Applying for student finance? Here’s a handy checklist
It might not be the most exciting part of starting university – but without it you will get left behind. So here’s what needs to happen.
If you haven’t already, start your application now. Today. It won’t go away.
Follow these three easy steps.
- Visit : www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance and set up a student finance online account.
- Complete your online application. You’ll need to know your household income and have proof of identity.
- Systematically and carefully follow any instructions you get by email and you can’t go far wrong.
Now read our FAQs to get an answer to all those pesky questions.
Q) What happens if my details change?
You need to keep both the university and Student Finance England up to date of any changes – so this won’t hold up the money getting into your account! Remember if you are planning on opening a student bank account over the summer to update the bank details so it goes to the right place.
Q) How will I know if Student Finance England need something more from me?
Keep checking your online student finance account. If Student Finance have requested more information it will be in the “view correspondence” screen.
Q) When will I receive my maintenance loan?
We will not confirm your enrolment until you have picked up your ID card. Payment will then be made 5 working days after the start of your course. Enrolment is often a few days before the start of your course.
Q) When do I become liable for tuition fees?
We will not confirm your attendance on the course until you have been on the course for more than 14 days after the start date of the course or the day you completed enrolment on the course, which ever date is later. You become liable for tuition fees after we have confirmed your attendance with Student Finance England
Q) I have had a loan before and have had previous study will I still get a loan?
If you have had previous higher education study please note this may affect your eligibility for future funding. Speak directly to Student Finance England directly on 0300 100 0607 to discuss.
Q) What counts as household income?
If you’re a dependent student your income and your parents’ income is assessed. You’re classed as a dependent student if you’re under 25 years old and depend on your parents’ financial support. Your household income is the total amount earned by your parents’ and their partners if applicable, based on which home you live in.
If you’re an independent student your income and your partner’s income is assessed. Your household income is the total amount earned by your partner’s income, plus yours.
Household income is usually based on earnings for the previous tax years (2018-19 if you’re applying to study in 2020/21).
Q) What counts as an independent student?
You’re classed as an independent student if:
- you’re 25 or older
- you have a child
- you have no living parents
- you are or have been married or in a civil partnership
- you’ve supported yourself for three years
- you’re estranged from your parents
Q) How household income is assessed?
You will need to provide information about your income if your child or partner has applied for student finance.
Your information will be used to work out the amount of maintenance loan that is received by the student.
Once the student has completed their application you will receive a link to create an online account. Your account needs to be separate to the student one.
The information that will need to be provided is:
- Your income in the previous tax year.
- Plus evidence if asked
What happens next?
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will check that the information you’ve provided matches their records. This will usually take up to 2 weeks.
You might be asked to send evidence of your:
- income – if the details you’ve given do not match HMRC’s records
- marital status – if you’re separated or divorced
It can take up to 6 weeks to review your evidence.
Student Finance England will write to your child or partner when all your information has been confirmed.
Q) I will receive childcare support, how does this work?
The amount you receive depends on how much your childcare costs. Your grant will be paid into a Childcare Grant Payment Service (CCGPS) account. You’ll get an email telling you how to set one up.
Your childcare provider will send requests for payment to the CCGPS, which you can approve through your account. Your provider will be paid directly from the money in your account.
Any money that’s left over at the end of the academic year will be returned to Student Finance England.
The maximum you can get is:
- up to £169.31 a week for 1 child
- up to £290.27 a week for 2 or more children
Q) Once my student finance application is submitted, what do I need to do then?
- Keep an eye on your online account in case you need to submit anything else
- Ensure those providing household income have submitted their info
- Research into student bank accounts
- Research how student finance can affect your benefits if applicable and then you need to inform them
- Join a Facebook Group to help you meet course mates and ask questions (CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough)
- Find out about part time job opportunities – is there a way to transfer your current employment if moving away from home?
- Like the social media sites for CU London, CU Scarborough or CU Coventry.
- If moving away from home research what is already in the accommodation so you don’t end up with 7 toasters