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Ash
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Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am having serious problems trying to resolve a grant payment

Customer Question

I am having serious problems trying to resolve a grant payment issue with Student Finance England. This has been ongoing now for 3 years. I attended a University in 09/10 and completed my first year on my course. I was entitled to a grant and received my payments. I enrolled with the same university in the Aug of 2010, but was informed by my manager that I would not be able to go. As the course was during working hours. I contacted the university which they at the time advised me to suspend my learning. I then found another college course of an evening that would enable me to complete my second year. I had missed the enrollment date for the first semester and enrolled on the Jan of 2011. During my time there I completed a transfer form and sent this off to Student Finance England (SFE). Try to draw down funding to pay for my course (tuition fee), I then discovered that I was still enrolled at the previous university. By the end of the academic year, I had received the student grant as I understood that this formed part of my entitlement. I also was still trying to sort out funding and ended up paying for my tuition out of my own money. I re-enrolled in the Aug of 2011 to complete my course as I had to attend from the Sep - Dec to fully complete my 2 year course. This has caused me a lot of stress. I received a statement stating I owed a balance of £1800, which I queried, as my tuition fees should only have been £1200. From this I discovered that SFE had paid the university the additional £600 for the semester I did not attend. I was also sent a letter stating that I owed an outstanding balance of £2906 for the years student grant. I have contacted SFE on many, many occasions now and continuously explaining my issue with different advisers.
Problem 1
I resolved the issue of the over payment with the university of non attendance, however, they have still been paid by SFE for that semester. I have completed the £1800+ payment and now have to contact the university again...as they need to return the monies owed to SFE before I can get a refund.
Problem 2
SFE requested further conformation about the course I attended via a letter dated 6/8/2013 - which I sent copies of:
Full year module completion statement
copy of my full year certificate and even my a copy of my invitation to my graduation.

I had not heard anything till 24/09/2013 where I received another letter from the Student Loan Company (SLC) for the re-payment of £2906. I again contacted SFE for information about my repayment and grant entitlement. I was then told that...there is NO record of a repayment order on the system and I was to contact the SLC and asked them to confirm this. On contacting the SLC...they have stated that THERE STILL IS and I need to make arrangements to repay this amount.

How can I find out if I am entitled to this money?
How can I be sure that the university will send back the £600 as I believed this was supposed to be sorted out?
How can I make sure I am reimbursed the £600 over payment?
I could end up being over charged by £3506. Which I may have been entitled to?
I am totally stressed with all of this.

Please can you advice?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am having serious problems trying to resolve a grant payment issue with Student Finance England. This has been ongoing now for 3 years. I attended a University in 09/10 and completed my first year on my course. I was entitled to a grant and received my payments. I enrolled with the same university in the Aug of 2010, but was informed by my manager that I would not be able to go. As the course was during working hours. I contacted the university which they at the time advised me to suspend my learning. I then found another college course of an evening that would enable me to complete my second year. I had missed the enrollment date for the first semester and enrolled on the Jan of 2011. During my time there I completed a transfer form and sent this off to Student Finance England (SFE). Try to draw down funding to pay for my course (tuition fee), I then discovered that I was still enrolled at the previous university. By the end of the academic year, I had received the student grant as I understood that this formed part of my entitlement. I also was still trying to sort out funding and ended up paying for my tuition out of my own money. I re-enrolled in the Aug of 2011 to complete my course as I had to attend from the Sep - Dec to fully complete my 2 year course. This has caused me a lot of stress. I received a statement stating I owed a balance of £1800, which I queried, as my tuition fees should only have been £1200. From this I discovered that SFE had paid the university the additional £600 for the semester I did not attend. I was also sent a letter stating that I owed an outstanding balance of £2906 for the years student grant. I have contacted SFE on many, many occasions now and continuously explaining my issue with different advisers.
Problem 1
I resolved the issue of the over payment with the university of non attendance, however, they have still been paid by SFE for that semester. I have completed the £1800+ payment and now have to contact the university again...as they need to return the monies owed to SFE before I can get a refund.
Problem 2
SFE requested further conformation about the course I attended via a letter dated 6/8/2013 - which I sent copies of:
Full year module completion statement
copy of my full year certificate and even my a copy of my invitation to my graduation.

I had not heard anything till 24/09/2013 where I received another letter from the Student Loan Company (SLC) for the re-payment of £2906. I again contacted SFE for information about my repayment and grant entitlement. I was then told that...there is NO record of a repayment order on the system and I was to contact the SLC and asked them to confirm this. On contacting the SLC...they have stated that THERE STILL IS and I need to make arrangements to repay this amount.

