Frequently asked questions

  • These frequently asked questions relate to bridging loans and financial aid awards offered by Oxford Brookes University.

    For information regarding United States loans, please see  United States Student Loans.

  • It’s true that the fund can help students in financial difficulty but this must be because of unforeseen circumstances/emergencies or because you are a Home full-time undergraduate student and your assessment shows a shortfall over the academic year.

    Students are expected to have planned and budgeted for their time at University and to live within their means. The Brookes Union Advice Service can offer budgeting and debt management advice.

    Please email su.advice@brookes.ac.uk, call 01865 484770 or visit the office on the 1st floor of the JHB Building.

    Payments from the University’s Financial Aid Fund are usually an award following an assessment and are non-repayable.

    The exception is a Bridging Loan. This is in place for full-time undergraduates who have applied for their funding from Student Finance or from the NHS. The usual amount is £250 for students without dependants or £350 for students who do have dependants. The loan is to help for food and essential living costs and is not intended towards rent payments. If you are going to pay your rent late, please speak to the Brookes Union Advice Service for advice.

    The loan is repayable within 4 weeks on receipt of your first Student Finance/NHS bursary payment. A condition of the loan is that you provide us with card details for the repayment of the loan on the agreed date. Failure to repay the loan on time could mean that you become a debtor to the University and therefore may lose access to the library and University internet.

    The Bridging Loan is also available for NHS students awaiting reimbursement from the NHS.

    Assessments do not usually take pre-existing debts into account. It is assumed that, when students embark of a degree course, they have made sure that they have put their finances in order. The Brookes Union Advice Service can offer advice on dealing with creditors and budgeting.

    The University’s Financial Aid fund works on similar lines to the government’s benefits system and is based on income and allowable expenditure. That means there is a limit put on the amounts you spend on day-to-day living (see Composite Living Costs explanation in the guidelines). There are also caps e.g. on travel, rent, course costs.

    Students without dependants or disabilities which prevent them from working are expected to have additional income from part-time work, family support, savings etc. This is called ‘assumed income’. The figure is determined by NASMA, the NUS and the University. Final year undergraduate students have the assumed income figure reduced as it is recognised that they may not be able to take as much part-time paid work.

    These rules for standard assessment have to be followed by the University assessor.

    We will usually be able to give you an answer within 4 working weeks of receiving a complete application form. A complete application is one that has all the documents required including those we have asked for after you have submitted your form.
    No. This is why you should only submit photocopies or email pdfs. No photos or jpegs can be accepted.

    Assessment is over the entire academic year and any award is made on that basis. Therefore, you may only apply more than once during an academic year to the University’s Financial Aid Fund if your circumstances have changed from your original application and you did not receive the maximum award available. Applicants will be asked to provide appropriate documentary evidence.

    Students who are experiencing financial difficulties over the summer can make an application for this period.

    You can apply to the Fund if an award would demonstrably help you return to study.

    A priority debt is defined as meaning that non-payment would give the creditor the right to deprive the debtor of his/her home, liberty, essential goods and services, e.g.

    • Secured loans (loans that are secured against a debtor’s home, e.g. a mortgage)
    • Rent arrears
    • Council tax
    • Gas and electricity charges

    If you’d like advice on completing your application form and what documents are required as evidence, you can speak to the Financial Aid team located in Student Central, JHB Building, Gipsy Lane or you can email finaid@brookes.ac.uk or call 01865 483850.

    The Brookes Union Advice Service offer budgeting and debt management advice.

    Please email su.advice@brookes.ac.uk, call 01865 484770 or visit the office on the 1st floor of the JHB Building. They can also advise you on what funding and benefits you may be entitled to, as well as help you complete and evidence your financial aid application.