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feel terrible even asking compared to others suffering...but am not sure what do!

AnneWithAnE Community member Posts: 6 Listener

i don't know where else to turn now...so i hopee you do not mind me asking advice from you all in such a critical time. 

I am 29yr old female & have ADHD & Dyspraxia (mild-moderate). I did not study at Uni, just did A-levels (albeit terribly), left school to work.
however, last yr i decided to just go for it with what i wanted to do in life always, what did i have to lose kind of thing & applied for drama/music school (FDS accredited CDMT recognised), & I  actually GOT IN! (the odd's of getting into an FDS school statistically are more difficult than Oxbridge!), i just couldnt believe it because teachers at school made me feel worthless and would more or less tell me i will be a failure all my life and treated me like circus clown. 

I am Due to start this coming Sept 2020...BUT..with COVID '19 it has changed my circumstances financially like it has a lot of people of course! i am due to pay the full course fee in 6 weeks time and i havee about half the fees saved up! the total fees are £12k. i agreed that i would pay in full when i got offered place at end of 2019 before all this covid stuff happened and had planned myself a budget timeline.

 MY QUESTION IS:am hoping you might know of some kind of tax refund/relief/break or something income related i can get back? so it can help me pay for my course so i cn actually go in September as right now..it is looking tough.
 FYI - 
am definitely NOT asking for where i can get a grant or somethnig as i know right now i am not even remotely as important as othewr people wwho truly need that help so want you to all know that as i would never even try to take that away from them :)

- i have always worked so contributed well into PAYE. 

- i will be a first time full-time mature student with a learning disability & plan to apply for DSA (i just learnt of it recently so rang them to enquire and they said sincce i have adult NHS diagnosis i am likely a candidate). i realise they dont support funding but give equipment etc. every little helps!). 

- i have been furloughed and getting much less than i thought! i am getting 700 a month and i pay rent as my dad needs as he lost his job a few yrs ago and never managed to get back on his feet. he is kindly keeping money aside so i dont have to pay him rent when i study. 

- i was planning on saving 3k over summer before the covid hit as i had job 7 days a week and was possible. my uncle was lending me the rest but cant now and told me last week, also because of uncertainty which i totally understand as he has young kids!

 - student loan not possible for my course: Although it is HE level 5 but as it is not a BA (but can become a BA afterwards apparently with add-on module), student loan not possible.

- I am considered a mature student and not dependent on parents etc. therefore do not qualify for the maintenance type loans etc. 
- cant get a psnl loan from bank because am furloughed and was temping only at the time not in perm role so only have the really dodgy independent type lenders who are borderline dodgy and i definitely wont go down that root. 

Last resort i will need to talk to the school and request payment plan  but just scared about delaying the same inevitable situation as i will only be able to work weekends if i am lucky enough to even get my weekend job now with covid implications! 

PS. i don't qualify for universal credit type things sadly. absolutely nothing i qualify for welfare benefits wise, unfortunately. 

Thank you in advance for any help offered!


  • Ails
    Ails Community member Posts: 2,256 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @AnneWithAnE and welcome to the Community.  How are you today?  It's nice to meet you and thank you for sharing with us.  Firstly, congratulations on getting a place at drama school!  That is wonderful and I wish you well with your course.  I'm sure you will do great and so sorry to hear about the horrible experience you had at school.  You will defy all the doubters, I have no doubt about that!

    When I was at college and then university I received a bursary and then a student loan as I live in Scotland, but I realise that south of the border things can be different.  I'm unsure about this so I had a wee look online and found that the Money Advice Service have some information on funding for further/higher education and here is the link to the website if you want to have a look -


    It may be worth also contacting your local branch of the Citizens Advice Bureau as they usually have a money expert person too who could advise you of funding.  I would also approach your drama school to see if they have any kind of discretionary or hardship fund they could provide you with to help you.  I know you don't think you are entitled to anything just now because of the current Coronavirus situation and that is very selfless of you to think that way, but your place at drama school is very important to you of course and you have every right to claim financial assistance to help you with this just as much as anyone else so please don't be shy at asking or claiming anything which will help.  Anyway, I hope you find the above information of some help to you.  It may be that other members or the Scope Team will have other ideas too and if so will post here.  I do hope you manage to secure something though to help you during your time at drama school.  It all sounds very exciting for you and I do wish you all the very best with it!  Please keep in touch and let us know how you are getting on.  If you need any other help/support then please just say.  All the best.  :smiley:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • AnneWithAnE
    AnneWithAnE Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi Alis! @Ails

    i am SO sorry for the delay here...i thought hmmm i should check on the chat as it has gone quiet and realised my response was in draft! i wrote a nice long message as well! but i have updated info anyway so here is my new/updated message:

    Thank you so much for welcoming me to the community, and, also for your kind uplifting words. i hope i can start to help with others just as you are, it really does make a difference. 

    i took on your fab advice and have some updates for you. BTW i am part scottish :)

    I spoke to citizens advice local team but they were not very helpful. however, i spoke also to the disabled students helpline and they were really helpful. the lady said she found it hard to believe i was not eligible for SFE, and that if indeed i am not, i would also not be eligible for DSA...i didnt know that &  initially when i spoke to DSA i didn't discuss my personal/financial situation, i only discussed disabilty so from that standpoint i would be eligible.

    on the back of this, i checked again with SFE and this time mentoned DSA..turns out i am not eligible for anything at all :(
     so i cannot even get DSA and i was really hopeful about getting some help with counselling / taught some practical ways of conquering my DCD related physical struggles (think i have smashed about 5 glasses in my kitchen past two weeks!). i have lost count now and my sister is getting fed up with less and less cutlery available lol i am like a bull in a china shop. 

    SFE explained that the only thing i could do is speak to the uni (just as you said) about my options as they will be the ones with all the answers. also, apparently uni's have a lot of help to offer and plenty of small bursaries/grants which they give out to people who need it even with cases less than mine. i tried to ring the finance team but their line is not available and they are only contactable by email. i emailed them to ask to speak to them as it would be much better that way. i am waiting to hear back and hope they do come back to me over the next week or so. i suppose this is my last resort but it is sad i cannot even get the DSA when ii was so happy about that support i would be receiving.

    thank you for encouraging me not to feel liike i didnt deserve asking for help. i just know there are a lot of people out there who need it more and i wouldn't wish to take that away from them. but you are right and we all deserve to at least try and help ourselves by asking for help when it is genuine and honest.

    i would like to try and get involved in volunteering to support people like us and our community. coming into situations like this makes me realize just how vital it is. 

    i will give you an update once i have more info / hear back from school but, again, sorry you never got my first response but here it is in combo :)

    Anne with an E 

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