Student Loans and Grants

Student Loans and Grants

SUMMARY

The Student Loans and Grants Policy establishes the University's approach concerning the provision of funds to support current students who are experiencing financial hardship during their studies at Macquarie University.

The Procedure provides further information relating to the administration of University funds used for student loans (including emergency loans) and grants.

POLICY

Purpose

To provide funds to support current students who are experiencing financial hardship during their studies at Macquarie University.

Overview

Macquarie University has funds which are used to support students in unexpected and demonstrated financial hardship with their education related expenses. Funds may be provided in the form of student loans or grants. These loans and grants are administered by the University’s Student Loans Committee.

DEFINITIONS
Emergency Student Loan: a repayable sum of money provided to a current student at Macquarie University to a maximum of $50 which is required to be repaid in a lump sum within one month of payment.

Student Grant: a non-repayable sum of money provided to a current student at Macquarie University to a maximum of $2000.

Student Loan: a repayable sum of money provided to a current student at Macquarie University to a maximum of $2000 which is required to be repaid in accordance with a properly executed loan agreement.

Scope

This policy applies to all students applying for loans or grants at Macquarie University and the staff who have responsibility for administering these schemes.

Policy

STUDENT LOANS COMMITTEE
The University will establish a Student Loans Committee comprising:
  • a representative of the Scholarships and Prizes Office
  • a representative of the Office of Financial Services (OFS)
  • a representative of Campus Wellbeing and Support Services (Allied Health Team).

A meeting of at least 2 members satisfies quorum.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR LOANS AND GRANTS
To be eligible for a Loan or Grant, the student must be:
  • currently enrolled in an award program at Macquarie University
  • not indebted to the University
  • able to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.  
    For first year domestic students this is by gaining access to an award program through a University admissions pathway. First year international students are not eligible to apply for loans and grants.
    Continuing students must have an overall grade point average of at least 2.0 to be considered.  Students who do not meet this requirement should submit, as part of their application, information about their academic progress and what steps they are planning on taking in the future. Staff from Campus Well Being can assist applicants in addressing this.  Both domestic and international continuing students may apply.
  • able to demonstrate real and exceptional financial hardship:
    Domestic students must be in receipt of a means tested Commonwealth Allowance (eg Youth Allowance).
    Both domestic and international students must provide evidence that demonstrates real and exceptional financial hardship. The Student Loans Committee will determine whether the evidence provided demonstrates real and exceptional financial hardship.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR EMERGENCY LOANS
To be eligible for an emergency loan the student must be:
  • currently enrolled in an award program at Macquarie University
  • in financial stress due to unforeseen emergency circumstances (eg loss of wallet or purse).
PURPOSE OF LOANS AND GRANTS
Student Loans and Grants must be used to support the education costs of students whilst studying at Macquarie University, for example:
  • required text books and readings
  • laptop, tablet or computer (up to a value of $500). Students can receive a loan or grant for a laptop, tablet, or computer only once during the duration of their study at Macquarie University.
  • emergency reasonable accommodation costs
  • basic urgent living expenses, including food (up to a value of $200)
  • some transport related expenses to off campus study activities (ie practical placements).
Student Loans and Grants can not be used for:
  • University tuition fees and/or other outstanding University debts
  • services or items already provided to the student by the University eg printers/ink, services available through iPrint, software available via ilabs, faculty loan schemes, or assistance that is accessible through the Disability Service.
  • the purchase of assets such as whitegoods, motor vehicles or furniture.

A Loan is the preferred funding assistance. Only one loan will be available to students at any one time. Grants will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

STUDENT LOANS AND GRANTS AMOUNTS
Student Loans and Grants may be provided to a maximum of $2000.  Emergency Student Loans may be provided to a maximum of $50.

APPROVAL OF LOANS AND GRANTS
Applications for loans and grants will be considered by the Student Loans Committee.  Applications for loans or grants over $1500 must be approved by a quorum of the Student Loans Committee. 

Applications for loans or grants under $1500 may be approved by the Revenue Manager, OFS.

