If you think you’re going to end up going through the UCAS Clearing process to get into university, then you’re going to need to be on the ball and have your finances sorted out so you can start university with money in the bank.
However, don’t panic. Get all of the information you need together as quickly as possible and be prepared to move fast. Depending on when you apply for student finance there’s no guarantee that you’ll get your money as soon as you start university, but the student finance company will do their best to process your application with minimal delay.
Student finance is essential for the majority of people attending university to help them pay for tuition fees and general living costs. All full-time students are eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan that covers the full amount of the tuition cost and this is paid directly to the university.
Full-time undergraduate students can also apply for maintenance loans to help them cover the cost of expenses such as accommodation and course materials. Maintenance loans are paid directly to you and it’s up to you to make the money last from one payment to the next.
If you have special circumstances, such as children or a disability, you may also be entitled to additional funding. Talk to the university you’re applying to and the Student Loans Company (SLC) if you think you might be eligible.
The most important thing about applying for funding during Clearing is not to delay. Even if you’re not sure which university you’re going to, apply for your student finance anyway.
University details are easily changed online, so use your first choice university and then you can amend your options when you know exactly which course you’re studying and university you’ll be going to.
Here’re more about how funding works when you’re applying to university through Clearing:
If you’ve already applied for student finance, but your details have changed because you’re now studying at a different university or a doing a different course, then you’ll need to tell the SLC.
Simply log on to the Student Finance England website and change the details on your account. Follow the “Make changes to my application” link on your account page.
If the official deadline for applying for funding has been and gone, don’t panic.
You can still apply for a student loan but be aware that you might not have your application processed in time to have money at the start of term.
If this happens the SLC will try to give you some money as close to the start of term as possible. They’ll do this by assessing you without taking your household income into account. They’ll then complete the assessment in full once they have all of your application details.
In order for your application to be processed as quickly as possible, you’ll need the following information to hand:
If your parent(s) or partner is supporting your application then it would be helpful for them to have their National Insurance number and other evidence of household income to hand.
Remember, if you’re asked for any supporting evidence for your application, send it as soon as possible so you don’t delay the process.
Most importantly, don’t forget to sign and return the declaration you’ll receive in the post. If you don’t do this, you won’t receive any money at the start of term!
After this, you’ll funding will be put into your account within three working days of your registering at your university or college. Unfortunately it isn’t possible for you to get any money before you start your course, so make sure you have money to cover that period of time.