The University were unable to allow me to access their Access To Learning fund, not because they didn’t want me to access any learning, but because the ALF is government funded. According to government guidelines, the University has to “assume that a postgraduate student has a weekly income of £133, regardless of whether the student is actually in receipt of that amount”. In other words, my financial assessment revealed a surplus of imaginary money. Had I lied and said I needed to pay rent, I would now be receiving money. But I never imagined I would have to lie to prove a deficit in an imaginary income!
The moral of the story is to have real finances, totalling less than £133/week, so that sympathetic individuals are not forced to imagine sums for you. This works out similarly to “if you had claimed benefits before, your contributions total would be such that you could claim benefits now. Not having been told you were entitled to benefits when you needed them, you did not claim them, which means that now you need them again you need not apply.” Or “If you had experience of this job you could have this job.”
Doesn’t this remind you of: https://balfourthrb.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/hoops/ ?
Section A: For Student
1) Add up your real finances. If they total zero then
2) Go to your University and ask for ALF
3) Sit quietly and await further instruction
Section B: For Service
1) Add up the student’s real finances
2) Either (a) kiss your teeth or (b) nod sympathetically
3) If (b), proceed to 4
4) Endow the student with imaginary finances, for reasons of sympathy.
5) Detract the student’s current outgoings from the imaginary weekly sum.
6) If this reveals a surplus then (a) Regret it but (b) let them down
Let’s put aside my rage/ sadness/ financial situation for a moment and just agree that it is a bit funny to be playing invisible Monopoly with the government. My finances are like the Emperor’s new bloody clothes- nobody can see them, and they’re of no use to any of us!