Essex student in loan heartache

AN ESSEX teenager battling to cut through red tape to gain eligibility for a student loan looks to have failed in his efforts to secure financial support.

AN ESSEX teenager battling to cut through red tape to gain eligibility for a student loan looks to have failed in his efforts to secure financial support.

Marc Dudley, 18, was born in the Essex and spent the first eight years of his life in the county before going to live in Norway after his parents divorced.

Two years ago he returned to live in Galleywood near Chelmsford with his father, Nigel, and after his A-levels started Scandinavian studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

However when he applied for a student loan he was rejected because the guidelines for funding eligibility require students to have been resident in the country for three years.


You may also want to watch:


Marc, who holds a British passport and a National Insurance Card, spoke of his fears that he would not reach the end of his course and the negative effect money worries were having on his study.

John Whittingdale, MP for Maldon and East Chelmsford, took up the case with the Department of Education and asked for a sympathetic review of the situation.

Most Read

But Margaret Hodge, the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, has confirmed exceptions could not be made to the rules.

In a letter she said: "The student support system in this country is intended to help those with an appropriate residential connection with the UK.

"Whilst I understand Marc's disappointment at not being eligible as a home student, the three year residence requirement is a longstanding feature of the student support arrangements.

"We consider that it is a fair period to determine ordinary residence in the UK and have no plans to change it."

She suggested Marc could look into the possibility of a career development loan.

Nigel Dudley said: "It has been tremendously frustrating. I still am frustrated by all this.

"We are looking into a career development loan which you can have for two years, but the loan has to be paid back starting one month afterwards, at 25 months, or the interest doubles."

Normal student loans do not have to be paid back until a graduate is earning a certain gross income annually.

Mr Dudley added that Marc would soon be returning for the summer and would be looking for work to help solve his financial predicament.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus