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Important Information and FAQs on COVID-19 and your Finances

Alongside the UK Government advice and our related University guidance regarding your health and well-being during the Coronavirus outbreak, we also thought it would be very useful to post answers to the most frequent finance-related questions we are being asked at the moment.

This is a fast-changing situation, so please keep checking back to this page regularly, as we will be updating it with more information as and when it is announced. 

With the University now providing my teaching, materials and support online, will my STUDENT FINANCE still be paid (Maintenance Loan, Tuition Fee Loan, etc)?

The Student Loans Company announced on 20th March 2020 that “students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching”. Therefore, as long as you are still engaging with your course you will still continue to receive your funding.

(However, if you actually withdraw from your course or take Leave of Absence, those changes in circumstances would need to be reported to your Student Finance provider, and your funding entitlement would change in those cases.)

With the University now providing my teaching, materials and support online, will my NHS FUNDING still be paid (Social Work Bursary, Learning Support Fund, etc)?

The NHS confirmed on 19th March 2020 that they would be making their payments to students as normal, as long as they are still registered on their courses (i.e. not withdrawn or on official Leave of Absence).

I am having to self-isolate, will my Student Finance still be paid (Maintenance Loan, Tuition Fee Loan, etc)?

Whilst neither the Government nor the Student Loans Company have made any specific announcements on this yet, there is already provision in the Student Support Regulations to continue to pay Student Finance for a period of up to 60 days sickness absence before funding is affected. Therefore, if you are self-isolating due to your own illness, you are already covered under those existing regulations. If you are self-isolating for another reason (following Government advice, or from 111 advice), then you can still be engaging with your course teaching online, and therefore the advice in the point above will be relevant to you.

My income has reduced because I can no longer work to support my studies (either due to the closure of my place of work, sickness, or I have had to reduce my hours).

This is a fast-moving situation, with support being introduced by Government to help people whose jobs have been affected by the impact of the virus outbreak.

  • Respected online resource Money Saving Expert have set up a webpage on support available during the virus outbreak - Coronavirus Financial Help & Rights. This includes detailed advice on the Government support plans for helping businesses (and workers) in this situation, the income-replacement benefits and grants being introduced, and how you can claim.
  • If you are absent from work due to sickness, speak to your employer about the updated Statutory Sick Pay arrangements that the Government has introduced.
  • Speak to your creditors and those who are expecting payments from you – such as mortgage/landlord and companies you have direct debits for – and request payment holidays/breaks in the short term if you need them.
  • Use the services of the University's own Sunderland Futures team to help you find alternative employment. Sign up for their vacancy email alerts here where they (or our employer contacts) post up job opportunities. Follow their social media @UoSFutures where they also post about any additional opportunities. The NHS 111 helpline are advertising for jobs (google ‘NHS 111 jobs’) as are most of the major supermarkets as they are all putting measures in place to cope with increased demand.
  • Contact us about any other options you may have, including any alternative funding from elsewhere, or support from the University such as the University Hardship Fund

 

I am considering taking Leave of Absence or Withdrawing from my course. What will happen with my Student Finance?

In all cases, regardless of the reason, we would advise students to contact the Student Financial Guidance Team if they have any queries on this.

I am worried about my finances. Who can I contact?

Contact us in the Student Financial Guidance Team about any aspect of your finances while you are a student here at the University of Sunderland. 

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