ENGLAND: 50,000 students in loan delays

Up to 50,000 students in England face starting university this month without all the grants and loans they expected, writes Angela Harrison for BBC News. The Student Loans Company has struggled to cope with applications and says full payments will be made by late October. But it now says everyone who applied on time should receive at least the 'basic level' loan soon after courses start.

Students leaders have reacted angrily. The Conservative Party said there had been an "appalling administrative cock-up" and that ministers should "come clean".

Hundreds of students have e-mailed the BBC News website to complain of delays in the handling of their applications. They complain of missing documents, help lines they try for hours to get through to, which then offer them no help.

Some of the e-mails are from people who said they applied on time but had not had their loans approved by the time they started courses this week. The Student Loans Company, which organises the loans for the government, says the backlog has arisen because of an increase in loan applications and late applications.
Full report on the BBC News site