Student Finance in England - Advice for the Fresher

Organising your student finance

Your student finance should be organised by now (the deadline dates for applications were in May and June). Student Finance England processes over one million student finance applications every year and figures from 31 July show that over 630,000 students are already ready to be paid once they register and attend university. 

But if you’re not quite organised yet then don’t panic! Follow Student Finance England’s Next Steps to make sure your finances are tied up at term start.

If you:

  • Have still to send us evidence to support your application, you need to do so now. We can’t fully assess you without the evidence we have requested.
  • Applied online, we’ll send you a declaration form with your Student Finance Entitlement letter. You need to sign and return the declaration form right away for your payments to be released when you enrol at university'.
  • Have already applied for student finance but your course has changed due to the Clearing process, you’ll need to inform us of the change as soon as possible by logging into your online account and updating your details to ensure you receive your first payment on time'
  • Haven’t applied for student finance yet: you may not receive your funding at the start of term. The sooner you apply the sooner we’ll be able to get your application processed for you. Apply now at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance. Extra support is also available for students with children. Check out our handy finance guides for more info here. You can also apply for Disabled Students' Allowances if you have a disability, long-term illness, mental health condition or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

The application process for student finance normally takes around 6-8 weeks but can be held up if we’re waiting for further information from you.


Payment Checklist

Our Payment Checklist below should help you make sure you've done everything to ensure you're paid your first loan/grant instalment and also shows where some students go wrong when they apply for finance…

  • You've submitted your application and all the correct supporting evidence
  • Your parents have provided their financial details or evidence if you want to be means-tested (maintenance grants are available for those whose household income is below £42,600). You can use our online student finance calculator to find out what you might be entitled to:
  • You provided SFE with your passport number when you applied online (If you don’t have a UK passport, you need to send us your original birth certificate and Identity Declaration form or your non-UK passport).
  • You’ve given SFE your National Insurance Number and your bank details. Many people forget to supply their bank details – we can’t pay you until we have them!
  •  You've signed and returned your declaration form: don’t let a simple signature stop your student funding coming through!
  • You've registered at university/college and your university/college has confirmed your attendance and you’ve then allowed 2-3 working days for the funds to be paid into your bank account.

Further Information

Got a question about your application? Student Finance England’s helpline is open seven days a week, from 8am-8pm every weekday and 9am-5.30pm at weekends. We also answer queries every week day on Facebook at the moment, with specialist Clearing surgeries to support you with any queries you have: www.facebook.com/sfengland.

Good luck to everyone starting university this year!

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