Date Published: 18.04.2024
Status: Past
Type: Equal Treatment and/or non-discrimination
Outcome: Early case resolution

UK Government Student Finance Guidance

Summary of Information

In September 2023, the IMA made enquiries with the Department for Education (DfE) regarding its own and Student Loans Company’s (SLC) on-line guidance relating to student finance for applicants to the EUSS; specifically, applicants in possession of a Certificate of Application only (i.e., do not yet have pre-settled or settled status under the EUSS).

The IMA was concerned that the guidance could lead to confusion for prospective students leading them to think that they are not eligible for funding when they may be eligible.

Summary of actions and evidence

Upon receiving correspondence from the IMA, DfE confirmed that:

  • DfE and SLC are conscious of protecting the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens, including those possessing only a Certificate of Application to the EUSS, in respect of applying for student finance.
  • DfE and SLC have updated their eligibility and assessment advice pages within the GOV.UK platform to make these clearer for citizens with only a Certificate of Application to understand their right to be able to apply for student finance.
  • Sites updated:

Assessment Advice 2022-23

Assessment Advice 2023-24

Assessment Advice 2024-25

Eligibility Rules

Summary of Decision

Based on the actions that DfE and SLC have undertaken, the IMA believes that the potential concerns identified are resolved, with the issue concluded as an Early Case Resolution.  

This decision does not prevent the IMA from acting further should matters of concern arise in relation to the ability of EU and EEA EFTA citizens with EUSS status, or with only a Certificate of Application, to apply for student finance. The IMA would encourage affected citizens to continue to report any issues, whether related to this issue or otherwise.

Does this issue affect you?

The complaints submitted to us help build a picture of where there are common, wide-reaching, or systemic issues with how UK public bodies are implementing the Withdrawal Agreement(s) for EU and EEA EFTA citizens’ rights.