Student Loan Company leave student nurses stricken after payment error

Student nurses in Southampton will struggle to pay rent and living costs this year due to administrative errors in the loans system.

16 Mar 2018

They have been warned not to expect further loan payments this year due to an over-payment which the Student Loans Company (SLC) had previously denied.

The Royal College of Nursing has called on the SLC to write off erroneous overpayments that range from £600 to £3,900.

Nursing students said the decision would affect their personal budgeting through to the start of the next academic year in September.

University of Southampton student Jessica Sainsbury said: “The past couple of weeks have turned the world of a vast number of student nurses upside down. Imagine being so close to the end of an intense three years of training, where you have worked for free, in a struggling and understaffed NHS, to be told that you won’t be receiving your final instalment of your student loan.

 “Some of my peers see no other option than to drop out if they are unsuccessful with the hardship fund application from our University. There’s no guarantee you’ll be successful or any indication of how much you’ll be awarded.”

Ms Sainsbury expressed disappointment with how the SLC had handled the error, adding: “As well as being extremely upset, students are shocked at how the SLC have managed this situation - information being sent in dribs and drabs, with some students being notified weeks after their peers.”

RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies has asked the SLC chief executive to use existing overpayment policies to reach agreement with the Education Secretary not to recover the figures.

Students who queried the amounts with the loans body report receiving false reassurances that the sums were correct. The SLC has since confirmed it has been aware of this since January. 

The largest overpayments were made to the poorest students - recipients of means-tested grants, often mature students without parental support and with children or caring responsibilities.

It is understood that the payments, made to second and third-year students, had not been adjusted for the NHS bursary they still receive.


Page last updated - 15/06/2018