UK Student Finance

UK Student Finance
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This article will walk through everything you need to know about UK student finance.

UK Student Finance is the official government funding UK students apply for in order to pay for university tuition fees or living costs while studying.

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The UK Student Finance cash is bankrolled and regulated by the government, then doled out by an official Student Finance organisation.

Here’s everything you need to know about applying for funding, including the Student Finance deadlines in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Who can apply for UK Student Finance?

The UK Student Finance is open to United Kingdom nationals who must have lived in the UK for at least the last three years.

To qualify for Student Finance the bodies usually require you to “normally” live in that part of the UK. So, to apply for funding from Student Finance Wales, you’d need to “normally” live in Wales. This is one of the major criteria.

Also, you may also be able to apply as a refugee with refugee status, or if you’re from the Republic of Ireland.

If you’re on the hunt for a Maintenance Loan to cover your living costs, you’ll need to be a UK student aged under 60 on the first day of your course to be eligible. Although there are no age limits for the application.

There’s also no lower age limit for any UK Student Finance funding.

Eligibility

Whether you qualify for student finance depends on:

  • your university or college
  • your course
  • if you’ve studied a higher education course before
  • your age
  • your nationality or residency status

If you’re studying full-time

You may be eligible for student finance if your course is in the UK and one of the following:

  • a first degree, for example, BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • an Initial Teacher Training course
  • an integrated master’s degree
  • a pre-registration postgraduate healthcare course

f you’re studying part-time

Your course needs a ‘course intensity of 25% or more for you to be eligible for student finance.

You’ll be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan if your course is in the UK and one of the following:

  • a first degree, for example, BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • an Initial Teacher Training course
  • an integrated master’s degree

You’ll be eligible for a Maintenance Loan if your course is in the UK and one of the following:

  • a first degree, for example, BA, BSc or BEd
  • an Initial Teacher Training course (if it’s degree level or above)
  • an integrated master’s degree
  • a Foundation Degree in dental hygiene and dental therapy
  • a DipHE in dental hygiene and dental therapy or operating department practice

You are not eligible for student finance if you’re doing a Degree Apprenticeship.

See Also: Student Finance Deadline

What financial support is on offer for students?

Student Loans

Student Loans is an agreement by which a student at a college or university borrows money from a bank to pay for their education and then pays the money back after they finish studying and start working

The Tuition Fee Loan covers your course fees and is paid directly to your university or college, so you never actually see, smell or touch any of it.

As a student, you can also get a Maintenance Loan which lands in your student bank account at the start of each term or monthly as it’s applicable in Scotland.

Unlike the student loan that you have no access to, the Maintenance Loan is different meaning you can do whatever you like, but the smart thing to do is put it towards your priority costs first, including:

  • Rent
  • Bills
  • Food
  • Savings.

Bursaries and Grants

While the Student loan is not yours to keep, the bursaries and grants on the other hand are yours to keep and they don’t have to be repaid. It’s well worth taking the time to see what’s going on and what you’re eligible for, as there are loads of unusual funds out there!

In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales government give grants or bursaries to students that will cover living costs.

Although England, however, things aren’t so generous. For the last few years (since 2016, in fact), new students have no longer been eligible for Maintenance Grants from the government.

UK students can also apply for extra support, including the Childcare Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance, Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) and Adult Dependants’ Grant.

How to Apply for UK Student Finance

For Online

If you come from England, Northern Ireland or Wales, you can either apply online or by post. Scottish students can only apply online. But wherever you’re from, we’ve got your Student Finance website and deadline listed.

Application Link

For Offline

For the offline you may need to send evidence in the post – things like your passport or birth certificate, or other paperwork if you’re applying for extra support such as dependants’ grants or Disabled Student Allowance.

What documents are needed when you’re applying for Student Finance?

To have a good application status you need to have the following.

Email Address

To start your application process you need a working email address if you’re applying online. When you first register with Student Finance, they’ll email you a reference number – Please keep hold of it. You’ll need it to get official funding for the duration of your course in the institution.

Bank Account

bank account in your own name is very necessary. Any maintenance money you get will be paid directly into your bank account in your name. It is advisable you set one up before you apply and make a note of the account number and sort code.

School, Uni and Course Details

School, Uni and Course Details are also necessary when applying for the student finance load. If you don’t have a confirmed place, use the one you’re most likely to get and update it later.

UK passport

A UK passport is needed also during your application process. You’ll need to send original documents (passport or birth certificate) to Student Finance.

Also, information about the income of your parents or guardians (including National Insurance numbers and details about any savings or pensions), if you’re applying as an independent student, or for one of the dependants’ grants.

Student Finance Deadlines 2022/23

These are the application deadlines for Student Finance in 2022:

Student Finance England

The deadline for new university students to apply for funding from Student Finance England is 20th May 2022.

Student Finance Northern Ireland

The deadline for new university students to apply for funding from Student Finance Northern Ireland is 8th April 2022.

Meanwhile, the deadline for returning university students from Northern Ireland is 24th June 2022.

Student Finance Wales

The deadline for new students to apply for funding from Student Finance Wales is 27th May 2022.

The deadline for returning students to apply for funding from Student Finance Wales is 17th June 2022.

Regardless of when the ‘official’ deadlines are, it’s worth remembering you can still apply after these dates (up to nine months after the start of the academic year).

As for when you can start applying, the process tends to open in February/March each year.

Tips for applying for UK Student Finance

Here are our top tips for applying for Student Finance:

  • Applying early as possible is better. This enables you to have extra time to sort out any teething troubles before your course starts.
  • Double-check everything before you submit!
  • Don’t forget to re-apply for Student Finance each year!
  • Do your research: It’s is also important to do your own research when applying and ask for everything you think you’ll need (and are eligible for) upfront this very important.
  • Don’t panic if you miss the deadline. You can apply for Student Finance up to nine months after the start of the academic year.
SEE ALSO:  Student Finance Deadline 2022

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