Money and purse

Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund

Through the Fund the University is showing its commitment to supporting students who find themselves in genuine financial hardship that might impact on their ability to continue on a course at the University.  Such hardship may arise as a result of a delay in receipt of statutory funding or may be due to unforeseen circumstances which may cause the student to withdraw from their course if support is not available.

Information on the fund itself

Below are some frequently asked questions including: if you are eligible; how to apply; when to apply; what evidence is required and how to submit it.

What is the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund?

The Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund was set up by the University of Wolverhampton following the withdrawal by the Government of the ring-fenced Access to Learning Fund. 

Lord Bilston, the former Wolverhampton MP Dennis Turner, was a campaigner for social inclusion and justice.  He was a good friend to the University and was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by the University in 2006 in recognition of his distinguished service to the people of Wolverhampton.  The new Fund has been named in his memory with kind agreement of his family.

Most awards made will be non-repayable, although some short term loans may be available to meet temporary hardship such as delayed funding or severe cash-flow problems. 

What type of award might I be eligible for?

There are two types of awards:

Standard: to assist with specific course related costs such as childcare, books/equipment, travel or for general living costs.

Non-Standard: to help in a crisis situation such as the repair of essential household equipment or for travel home for serious family illness or bereavement, or where  a student may be considering giving up their course because of financial problems

There will also be a Specfic Bursary available for students to assist will the costs of diagnostic tests (ie dyslexia full screening) and DSA shortfalls. This bursary will also be able to help care leavers and estranged students with their financial needs.  Details of how to apply to be confirmed.

Before applying to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund, students are expected to have paid, or made arrangements to pay, their tuition fee and have applied for all the other loans, grants and bursaries that they are entitled to.

Support from the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund cannot be granted to pay tuition fees, library fines or any other fines imposed by the University; or to support “lifestyle choices”. 

What are the priority groups for this award?

The following groups are priorities for support from the Fund:

  • Students with children
  • Disabled students (especially where DSA is unable to meet particular costs)
  • Students who have entered higher education from care for the period of time spanning their 16th birthday (regardless of age now)
  • Students from Foyers or who are homeless
  • Students from low income families
  • Students receiving the final year loan rate 

Who can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund?

Home (UK) Students

Students can apply to the Fund if they:

  • are in proven genuine financial hardship
  • have taken up and are in receipt of all statutory support that is available i.e. Maintenance Loan/Tuition Fee Loan/NHS Bursary (for undergraduate students)
  • Postgraduate students must have paid, or made arrangements to pay, their tuition fees 


International and EU Students

Students will only be able to apply to the Fund in extreme circumstances and can provide evidence that:   

  • they had every reason to believe they could pay fees and support themselves at the time that they embarked on the course.  i.e. the circumstances must have changed since enrolling on the course or the consequences of a change of circumstances have not become apparent until after the student enrolled
  • their circumstances are unexpected and beyond the student and/or sponsor’s control 
  • the situation is temporary.  The student should be able to demonstrate that s/he requires short term help and sponsorship will resume in the future.

The Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund Panel will not normally award cash sums to international and EU students but may assist with renegotiating payment arrangements or reduce University accommodation or fee liability.

When can I apply for the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund?

The fund opens from the beginning of October and closes at the end of April every year, or until the funds are depleted, whichever is the sooner.

How do I apply for the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund?

When the fund is open, you can apply via the Finance and Bursaries tab on e:Vision.  

Click the Scholarship and Bursaries button and then the Apply or upload evidence button then you can either apply for the full Dennis Turner fund or the Specific Bursary depending on what kind of support you are applying for.

Help and support for applying can be found via:

  • the Funding and International Support, ground floor MI building, City Campus,  
  • the Students’ Union Advice and Support Centre, or
  • email Money@wlv.ac.uk putting your student number clearly in the subject line

Please note: your application is not complete until all supporting evidence has been received - to see what you need to supply use the evidence checklist below

What evidence is required?

Checklist

Below is the list of evidence that we you need to upload to your application - you can download and print the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund checklist (Word doc 17k) 

Please DO NOT scan anything that is not required, we only need the evidence that is listed and will contact you if further information is required.

If you have all the evidence ready BEFORE you apply you can upload it during the application process.  If you complete the application process and need to return to upload your evidence you can go back to where you clicked the apply button on your e:Vision and choose the upload evidence button instead.  

You can only upload 1 file/document in each slot but you can use additional slots that you do not require to upload additional evidence (ie you used the bank statement slot for your current account and you can use the NSP slot for your savings account - just make sure you have named it appropriately)

Mandatory

    • Current Funding evidence - Student Finance Notification letter from SFE for all undergraduate or postgraduate (masters) full and part-time students (all pages)/Current NHS/SW/TA Bursary notification
    • Accommodation costs – tenancy agreement (only pages showing name, address and amount are required)/mortgage statements. If you pay board you will need a signed letter from your parent/guardian stating the amount you pay
    • 3 months’ most recent bank statements for each account you/partner hold.  You must explain any credit or debit transactions over £100 that appears on each of your statements.

