Student Loan - Can't See A Way Out

Assalamu’alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

I pray that this message finds you in the best of health.

I’m currently a student studying biomedical sciences. Alhamdulillah, I’ll be entering my final year (Insha Allah).

I am currently actively searching for a halal alternative to student finance. Alhamdulillah, I have pretty much exhausted almost every means at my disposal and have dedicated many hours of research for an alternative. Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful and have found no avail. I then spent my entire summer working full time with the hopes to raise enough funds for university but was not successful.

It’s September, and I still have no alternative to pay for this year’s tuition fees. Due to the current economic situation and financial circumstances at home, my family cannot afford to fund for my studies. Due to my current circumstances, I cannot take a gap year from university to work for myself either. I am currently on a zero-hour contract therefore working to pay for it is not possible at this time.

In the past, I did take a loan to fund my studies. But I hadn’t quite internalised the full severity of riba at the time. I have genuinely tried looking for alternatives with the means that have been given to me and have sought advice. My university has offered a monthly payment plan. However, I don’t want to agree to anything and declare that I have the means to fulfil the conditions of a payment plan when I don’t.

*There is one scholarship that I am hoping to apply for Insha Allah, but I do not receive the results for that until December (whereas the first instalment is due at the end of September/October I think). I don’t know even know if I will be awarded that. Alhamdulillah, there is a fund that I am eligible to apply for but it’s very unlikely that it will cover an entire instalment.

I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything* that I can think of. I genuinely am doing my best to avoid taking out a loan. I’m struggling to find a way out. I don’t how to move forward. I would be intensely grateful for your advice.

JazakAllah khair for reading this. I really appreciate it. May Allah SWT reward you in abundance

(*everything except the two things mentioned in the paragraph that has been starred)

Walaikumsalaam, have you tried asking your university if they have any bursaries or if they can hold out until December?
I too have discovered that there are very little scholarships out there for UK Muslims for undergraduate studies. I wish there was a solution

You could also ask if there are any admin jobs at the university, maybe in your subject department? How about tutoring?