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Student denied university loan because someone else has same name, birthday and birthplace as her

Emily Hughes, 18, faces financial uncertainty following her application to study medicine at Birmingham this September

Rachael Pells
Education Correspondent
Tuesday 25 July 2017 09:41 BST
The University of Birmingham is just one of a handful of universities to cite the specific clause within its mitigation policy
The University of Birmingham is just one of a handful of universities to cite the specific clause within its mitigation policy (Birmingham University)

A British student’s university loan application has been rejected because someone with exactly the same name, birthday and birthplace has already applied for one.

Emily Hughes, from Smethwick in the West Midlands, hopes to undertake a degree in medicine at Birmingham University next term.

Following her application, she was told by the Student Loans Company in April she could not be registered on the government loan system, however.

Another Emily Hughes who was born in the same area on the same day – 28 October 1998 – has already been registered on the system for a loan.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Hughes, 18, said she had been left in an awkward position thanks to her doppelganger.

“It’s been chaos,” she said. “Just so much unnecessary stress and it's quite embarrassing as all my friends are sorted with their loans, but not me.”

The two Hugheses have not met, the prospective student said, adding: “I’d love to meet her, but at the same time, I wouldn’t.”

Ms Hughes is due to find out whether she has been accepted onto her preferred course on A level results day, 17 August.

Provided she achieves the required grades, she will then be expected to pay top-rate tuition fees of £9,250 in September.

“I am now currently living with the fear of not having the means to finance my prospective degree.

”I am appalled with the way this organisation functions.“

She has since posted her passport to the Student Loans Company, who said her application will be processed once they receive it.

A spokesperson said: “We apologise to Miss Hughes for any distress caused as a result of the delay in processing her student finance application.

”This was the result of a human error when transferring Miss Hughes' paper application to her online account.“

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