Emergency Student Loans must be approved by one member of the Student Loans Committee or their nominee, if applicable.

APPEALS
An appeal against a decision made by the Student Loans Committee may only be made if:
  • a procedural irregularity has occurred
  • there is new information that could not reasonably have been provided at or prior to the decision, and that will most probably have affected the decision outcome.

Appeals must be made in writing to the Director, Campus Wellbeing and Support Services, or their nominee in their absence. The nominee must not be the Campus Wellbeing and Support Services Representative on the Student Loans Committee. The appeal must be made within 20 working days from the date a student is notified of the decision on their application.

The student will be notified of the outcome of their appeal within 10 working days of the date the appeal is received by the University.

FUNDING REQUIREMENTS
The University may, at its discretion and with appropriate notification, charge interest on approved student loans.

The Student Loans Committee will make recommendations to the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) regarding additional funds required to support loan and grant schemes.

DEBT MANAGEMENT
The management of outstanding debts will be undertaken in accordance with the University’s Debt Management Policy.

ACCOUNTABILITY AND REPORTING
The Student Loans Committee will report bi-annually to the Deputy CFO-Operations and CFO on the student loan funds including the number of loans and grants that have been awarded from the funds.

COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact OfficerAssistant Director, Revenue Services; Office of Revenue Services
Date Approved15 August, 2014
Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date of Commencement15 August, 2014
Amendment History

29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
3 March 2017 - Minor amendments to wording under 'Purpose of Loans and Grants' section, and replacement of 'Assistant Director, Revenue Services, OFS' with 'Revenue Manager, OFS' for approval of loans and grants under $1500.
November 2016 – Lowering of maximum loan allowed for laptop, tablet or computer from $800 to $500.

Date for Next ReviewAugust 2017
Related DocumentsDebt Management Policy
Student Loans and Grants Procedure
Policies / Rules Superseded by This PolicyStudent Loans and Grants Policy approved 13 April 2010
KeywordsStudent Loan, Student Grant, Eligibility, Approvals, Debt Management, Emergency Loan

PROCEDURE

Purpose

To describe the responsibilities and actions related to the administration of University funds used for student loans (including emergency loans) and grants in accordance with the University’s Student Loans and Grants Policy.

Procedure

This procedure requires actions by the following:
  • Revenue Manager, Office of Financial Services (OFS)
  • Cashier
  • Student
  • Student Loans Committee
  • Student Loans/Grants Officer, Revenue Services, OFS
  • Campus Wellbeing and Support Services staff member
  • Director Campus Wellbeing and Support Services

Student

APPLY FOR A STUDENT LOAN OR GRANT
Complete the Student Loan Application form and submit it with supporting documentation to Revenue Services, Office of Financial Services (OFS).

APPEAL A DECISION REGARDING A STUDENT LOAN OR GRANT
Appeal in writing to the Director, Campus Wellbeing and Support Services at campuswellbeing@mq.edu.au within 20 working days of the date you were notified of the decision.  You may only appeal if.
  • a procedural irregularity has occurred
  • there is new information that could not reasonably have been provided at or prior to the decision, and that will most probably have affected the decision outcome.

REQUEST AN EMERGENCY STUDENT LOAN
Visit Campus Wellbeing and Support Services to request an emergency loan and complete required paperwork.

If approved, keep one copy of the approved paperwork for your records and present the other copy to the Cashier for payment.

Obtain the loan from the Cashier Counter level1 Lincoln Building.

Sign loan agreement and repay the loan in a lump sum within one month of payment.

Student Loans/Grants Officer, Revenue Services, OFS

ACCEPT APPLICATIONS
Create a central file for the application and allocate a reference number to it.

Copy all grants and loans applications and forward to the members of the Student Loans Committee for consideration. The Student Loans Committee will normally meet once a week.

PAYMENT OF APPROVED LOANS AND GRANTS
For all approved loans, create a loan agreement which includes repayment terms and conditions for the student to sign. Organise an appointment with the student to execute the agreement.