How can I find out if I am entitled to this money?
How can I be sure that the university will send back the £600 as I believed this was supposed to be sorted out?
How can I make sure I am reimbursed the £600 over payment?
I could end up being over charged by £3506. Which I may have been entitled to?
I am totally stressed with all of this.

Please can you advice?


 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please respond to my question.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.





I am sorry, but this is not an instant service because we
are all solicitors in practice. We do not sit online 24/7. We all have clients
and court and other users on this site and travelling and weekends and evenings
etc. We are often on and offline all day every day. Sometimes therefore you
will get an answer in minutes and sometimes it is hours. The site does give the
impression that experts will answer in nanoseconds unfortunately, the site is
hosted in San Francisco and we are all based in the UK and we have no control
over site content.


I am going to opt out of this for another expert to
consider. Please do not reply or it comes back into my inbox. Another expert
will pick it up at some stage. It is now open to all experts.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.

I see the expert has opted out - do you still need help?
P
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am having serious problems trying to resolve a grant payment issue with Student Finance England. This has been ongoing now for 3 years. I attended a University in 09/10 and completed my first year on my course. I was entitled to a grant and received my payments. I enrolled with the same university in the Aug of 2010, but was informed by my manager that I would not be able to go. As the course was during working hours. I contacted the university which they at the time advised me to suspend my learning. I then found another college course of an evening that would enable me to complete my second year. I had missed the enrollment date for the first semester and enrolled on the Jan of 2011. During my time there I completed a transfer form and sent this off to Student Finance England (SFE). Try to draw down funding to pay for my course (tuition fee), I then discovered that I was still enrolled at the previous university. By the end of the academic year, I had received the student grant as I understood that this formed part of my entitlement. I also was still trying to sort out funding and ended up paying for my tuition out of my own money. I re-enrolled in the Aug of 2011 to complete my course as I had to attend from the Sep - Dec to fully complete my 2 year course. This has caused me a lot of stress. I received a statement stating I owed a balance of £1800, which I queried, as my tuition fees should only have been £1200. From this I discovered that SFE had paid the university the additional £600 for the semester I did not attend. I was also sent a letter stating that I owed an outstanding balance of £2906 for the years student grant. I have contacted SFE on many, many occasions now and continuously explaining my issue with different advisers.
Problem 1
I resolved the issue of the over payment with the university of non attendance, however, they have still been paid by SFE for that semester. I have completed the £1800+ payment and now have to contact the university again...as they need to return the monies owed to SFE before I can get a refund.
Problem 2
SFE requested further conformation about the course I attended via a letter dated 6/8/2013 - which I sent copies of:
Full year module completion statement
copy of my full year certificate and even my a copy of my invitation to my graduation.

I had not heard anything till 24/09/2013 where I received another letter from theStudent Loan Company (SLC) for the re-payment of £2906. I again contacted SFE for information about my repayment and grant entitlement. I was then told that...there is NO record of a repayment order on the system and I was to contact the SLC and asked them to confirm this. On contacting the SLC...they have stated that THERE STILL IS and I need to make arrangements to repay this amount.

How can I find out if I am entitled to this money?
How can I be sure that the university will send back the £600 as I believed this was supposed to be sorted out?
How can I make sure I am reimbursed the £600 over payment?
I could end up being over charged by £3506. Which I may have been entitled to?
I am totally stressed with all of this.

Please can you advice?

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Have you ever sent your complaint in writing? Did you ever re register at the university or did you just assume you had come off?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I had sent in a complaint and had it sent back with a reply stating that the staff were following company procedure and this is how they dealt with student issues.


 


The problem is: I had registered for my second year at another college. Sent the transfer form off to SFE ...its seems they never received it, which I found this out at a later date. They requested evidence that I attended....I sent : My statement of achieved modules letter, copy of my certificate, copy of my invitation to my graduation, even my seat number. Which again they do not seem to have received or this has not been passed on to the right department.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Did you ever de register at your old college?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

eventually this was all sorted. As I did not attend there was an outstanding over payment of £600 that I now know is in need of being credited back to me.


 


The issue is that the SFE had no record on the database that I attended another college/university. Which I did, have provided evidence for and there still seems to be no communication to:


myself,


the loans company (who are asking for the money back)


and SFE


The college has also provided evidence to the SFE previously.


Why has that not been recorded as this was via telephone, email and letter.


