, so check to see which ones offer something.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:30 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:10 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Trafford
Sorry you are going through such a difficult time. My children went to uni with no financial help from me and managed well. They had the maximum loan and bursaries (Leeds and Birmingham both give £2000 for household income under £25k and £1000 for under £36k). They didn't need to work in term time, they have over 3 months off in summer to earn money for the next year. The students with maximum loan and maximum bursary were better off than most.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:59 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:29 am
Posts: 163
fairyelephant wrote:
You have probably considered/be doing this already but if a will is changed to disinherit a child you can put a block on the new will and make sure she is provided for. Acting swiftly is important (the gov.uk website is very informative).


Yes, my Solicitor has suggested that this may be an option. I'm sure the Will was changed to take me off which is fine as we were getting divorced. If he has disinherited his daughters (99% sure he wouldn't) there is the Inheritance Act 1975 which would be put in place as financial provision would have to be made for his children.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:29 am
Posts: 163
Thank you all for your replies. Lots to think about. Her school are very supportive. Looks like she is going to drop her EPQ which she hadn't managed to start and concentrate on getting good grades for A Levels. That itself has taken a little weight off her shoulders as she was really stressing about it. She only managed 2 mocks in June as she took them a week after her Dad passed but her predictions are very good.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. There's so much to think about!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:39 pm
Posts: 2464
Hi buzzybee, I have sent you a pm.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:29 am
Posts: 163
Just to update, have now applied to Student Finance and have been awarded full Maintenance Loan. With her firm Uni, she will also get a £2k bursary per year due to low income and a new thing that has come in this year for low income families, £800 off accommodation.

I think dd will probably end up better off than some of her peers. Just need to get the grades now.


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