A problem with the Student Finance website has left students worried that their course fees had risen to £9,000 despite applying for their second or third year.
A number of students have told The Linc they’ve decided against completing their loan application until the problem is solved, as they are concerned that they won’t be able to afford university next year.
Laurie Caumette, a second year Journalism student, became worried towards the end of her application when the website said she would “have to pay the excess of over £5000 to the university by personal means”.
“I obviously panicked,” said Laurie, “There’s no way I can find £5000 in the space of 6 months.”
Despite being sure that she wouldn’t be affected by the hike in tuition fees next year, she said she was “still worried Student Finance wouldn’t correct the mistake”.
“I didn’t click accept on the form that said my tuition fees will be £9000, as I thought if they have a form saying I have already agreed to it, they might force me into paying that price.”
“So I still haven’t finished off my student finance form for next year. I’m waiting for the tuition fee price to be sorted before accepting anything.”
Second year Journalism student, Sian Borrill, said she has also failed to complete the form over worries over being quoted the wrong price.
“I was shocked to see it said that my tuition fee for next year will be nine thousand pounds,” said Sian.
“I had been previously told that the changes to the tuition fee amount wouldn’t affect people who had already started at university, so I became really worried that we had all got it wrong.”
Thirzah Wildman, a spokesperson for the university confirmed that “the fees for continuing students are £3,465” for 2012/13.
She says: “Student Services have emailed all existing students to tell them next years fees and have put up posters to remind people.”
According to Wildman, “no-one has contacted the Student Support Centre about the problem with the Student Finance website”.
She says: “The Student Support Centre believe the problem is due to the Student Finance website defaulting to each university’s highest fees.”
The highest fee of £9,000 which will only be paid by students starting their course in 2012. “Therefore, continuing students will need to type in the actual fee – £3,465 – on the form before proceeding with it”, says Wildman.
A spokesperson from Student Finance England say that students should have “details of their course and university close to hand before applying for a loan”.
They also say the application was “easy to update through your online student finance account” if details such as the loan amount needed to be changed.
Continuing students need to apply online before the 30th June to ensure their finance is in place for the start of term. To reapply for next year, visit the Student Finance website.
For further information or help reapplying for student finance, contact the university’s Student Support Centre in the Main Admin building.