I am having to mediate between all of them as they are not speaking to each other sooooo frustrating and very stressful.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Yes - did you de-enroll from the old college?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. They saw the error and ensured that I was de-enrolled for my second year.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
But not for the first year?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No not for the first year as I attend the university and completed my first year there. I then went and enrolled again in the August of the same year but did not attend. I have been charged £1200 for the first year (which is correct) + £600 tuition fee for the semester I did not attend at. I then sort out another college to complete my second year. Sent in the transfer notice paperwork to SFE and enrolled with the college, but was unable to draw down any tuition fees as I was, then, still registered at the university. I then contacted the university to sort it out de-enrolled with them. By this time I had used up the grant money, because I thought I was entitled to it and still do as I this amount for my first year.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Nooooo I completed my first year. Enrolled correctly. Was given my grant and was charged for my tuition fees. This is correct.


 


As I have stated before. I then went and enrolled for the 2nd year, but was unable to attend as it was during working hours.


 


I then went an enrolled at a college for my second year. Sent the transfer paper work to the SFE, and as I have stated later on during my second year I discovered that the SFE had no record of me attending a second year at a different college.


 


I then de-enrolled from the Uni and now, the SFE have been sent evidence of my attendance at the college for my second year, but still not stated whether I am entitled to the grant.


 


I am receiving loan payment demands of £2906.00 for the grant I used for the second year. As this was put in to my account. SFE assumed that I was still attending the university.


 


No one is providing me with information of my entitlement to this money. And the SFE are not talking to the loans company whom are demanding this payment back.


 


I have explained all this at the beginning of my question.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
So the second year is wrong. Did you de-enroll for the second year?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No... I enrolled at the college, sent the SFE the transfer of education (that I was attending another college) forms to THEM. It seems they never received them and I was never aware of the SFE not receiving them.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
But your college confirms that it sent them? Can they confirm the date?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Absolutely. I even have a copy of the email they sent. They have also contacted them via telephone. I have a copy of a letter that I sent with the required evidence...Certificate, student achievement of modules, clarification of my graduation even my seat number at the ceremony.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
So year 1 is fine. Year 2 transfer. Then what happened next, just in summary? Are further years calculations wrong?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The issue now (I think) is to ensure that I am on the SFE database system for attending a college for my second year. This (again I think) will identify whether or not I was entitled to the student grant for my second year.


 


As stated before. I have sent all the evidence off to the SFE, they have had correspondence with the college via email, telephone etc. But no one from the SFE is letting me know whether or not they have collated the information necessary to deem that I am entitled to this grant. They (SFE) have not contacted the student loan company to let THEM know that they are still dealing with my case as I am still receiving demand letters for £2906.00.


 


 

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Have they just ignored you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

 


It seems that the information is sent to a different department than the one I contact. they have no contact details to put me through to find out if they have received my copies of evidence that I have sent. No one is communicating with each other.


 


So, if I have sent the necessary evidence, the SFE have spoken with the college, the SFE are not telling me what the outcome is??? that's the problem. While I am waiting for a response from the SFE, the student loans company are still sending out letters to retrieve the outstanding money they believe I owe.


 


I then contact the loan company because I have to, they then tell me to go back to the SFE......then for me to call the loans company and tell them what is happening.


 


Like I said .....I am the mediator for all these departments and it is stressing me out, I now am having bouts of depression, anxiety attacks , migraines. No one seems bothered about how all of this is affecting me.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It seems that the information is sent to a different department than the one I contact. they have no contact details to put me through to find out if they have received my copies of evidence that I have sent. No one is communicating with each other.


 


 


 


So, if I have sent the necessary evidence, the SFE have spoken with the college, the SFE are not telling me what the outcome is??? that's the problem. While I am waiting for a response from the SFE, the student loans company are still sending out letters to retrieve the outstanding money they believe I owe.


 


 


 


I then contact the loan company because I have to, they then tell me to go back to the SFE......then for me to call the loans company and tell them what is happening.


 


 


 


Like I said .....I am the mediator for all these departments and it is stressing me out, I now am having bouts of depression, anxiety attacks , migraines. No one seems bothered about how all of this is affecting me.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
How much are they trying to claim back from you or saying you are not entitled to please?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

2,906.00 GBP

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
They are trying to claim that from you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes...

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
I see. You should write to them and set out your position. I know you have done this before but make sure you actually put it in a letter and then send it recorded delivery so that it is signed for and they can not suggest they have not received it.

If the matter ever went to Court they would have to show that it was owing and if you can present evidence you left in year 2 and that they have ignored your letters then they would be unlikely to win.

You should therefore write and if they do not reply within 1 month then send another letter enclosing a copy, again recorded delivery. If you keep sending letters (rather than emails) then you are likely to get a response.

If this answers your question, please take a moment before you leave and rate my service, which I hope has been excellent, it only takes a second and is an important part of the process. Otherwise if you need more information or help then please click reply. Alex

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