Once the student signs the agreement for an approved loan, forward a payment request to Accounts Payable for processing.

For all approved grants, forward a payment request to Accounts Payable for processing.

The processing of a loan or grant application by Accounts Payable is normally completed within 10 working days.

Enter all approved loan and grant information in the student loans/grants database.

MONITOR
Monitor and administer any outstanding student loans in accordance with the Debt Management Policy.

EMERGENCY STUDENT LOANS
For all approved emergency student loans, upon receipt of a copy of the approved request, enter the data in the student loans/grants database.

If a student accesses an emergency loan on more than one occasion, notify Campus Wellbeing and Support Services at campuswellbeing@mq.edu.au

Monitor and administer any outstanding emergency student loans in accordance with the Student Loans and Grants Policy.

FORMALLY ADVISE THE STUDENT OF THE OUTCOME
For all loans and grants, formally advise the student of the outcome of their application using the student’s Macquarie University email address.

Advise unsuccessful applicants of the appeals process i.e. appeals can be made in writing to Director, Student Wellbeing and Support Services at campuswellbeing@mq.edu.au within 20 working days from the date a student is advised of the decision. .

RECORD
Where an appeal is successful, enter the data in the student loans/grants database and process the payment accordingly.

Revenue Manager,
OFS

APPROVE PAYMENT
Approve non order payment forms for successful loan or grant applications in accordance with Delegations of Authority.

Based on advice from the Student Loans Committee, determine applications that require urgent payment and liaise with the Assistant Director, Business Services, to facilitate any urgent payments.

COMMUNICATE
Provide financial statements for the student loans and grants funds to the Student Loans Committee, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Operations and the Chief Financial Officer bi-annually.

Student Loans Committee

ASSESS APPLICATIONS FOR LOANS AND GRANTS
Assess all applications for grants and loans within 5 working days of receipt, determine eligibility, and advise outcome to Student Loans/Grants Officer, Revenue Services, OFS.

MONITOR FUNDS
Make recommendations as appropriate to the Chief Financial Officer regarding the funds available to support student loans and grants.

Director, Campus Wellbeing and Support Services

REVIEW APPEALS
Review or nominate an individual to review an appeal in accordance with the Student Loans and Grants Policy.

COMMUNICATE APPEAL OUTCOME
Communicate the outcome of the appeal decision to the student within 10 working days of the date the appeal is received by the University.

Communicate the outcome of the appeal decision to the Student Loans/Grants Officer, Revenue Services, OFS and the Student Loans Committee. 
Campus Wellbeing and Support Services staff member / Individual member of Student Loans Committee (or their nominee)ASSESS NEED FOR AN EMERGENCY STUDENT LOAN
Assess need for emergency loans in line with the Student Loans and Grants Policy considering the following:
  • what caused the emergency?
  • what other efforts have been made to secure support?

If approved, sign and date the required paperwork, inform the student that the repayment will be required in a lump sum within 1 month of receipt of loan, and make 3 copies of the approved paperwork.  Pass two copies of the approved paperwork to the student.

Refer student to the Cashier Counter Level 1 Lincoln Building.

Cashier

PAYMENT OF AN EMERGENCY STUDENT LOAN
Check the form for the correct date, approval amount (maximum $50), and Student ID (via student system if required), then make the cash payment to the student.

Recoup the loan through the petty cash process.

Procedure Information

Contact OfficerAssistant Director, Revenue Services, Office of Financial Services
Date Approved15 August 2014
Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date of Commencement15 August 2014
Amendment History

29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Chief Financial Officer to Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
3 March 2017 - Minor amendment: replacement of 'Assistant Director, Revenue Services, OFS' with 'Revenue Manager, OFS'.

Date for Next ReviewAugust 2017
Related DocumentsDebt Management Policy
Students Loans and Grants Policy
Documents Superseded by this ProcedureEmergency Student Loan Procedure approved 13 April 2010
Student Loans and Grants Procedure approved 13 April 2010
KeywordsStudent Loan, Student Grant, Debt Recovery, Emergency Student Loan
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