I have an offer to study but no funding arranged. What should I do?
We would encourage you to ensure you can afford to pay for your entire course before starting. It can be difficult to secure student finance having already started a course, and getting into debt to your university can have very serious consequences. If your immigration status changes while you are studying, please see here for more information.
Here are some ideas for you to consider at this stage:
1. Contact the university which has offered you a place, explaining why you are not eligible for student finance and asking if they would consider waiving your fees. It is unlikely that they will do this, however it is always worth trying.
Write to the university explaining that you have been offered a place on a course, reiterate why you want to study there, tell them that you have discovered that you are not eligible for student finance (without going into personal details of your asylum case, tell them a bit of your story – where you came from, how you have made great progress in your education since arriving in the UK etc), explain what being able to study at university would mean to you, and what you would bring to the university, and ask them if they would meet with you to discuss ways of making it financially possible for you. Article 26’s Education for All guide is really useful in understanding eligibility and support for asylum-seeking students and you could draw on this in your communication with the university.
2. Defer your place then re-apply to universities who offer scholarships for asylum seekers and those who cannot access student finance due to their immigration status. A list of these universities can be found on Student Action for Refugees (STAR)’s website.
3. Apply for a scholarship from a private charitable organisation. This may require you deferring your place and applying for the scholarships in the next academic year. See below for some suggestions:
4. Wait for your status to change and you may be eligible for more support. In the meantime, see here for more alternatives.
5. If you have been in the UK for a longer period of time, you may qualify for funding due to long residency. Find out whether you qualify on the Let us Learn website.
6. If you are care-experienced, it would be worth finding out if your local authority has any duty to support you financially towards university. Read this factsheet or contact the Migrant Children’s Project free helpline for more information. You may also be able to apply for an accommodation scholarship through the UNITE Foundation.