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PART VSTUDENTS

Treatment of student loans

47.—(1) A student loan shall be treated as income unless it is a hardship loan, in which case it shall be disregarded.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) “hardship loan” means a loan made under regulation 22 of the Education (Student Support) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003, regulation 21 of the Education (Student Support) (No. 2) Regulations 2002(1) or regulation 12 of the Education (Student Loans) (Scotland) Regulations 2000(e).

(3) In calculating the weekly amount of the loan to be taken into account as income –

(a)a loan which is payable in respect of a course that is of a single academic year’s duration or less shall be apportioned equally between the weeks in the period beginning with –

(i)the start of the single academic year; or

(ii)where the course is of less than an academic year’s duration, the first day of the course,

and ending with the last day of the course;

(b)in respect of an academic year of a course which starts other than on 1st September, a loan which is payable in respect of that academic year shall be apportioned equally between the weeks in the period beginning with the benefit week immediately following that which includes the first day of that academic year and ending with the benefit week which includes the last day of that academic year but excluding any benefit weeks falling entirely within the quarter during which the longest of any vacation is taken and for the purposes of this sub-paragraph, “quarter” shall have the same meaning as that given by the definition in regulation 2 of the Education (Student Support) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003;

(c)a loan which is payable in respect of the final academic year of a course (not being a course of a single year’s duration) shall be apportioned equally between the weeks in the period beginning with the earlier of –

(i)the first day of the first benefit week in September; or

(ii)the first day of the first benefit week following the beginning of the autumn term,

and ending with the last day of the last benefit week before the last day of the course;

(d)in any other case, the loan shall be apportioned equally between the weeks in the period beginning with the earlier of –

(i)the first day of the first benefit week in September; or

(ii)the first day of the first benefit week following the beginning of the autumn term,

and ending with the last day of the last benefit week in June,

(4) A student shall be treated as possessing a student loan in respect of an academic year where –

(a)a student loan has been made to him in respect of that year; or

(b)he could acquire such a loan in respect of that year by taking reasonable steps to do so.

(5) Where a student is treated as possessing a student loan under paragraph (4), the amount of the student loan to be taken into account as income shall be, subject to paragraph (6) –

(a)in the case of a student to whom a student loan is made in respect of an academic year, a sum equal to –

(i)the maximum student loan he is able to acquire in respect of that year by taking reasonable steps to do so; and

(ii)any contribution whether or not it has been paid;

(b)in the case of a student to whom a student loan is not made in respect of an academic year, the maximum student loan that would be made to the student if –

(i)he took all reasonable steps to obtain the maximum student loan he is able to acquire in respect of that year; and

(ii)no deduction in that loan was made by virtue of a means test.

(6) There shall be deducted from the amount of a student’s loan income –

(a)the sum of £260 in respect of travel costs; and

(b)the sum of £319 towards the cost of books and equipment,

whether or not any such costs are incurred.

(1)

S.I. 2002/3200