Before we begin I want to point out that this blog is intended for those applying for finance from Ireland (Republic of.). This is my first blog, and for good reason. Applying for finance is daunting at the best of time but try setting your heart on studying at a university only to be told ‘Oh, you will struggle with money because the student loan company wont give you maintenance”. That’s exactly what happened to me. But don’t worry, I am living proof that it is possible.
So the first thing to do is not panic. If you have just been told that you wont get money from the SLC (Student Loans Company UK) ignore everything they have said. For a start you will get a fees loan from them, assuming you qualify, just like any other student. The money you wont receive is the maintenance, but we will cover that in the next section. For now the first thing to do is get on the right track and get the EU student application pack (Here!). Fill them out and if you need help have a parent or guidance councilor sit down and look through them with you. Get on that early! If accepted that will be your fees sorted.
Next it’s onto money to live. This is where I freaked out. No one knew what was going on, and I couldn’t find anyone that had gone through this process before. After calling and calling to different organizations the solution turned out to be easier than I thought. SUSI, or Student Universal Support Ireland, will still pay for students attending school abroad. If you currently attend an Irish secondary school your guidance councilor can help you apply or you can take it on yourself (Here!). And to top it all off SUSI is a grant. That’s right, a grant. Not a loan, you don’t have to pay it back. So just go ahead and apply like a regular student and if eligible SUSI will deliver your grant money once a month.
So its as simple as that, you get your fees from SLC and your maintenance from SUSI. Knowing is always half the battle.
Here are a few extra tips from me:
Apply early. Get it done and out of the road. SUSI may also require your parents to do taxes early so be prepared for that.
Dont lie. Be honest, they will catch you out.
If SUSI ask for a letter describing the loan you will receive from SLC you need to wait for your SLC loan to be approved before they can issue it.
SUSI will only pay into an Irish Euro account so make sure you keep one open.
Remember the exchange rate plays a part in how much money you have when you spend it here.
If in doubt call! SUSI: +353 (76) 1087874. SLC: +44 (141) 243 3570
You can check if you are eligible for a SUSI grant and how much you will get by using the reckoner – (Here!).
If you do find yourself here for an open or applicant day, check out the student finance stand. It’s usually in the hub.
That’s all from me and I hope this blog can help some of my Irish fellow students. If you have any other questions about Edge Hill then feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for free advice and answers to your questions, or leave a comment below this blog and I will get back to your personally.
Edge Hill University is well known for its student services, being voted 3rd in UK for Student Support in 2017. In my experience, this holds true. The IT support, Careers Advice, and Counselling services at EHU really are great. But today I want to tell you about the Money Advice Team.
I’ve worked for the Money Advice Team in the past, as a Money Buddy, presenting to and answering questions for prospective students on Open Days and other events. The Money Advice Team also informed me of the Student Opportunity Fund, which has helped me to spend my sandwich year in the United States!
The Money Advice Team are open for drop-ins Monday and Friday, 10am-1pm, and Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm-4pm. They offer a range of services for different purposes – if you’re worried about finances, they can help you. All queries from budgeting to funding are supported. A resource that many students might not know about is the Student Support Fund, which can help students who “have serious financial difficulties or whose access to higher education might be inhibited because of financial reasons.” There is an assessment process, but if you are eligible, you won’t have to pay back the money you receive.
The Money Advice Team is currently situated in the Student Information Centre (SIC) and can also put you in touch with Edge Hill Works, who can help you find a part-time job. There are numerous on-campus jobs, but of course, there are more in Ormskirk and the surrounding area. Even Liverpool (particularly Liverpool ONE) has some part-time jobs that are available for Edge Hill Students.
Also of use is the Money Matters website, which has information relating to the above, as well as tuition fees, bursaries, scholarships, etc. So if you’re unsure of the difference between the maintenance loan and your tuition fee loan, check it out! A particularly useful tool is the Scholarship Calculator, which can inform you, after five short questions, if you are eligible for a scholarship.
Something that I have struggled with throughout my 3 years at university is BUDGETING!
So a little overview: Year 1: Semester 1: “This is great, yay, money, I have loads…” Christmas: “I can buy awesome presents for everyone!!” Semester 2: “Okay, try and save some money. Food, food food.” “Oh, I have no money left at all, better use my savings.” Year 2: Semester 1: “Right Faye, budget better this year”, “I’ve budget really well, I deserve a treat. SHOPPING SPREE!!” Semester 2: “Oh, we have to pay our own bills this year… Okay… I have no money left.” Year 3: Semester 1: “Right, cheaper room this year, but less people in the house… BUDGET!” Semester 2: “Budgeting really well, but the bills are double what they were last year :'(”
Okay, so first 2 years did not go well at all, but this year is going okay.
1) Set reasonable weekly expenses! (Bills, Food, Clothes, Phone, Internet, Nights Out)
2) If you don’t really need something, DON’T BUY IT! Save the money. Trust me, when you have no money in your bank it is horrible.
3) Look for the bargains, but only buy what you need!
4) Think of cheap & easy meals to cook & plan them out for the week!
I have set myself a £30 a week budget for food, but when I go shopping I try and spend less if possible & I NEVER over spend any more.