The UCAS applications are in and your son or daughter has started receiving offers, but you’re surprised and disheartened by the fact that the offers are for overseas fees and not home fees.
You’re now facing anything between a £14,250 and £171,250 increase in tuition fees depending on the course, and with no access to student loans, the added prospect of funding their degree completely yourselves. For many students, this may even amount to not being able to take up those offers, despite how hard they worked to get a place.
At UK Study Options, we deal with hundreds of fee status cases a year and we see this all the time. Unfortunately, after receiving an offer, it’s harder to change your fee status but you can ask the reason for the fee status given and appeal the decision on the grounds that you have additional information or evidence that could change the status.
It’s important to understand that universities must undertake due diligence to ensure that public funding goes to the correct students, i.e. home students. To make their assessment, they apply the rules and regulations published by UKCISA as best as possible to a whole range of different student backgrounds and circumstances. For those who are genuinely eligible for home fees and may be subject to an incorrect fee assessment, here are three tips for appealing the decision.
Your son or daughter has been eagerly awaiting an offer from their top choice university but no matter how tempting, don’t let them accept the overseas offer until you have followed the appeals process to the end. Once you accept the offer, you are accepting the fee status given and there is no going back.
Some universities may simply ask you to put your reasons for appeal in writing, others may have an online process you need to follow. Establish what the university’s appeals process is, initiate the process in writing and follow the process to the letter, keeping good records of all correspondence between you and the university throughout.
Make it as easy as possible for the university to review your case by organising your information and available evidence into a digestible form. This may mean using tables to explain dates/visits, bulleted lists to explain relevant circumstances. Admissions staff won’t appreciate long paragraphs where they have to hunt for the information they need. And don’t send actual evidence through unless they request it – some university email accounts block emails with many or large attachments.
It’s always better to prepare your information and evidence well in advance of applying so that your son or daughter gets assigned the fee status that they are eligible for at the time of offer. But if you do wish to appeal a decision, the above tips should make the process easier for both you and the university.
We are experts in fee status who have received the same UKCISA training as university staff assessing your son or daughter’s fee status. We are a small team of ex admissions officers who understand the process from both inside the university and from the student’s perspective. This means we are best placed to help you with your fee status queries – get in touch for personalised support pre or post application.
 Based on the difference between the lowest home fees and the lowest overseas fees in the UK i.e. Art, Humanities or Social Science fees in Wales in 2018.
 Based on the difference between the highest home fees and the highest overseas fees in the UK i.e. Dentistry in England in 2018.