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Tuition Fee Debt

Most international students are required to pay half of their tuition fees before enrolling, find out more about how this affects you.

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Tuition fee debt

Students from Nigeria

Students from Nigeria facing difficulties with paying the second instalment of tuition fees - you should have received an update email from the University on 28 March 2023. If you have any questions about the content of that email, you are advised to raise an enquiry on My Hallam and you should receive a response within 3 working days. If you are struggling to get a response from the University, please contact us.

If you are a January 2023 starter and were conditionally enrolled, you should have already been informed of separate provisions - contact us if this is not the case.

Other students

As explained on the University's website, most international students are required to pay half of their tuition fees before enrolling. The second instalment is due in February for courses which start in September, or in September for courses starting in January, and the Finance department at the University issues an invoice to students detailing how much will be due for the remainder and when this should be paid by. For various reasons, a small number of students may have difficulties paying their second instalment.

If at any point while studying at Sheffield Hallam University you realise you may be unable to pay the remainder of your tuition fees, it is important that you contact the Invoicing team in Finance before the payment deadline, to discuss an extension or a payment plan. If your fees are not paid on time, and a formal extension or payment plan has not been agreed, you may be excluded from your course. See the University's policy on Managing Students in Tuition Fee Debt for more information about steps the University may take if you don't pay your tuition fees as requested.

To contact the Invoicing team, email and ask them to send you a payment extension request form. You will have to provide details of why you cannot pay your fees before the deadline, the proposed schedule of payment instalments, and documents (e.g. bank statements, payment slips, work contracts) evidencing that you will be able to keep to a payment plan if this is agreed.

February 2023 update - the Invoicing team is currently experiencing a large volume of calls and emails, so there is likely to be a significant delay in receiving a response. Because of this, if you wish to submit a payment plan request we are currently recommending that you complete this fully here and submit this AND send the Invoicing team an email explaining that you have submitted a payment plan request and the date you submitted it, and asking them to consider your request. The Invoicing team have confirmed that they will check their emails to see if a student had contacted them, before they take any enforcement action relating to tuition fee debt. If you are notified of action against you (e.g. pre-exclusion) - and you have previously contacted the Invoicing team but have not received a response - please contact us.

If you are being negatively affected by the delays in the Invoicing team, you may wish to consider submitting a complaint.

It is extremely important that you explain why you are unable to pay, together with supporting evidence. A payment plan or extension is not automatically given. There have to be exceptional circumstances as to why you cannot pay, and each case will be considered separately and on its own merits. Therefore, be sure to explain what has changed in relation to your finances since you enrolled on your course that means your tuition fees cannot be paid within the timescale originally provided – and, importantly, what is going to change about this situation that means that you will be able to pay the fees if given more time. If you can evidence both of these things, the Invoicing team may agree an extension or payment plan.

If you are unable to demonstrate with sufficient realistic evidence that you will be able to pay at a reasonable later stage, it is not likely that your request will be approved.

Note that until your request is considered and agreed, you remain subject to the original terms and conditions for paying your fees.

If you already have a payment plan you need to renegotiate, please contact the Invoicing team by replying to the email they sent you.

In all cases, you are encouraged to discuss your situation with the International Experience Team at the University.

Please note - if you will not have the finances to pay the fees by the deadline you’ve been given and will not realistically be able to obtain the finances to pay within a reasonable timeframe via an extension or payment plan, you may wish to look at your options for taking a break in study or withdrawing from your course, to avoid incurring further liability for fees. The amount of fees you owe if you withdraw will be based on how many weeks you were enrolled on your course. You may wish to speak to your Academic Adviser and/or Student Support Adviser to explore your academic options. Also, if you are considering taking a break in study or withdrawing from your course – or if you have been withdrawn – this will have an impact on your visa. We strongly recommend you seek advice about this from the International Experience Team at the University.

We can:

  • Help you to create a financial statement (income and expenditure) to see how much money, if any, you have left over to pay (however, this takes time and is unlikely to be sufficient in most cases – as most students will need to find a large amount of money to pay fees rather than from their monthly disposable income)
  • Give you feedback on your explanatory letter and evidence (though we cannot make any guarantees of a proposal being accepted)
  • Advise you on the impact of withdrawal on commitments such as tenancy agreements, if you need to leave the UK partway through a tenancy

We do not provide funding to students, so we cannot help in that way. The University also generally cannot assist in this way – emergency funds are not for tuition fees or available to those with a fee debt, and most scholarships and bursaries for international students are agreed prior to someone starting a course. UKCISA has information about funding for international students, but these sources are generally very limited. Most students will rely on money from family/friends, will take out a bank loan from their home country (check carefully that you can meet the terms and conditions for this), or will receive sponsorship from their employer in their home country.


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