University and Universal Credit 🤔

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  • #57570 Report


    Hi, Is anyone in the same boat?
    I have 3 children under 10.  I’m starting uni this year and wondering how universal credit along with student maintenance loan is going to work and what amounts do you receive.  I know my maintenance/tuition loan amount but universal credit is baffling.   Also how has any other single parent /mature student found uni with having kids 😩 TIA!

    #57612 Report


    Hi Chlo, I feel as though your post was made for me in that I have so much experience in this! Lol

    I only have one child though who is 3! I have not long finished an undergrad degree (and passed!) but I know of many peers single parents who had as many children + studying with me.

    Assuming you are getting funding from Student Finance England they generally ignore the amount paid for your studying fees as they go directly to your institution anyway. In regards to the maintenance amount they disregard any parents learning allowance, childcare grants or disability but the other maintenance amount is counted fully (I read somewhere that £110 of it is ignored every month I can’t be sure).

    The amount they do calculate will then be divided over the period of time your course runs but if your course ends in an assessment period then no student maintenance will be included to be removed.

    So they removed around £800 from my UC entitlement every month because of my STF, this figure is obviously based on how much I received and also my UC entitlement.

    Please be aware that if you are entitled to claim student funding and you don’t for whatever reason UC will still calculate your entitlement each month as though you are in receipt of that money so they would count it as “notional capital”.

    what course is it you are planning to do? (I wish you luck!), I’m planning on starting my masters next month (eek!) luckily I have been awarded a bursary.

    #57613 Report


    Also to add to the above I recommend calling the advisors at Gingerbread as they can do a calculation for you with their special benefit calculators so they can give you a better idea of where you stand.

    #57619 Report


    Oh wow thank you so much for your reply.  I’ll definitely get in touch with gingerbread in that case.  Im going into Education.  Excited for the course but only apprehensive regarding finances.   Well done for achieving your degree and I wish you all the best for your master!!  Amazing!

    #57639 Report

    hi Chlo,  I recommend that you call our single parent helpline.  The advisers will be able to talk you through what you’re entitled to.   It may take a little while to get through so please be patient. I normally suggest sitting down with a cup of tea whilst you are waiting to get through.  Here are their details:

    • Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925

    Opening hours:  Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4  They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered


    #57643 Report


    Congrats going to uni!

    This might help; it’s an older discussion from a student forum, but has a lot of detailed description of successfully overcoming any issues & how UC calculate deductions with any student finance received.

    Hopefully is a lot easier now than it was then… But could be useful as some still run into issues… I found it quite inspiring 🙂

    “Single parent, student finance and universal credit – The Student Room”

    #57645 Report


    Hi! This post was made for me!! I’m starting a degree next month, I’m a single mum to 2 boys aged 13 and 10. I’ve been getting really worried about whether I’m going to be able to afford to live 😱. I’m getting £13500 a year in student maintenance grant and £7000 bursary from the NHS. It sounds like a lot but still won’t give me enough to live on. Has anyone been in this boat? Did you get any UC??!

    #57650 Report


    Thank you for the congrats!

    and @JodiB   I would certainly say that studying with my child has been difficult due to just the usual parenting responsibilities and trying to get work and studying done! – I would advise just try to make use of any spare time you have wisely. I have the google word app on my phone so if I was sat somewhere watching tv or commuting I would write assignment drafts or ideas up so that when I had the chance (evenings) I would edit the documents properly.

    I also advise that you communicate with your university if you are struggling as in my experience they are generally very supportive and there are plenty of parents at university.

    I also work (full time now) part time with my studies and I mean very part time, I work in care at a hospital and would do one 12 hour night shift a week as it means I get a decent amount of hours done in a single night than if it was to do 2 day shifts of 6 hours. I will go back to part time once I start my Masters as it’s Social Work and I will have placements.

    I recommend you call Gingerbread as I recommended to the initial poster as they will be best placed to advise you of an estimate of how much UC you can get. Students are able to claim UC so long as they meet the exemptions IE being a student parent then a whole load of other things are taken into account to work out your calculation. As I said I have still been receiving UC throughout my studies with the amount varying depending on my income from work.

    #57651 Report


    @ JodiB what will you be studying? I will be receiving a social work capped bursary.

    #57652 Report


    I’m studying nursing. I’ll receive a £5k general bursary plus an extra £2k bursary as a parent which I’m hoping they won’t count towards UC 🤞. It’s such a minefield. But I’ll phone gingerbread and hope they can help me make sense of it. And I’ll get in touch with the university finance department.


    Thanks for the tips about the Google word app!!!

    #57659 Report


    Thanks for all the replies.  I’ve emailed gingerbread and waiting a reply.  🤞🏼 I can get some clarity.  I’ll let you all know if I do and the outcome

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