Assessed student household income data’

Disclosure of Household Income Data provided by the Student Loans Company

When applying for statutory student support from the Student Loans Company (SLC) students consent to the SLC sharing the assessed residual household income with the University of Leeds as their Higher Education Provider (HEP).  For GDPR purposes the SLC is deemed the Data Controller and the HEP data processor.

The SLCs contract sets out clearly that we can only use the SLC Bursary data (which includes the household income) for:

  • processing and assessing students’ eligibility for institutional bursary, scholarship and fee waiver awards;
  • notifying students about their entitlement and making payments directly into a student’s bank account for institutional bursary and scholarship awards; 
  • Undertaking an automated Change of Circumstances reassessment of Tuition Fee in respect of fee waiver awards.

This means we must use the household income data only for these purposes, with the following exemptions:

  1. Where the requesting person/school has specifically gained the students’ consent to use the data for another purpose, such as checking eligibility for other bursary/scholarship funding.  
  2. Where the purpose is a statutory reporting requirement, for example HESA reporting.

Process for Checking Financial Eligibility for Other Bursary/Scholarship Funding 

Because financial data held on a student’s record is protected information, and is in general supplied by the SLC following an assessment for statutory support, there are certain requirements and restrictions in place when it is being requested for the purpose of awarding other bursary/scholarship funding.  

The agreed process is as follows:

  1. The requester (school/faculty) provides in writing to a clear reason for requiring the information. 
  2. The requester confirms by email to that:
  • the student/students has/have given consent for the University to use the household income held by the Funding Team for this distinct purpose.
  • the information is required for a singular purpose (i.e. the awarding of a bursary).
  • the information will be deleted once used for this specific purpose.

       3. Following 2a, 2b and 2c the requester supplies a list of IDs against which Student Funding will simply indicate with a Y to confirm they meet the stated financial criteria – for example, their household income is less that £25,000.

How to obtain consent from the student

When creating an application form for a bursary that includes an element of means-testing, it is easier to include the consent within the application form, allowing applicants to opt out, rather than needing to seek it from individuals later.

An example of the wording that might be included within an application is provided below:

In order for us to confirm that you meet the eligibility criteria for [enter the name of the scheme] we require your consent for the Manager of [enter team name], to do the following: 
Request the Student Funding team at the University of Leeds to check and confirm that your household income, as assessed by your student finance provider, falls below the upper income threshold.
Following the check we will be able to verify that you meet the financial criteria associated with the [enter the name of the scheme].   The information provided will be used for this purpose only.

Student declaration
I confirm that my household income is expected to be assessed by my student finance provider for the xxxx/xx academic year as £xx,xxx or less, and consent to you contacting the Student Funding team at the University of Leeds to verify this  Yes/No
Full name:
Student ID:
Student Finance Provider (please state if you are a non-UK student):

Contact Student Funding

If you have any further questions regarding the above processes then please do not hesitate to contact the Funding Team