If you are a borderline case for Home fees when applying to UK university, you may receive a Fee Status Questionnaire (FSQ) from one or more of the universities you are applying to. Borderline cases will be anyone who has lived outside the UK/EU for any period of time during your life. The FSQ form aims to get more information about you and your family’s background on which the university can make their final decision on your fee status. They will also ask for corresponding evidence to match what you write on the form.
Each university produces their own form and may ask for different information. Some will ask for information and evidence for the three years prior to the start of university (the most important years for establishing Ordinary Residence), others may ask for the last five years or even as far back as the birth of the student. So be prepared to explain your circumstances over a decade or more and dig out the evidence ahead of time so you’re not searching for it when you’re up against a tight deadline!
Most FSQs will ask for the following information:
- Your immigration status.
- Your residential history – and an explanation for any time lived outside the UK.
- Details of visits to the UK when living outside of the UK/EU.
Dos for completing this form:
- Explain your background fully yet succinctly – preferably use bullets points rather than paragraphs so it can be quickly read and understood.
- Only include information/evidence that the university has asked for or that you think is very relevant.
- Keep details/evidence in chronological order.
- Be explicit – spell out strong evidence so they don’t miss it and explain any gaps or missing evidence.
Clearly label corresponding evidence so it’s easy to find.
- Get someone to sense check the form before you submit it to make sure it’s clear and logical.
- Be aware of the deadline to return the form by.
- Be transparent and honest.
Don’ts for completing this form:
- Don’t lie on the form – if it unravels, you’ll jeopardise your university offer, not just your fee status.
- Don’t waffle or write in long paragraphs which are hard to follow and time-consuming to unpick.
- Don’t send masses of documents that have not been asked for or that are not absolutely relevant. There should be an opportunity to send further evidence later on, if necessary. If you’re not sure what is needed, give a list of available evidence on request/if required or call up the university and clarify what they need.
- Don’t expect universities to work stuff out, hunt for information or fill in the gaps themselves. The onus is on you to explain your circumstances clearly.
UK Study Options are leading experts on UK university fee status and we have helped over 1,000 families with their fee status queries. We offer personalised support pre and post application. Get in touch for a Fee Status Appraisal or see our other blogs on Fee Status.