Student finance win for non-UK soldiers

A number of non-UK soldiers who were refused student finance in England and had to stop their studies may now be able to access financial support, thanks to AFF’s Foreign & Commonwealth team.  

The Department for Education had incorrectly interpreted immigration rules and assessed certain soldiers as ‘not settled’ in the UK, so not entitled to student finance.

In fact, soldiers employed by HM Forces are classed as settled under immigration rules. The F&C team first raised families’ concerns with the DfE in 2019.

The DfE has now instructed the Student Loan Company to consider these soldiers, who fulfil all other eligibility criteria, as eligible for student finance while they’re serving. This applies to all applications received from now. Currently, the updated rules apply to England only. 

AFF’s Foreign & Commonwealth Specialist, Katherine Houlston, said: “This is great news for those soldiers who have been refused finance and had to stop their studies, despite having lived in the UK and served for many years.”

The SLC will also be contacting those soldiers who had their funding withdrawn, to invite them to discuss their circumstances and establish their eligibility for student finance.


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