Student Finance applications for 2015/16 are now open and the easiest and quickest way to apply is online www.gov.uk/studentfinance. You should apply as soon as possible to ensure it’s all sorted ready for the start of your course. It doesn’t matter if you don’t yet know where you will be studying, you can log in at a later date and update this information. There is a step by step guide on the application process on The Student Room.
Before you start to apply for student finance it’s really important that you make sure you have the following documents to hand when completing your online application:
- your valid UK passport, if you have one, if not you will need to supply additional documentation to prove your identity
- your university and course details (If you haven’t decided yet, don’t worry. You can log in and change them on a later date)
- your bank account details
- your National Insurance Number
Maintenance loans and grants will be paid at the same time throughout the academic year and these will go straight into your bank account. It’s important that you sign and return your declaration form to Student Finance – they can’t pay you until you do, and make sure that you tick the consent to share your details box, this means that universities can automatically calculate what bursaries you are entitled to.
Student finance applications can take up to 6 weeks to process. Once your application has been processed you will be sent a student finance entitlement letter detailing how much you can expect to receive. Remember you don’t start paying anything back until you’re earning over £21,000. If you want to know more about loan repayments, see our previous blog post about this.
Our Applicant Space has a dedicated Money Matters section where you can view key information about loans and grants and applying for student finance. There’s also a handy video made by Student Finance which summarises the key points in applying for student finance that you might want to check out.