SLC urges students to apply now for student finance

The Student Loans Company (SLC) is urging new full time undergraduate students in England, who are planning to attend university and college this autumn, to submit their student finance applications now.

By submitting their online applications before Friday (17th May) students can ensure that their tuition fees and maintenance loans payments are confirmed for the start of the academic year, subject to eligibility being confirmed. Students should apply even if they don’t have a place on a course confirmed, or know their living arrangements, as these details can be changed in their student finance online account at any time before the start of their course.

In the last academic year, SLC paid out almost £22billion in loans and grants and processed around 1.5 million student finance applications. Applications can take up to six weeks to process and given the scale of processing it’s vital that students get their application submitted now to make sure there’s time for it to be approved.

Jackie Currie, Executive Director Operations at SLC, said: “In order to have tuition fees and maintenance loan funding in place for the start of term, students should apply for their student finance now. Even if they don’t have a confirmed place on a course or haven’t decided what university they want to go to, that doesn’t matter at this stage. All of those details, including university, course and living arrangements, can all be updated in the student’s online account later in the year once it has been finalized. I would encourage any student not to delay and apply today.”

Students can apply for Tuition Fee Loans to cover fees and Maintenance Loans to help with living costs. There may be circumstances where a student is able to access some extra money, for example if they have additional needs, have children, or are studying for a medical, social work or teaching course. More information about what is available can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/extra-help

Important information for prospective students:

There are a number of resources available for students to find out more on how to apply and about the financial support that may be available.

Have important documents to hand:

  • Students should have their National Insurance Number and passport details to hand before starting the application.
  • They will also be asked for bank details when applying, including the 8-digit account number and 6-digit sort code. If the bank details change after applying, it’s quick and easy to log into their online account and update them.

Track the progress of the application:

  • Applications can take six to eight weeks to process, and students do not need to contact SLC during this time. They can track the status of their application via their online accounts and will be notified if there are any outstanding actions they need to take. Students can also make changes to their personal information in their online accounts.

If a student has studied before:

  • If a student has studied before it could affect their eligibility – even if the previous course was self-funded. Students should submit their application early so entitlement can be confirmed.
  • If returning to study after a break, students should use the online account they originally had, rather than create a new one. The online search function can be used to locate it.

If estranged from parents:

  • If a student has no contact with their parents for over a year, they may be able to apply as an estranged student. Applications from alienated students are dealt with by a dedicated team of specially trained, customer advisors to ensure that the process is sensitive to their circumstances. The evidence requirements are different too. Read this guide to find out more.

Depending on circumstances students may be entitled to further support:

  • There may be circumstances where a student is able to access some extra money, for example if they have additional needs, have children, or are studying for a medical, social work or teaching course. More information about what is available can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/extra-help

Supporting a student’s application

  • Parents and partners (sponsors) who are supporting students’ applications are also reminded to provide their financial information as soon as they’re asked. Sponsors will receive an email once the student has submitted their part of the application to let them know when and how to provide their financial information. Sponsors can also access this information on a dedicated page at www.gov.uk/support-child-or-partners-student-finance-application

Students can apply for student finance up to nine months after the start of the academic year. Returning students are also reminded to apply before their application deadline on 21 June 202.