Two students who had their student loans revoked have described their experience so far as “difficult” and “incredibly stressful”.
Hannah Collis and Toby Pitts were plunged into financial difficulties weeks into their master’s degrees after their loans were cancelled – despite initially being promised they would receive the funding.
Both of the King’s students had applied for the MA loans in July 2016 and, after receiving a confirmation letter from Student Finance England (SFE) in August, put down a deposit on their London accommodation.
However, the payment date passed and no money was deposited into their bank accounts.
Toby Pitts, who is studying full-time for a Masters in Digital Humanities, said he called up SFE for an answer – only to find that his loan had unknowingly been revoked.
He said: “Upon ringing SFE up to check the first payment I was told that my loan had been revoked and initially I was just utterly shocked. The fact that they hadn’t even contacted me about it and had not let me know before the start of term was awful.”
As a result, Toby has had to work more than he originally planned to fund his studies.
“It’s been difficult to juggle both,” he said, adding: “I’ve been working a lot more then I would have liked along-side the degree and obviously this is going to have some impact on the amount of time I can devote to study.
“I’ve had to borrow money from other places and it’s been really stressful not having the financial security.”
And the story is similar for Hannah, who is studying for an MSc in Climate Change: Environment, Science and Policy.
After noticing the money had not gone into her account, she called up SFE and was told her loan had been revoked due to ineligibility.
She said: “I was completely horrified and could do nothing but cry for quite a while as I tried to comprehend how awful the situation was. This later turned to anger at the incompetence of SFE.
“It was incredibly stressful for the first few weeks whilst I tried to sort out my financial situation. It now means that I will have to work alongside my MSc to sustain me but this will inevitably distract me from my studies to an extent.”
Both students received an apology from SFE alongside an offer of £200.
Roar contacted SFE for comment but no response had been received by the time this article was published.