We specifically look for:-

Account where your award (if successful) is to be paid into
Partner's account/s (if applicable)
Account where wages are paid into
Account where child benefit and child/work tax credit is paid into
Any other accounts you or your partner hold such as Savings, ISA, Credit Union etc. 

Mini statements are not acceptable but we can accept online statements and scanned items - these statements must be consecutive and recent, show your name, bank details, transactions and bank balance.

Applications submitted without relevant bank statements will be rejected.

As applicable

  • Most recent Tax Credits Notification letter – all pages
  • Foyer/Care Leaver letter from Local Authority/Foyer Federation
  • Start Right Bursary/National Scholarship award letter
  • Professional and career development Loan letter – even if refused
  • Student’s three months’ wage slips
  • Evidence of any income from benefits – letter from DWP
  • Partner’s income if applicable – three months’ wage slips and bank statements for each of their accounts
  • Evidence of Council Tax
  • Proof of childcare costs for formal/informal. We require receipts.
  • Priority debts – proof of outstanding debts with repayment plans agreed through a Money Adviser
  • Car costs – insurance/maintenance/tax
  • any other relevant evidence

How do I submit the evidence?

All evidence needs to be uploaded no later than 7 working days after completing an application.

If you have all the evidence ready BEFORE you apply you can upload it during the application process.    

If you have not uploaded your evidence, you will need to do this in the Evidence Upload task on the Finance and Bursaries page on your e:Vision within the time limit provided or your application will be rejected.

You can only upload 1 file/document in each slot ensuring the 3 mandatory pieces are used correctly.  You can then use the additional evidence slots to upload any other evidence (ie you used the bank statement slot for your current account and you can use one of the additional evidence slots for your savings account - just make sure you have named it appropriately)

Full instructions on how to scan your evidence using the printers/scanners in university can be found on the Scanning and uploading evidence for Dennis Turner page.

Please DO NOT scan anything that is not required, we only need the evidence that is listed and will contact you if further information is required.

Do you have emergency loans? How can I apply?

In exceptional circumstances emergency loans may be available to undergraduate students, for example:

  • for first year undergraduate students where there has been a delay in funding
  • for continuing students where there has been a delay in funding due to circumstances beyond their control
  • where payment/term dates fall late (eg Easter 2014), a student could apply for a short-term loan to be repaid on receipt of their third term maintenance loan/grant
  • where banking systems crash, a student may need to apply for a short term loan
  • International students may apply for a loan to cover the cost of a visa extension – this must be paid back as soon as the visa is received.

Emergency loans are not normally available for postgraduate students.

 

To apply:

Once you are FULLY enrolled (including ID check for new students) simply ring us on (01902) 321070 explaining your personal circumstances and we will organise an appointment for you to come in explaining and evidence we may need.

You can pop into either the MX Student Centre or Here2Help on the Walsall Campus for more help and guidance or to apply.

 

How will the fund be processed?

The Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund Panel meets weekly to decide cases and we aim to process all complete application forms (where all evidence has been received) within 4 working weeks. If the Panel or an assessing officer requires more information to make an accurate decision however, or if information is missing or ambiguous, it may take longer to give you a decision.  Please note - your application will not be complete until all evidence has been received.

You will be notified of the Panel’s decision via email. The Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund Explanatory Guide (Word doc 137k) is available from our website which explains how the assessment was made and what to do if you disagree with this decision. Awards may be made by instalments and may be subject to you seeking financial advice from a Money Adviser in the Advice and Support Centre. Their telephone number is (01902) 322038 or they offer drop-in appointments in MD Students’ Union (City Campus) or The Squeezebox (Walsall Campus).

We may ask to see evidence of this before further awards can be released. This should be clear from your award email, however if you do not understand how the decision has been made, please contact the Funding Support team on (01902) 321070 or via email at money@wlv.ac.uk.

Where can I get further advice about the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund?

Contact the Funding Support Team on:

Tel: 01902 321070
Email: money@wlv.ac.uk  (putting your student number clearly in the subject line)

or drop in to our offices at City Campus, Student Centre, MX Building  (see interactive map below) or Walsall Campus, WA Building – Walsall Campus interactive map

Where can I get additional financial advice?

For further financial advice, contact Students’ Union Advice and Support Centre on

Tel: 01902 322038
Email: advice.wolvesunion@wlv.ac.uk
or drop in to our offices at City Campus, MD Building – City Campus interactive map