Friday, 15 March 2013

Student finance: Essential advice on completing your application

As UCAS applications are in that strange period of limbo where people are either patiently waiting for university offers or they've already replied to offers, thoughts are increasingly turning towards student finance and how and when to make the application.

In the first of two student finance blogs this month, Mark-Lee Kelly, Communications & Social Media Assistant at Student Finance England gives us an overview of how to make an application, what additional support you may be entitled to and what happens in terms of repayments:

Mark-Lee Kelly
Mark-Lee Kelly
What’s available?
Universities and colleges in the UK are able to charge different fees for their different courses, up to a maximum amount of £9,000 for a full time course.

Tuition fee loans are available to cover the costs of university fees and these are paid directly to the university or college, while maintenance loans are paid directly to you to help with living costs while you’re studying.  You may also be eligible to receive a non repayable maintenance grant if your household income was below £42,875 in the 11/12 tax year.

If you are a student with children, dependent adults or if you have a disability, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you may qualify for extra help on top of your main student finance package, depending on your circumstances. 

When should I apply?
Applications are open now and should be completed online as soon as possible at
www.gov.uk/studentfinance
 
You don’t need to have a confirmed university place to apply for student finance as you can enter your first choice of course which can be updated easily at a later date.

The deadline for new students is 31 May 2013 and 28 June for returning students.

What do I need to start applying?
 Before completing your application you’ll need to have the following to hand:

• UK passport number
• Bank account details
• National Insurance Number
• The university or college course details

There is a section for parents or partners to complete and it may help to have their National Insurance number to hand, if you’re applying for student finance based on the household income.

Should any evidence be requested we would advise sending it in straight away!

How does repayment work?
Repayments are only made once you have left university or college and are earning over the threshold. The amount that is paid is dependent on your income and not the amount that has been borrowed, each month you would pay back 9% of your income over the threshold.

The repayment of loans is administered through the tax system and the responsibility of administering repayments is shared between the Student Loans Company and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The Student Loans Company undertakes the account maintenance and communication with borrowers who are repaying their loans. 

Collection is taken through the PAYE system with HMRC liaising with employers or the account holder (if self-employed) who will take repayments from taxable earnings and then allocate the amount to the loan account.

There is more information available about repaying a student loan at www.slc.co.uk

Where can I find more info?
There’s lots of additional help and information about all aspects of student finance available.
You can use our Student Finance Calculator to get an estimate of the type of student finance you might be entitled to.  Don’t forget the more accurate the info you enter the more realistic the estimate we’ll give you.

There’s also lots of quick guides and information available on our dedicated Student Finance Zone at The Student Room as well as a live Q&A surgery every Wednesday where one of our expert advisers will answer your questions.

27 comments:

Moises Maionica said...

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Gexton said...
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Gexton said...
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Georgia Roberts said...

Hi, so ive filled out my application for my student finance and now have to wait for my mum to fill in her application. we tried to do it but are struggling with how to fill in the annual income of tax year 12/13. we don't have that information only this years income. Also it doesn't give options for child support so were not sure what we need to do? could anyone help?
basically need to know what we need to tick and fill out money wise. she gets income support and child tax credits. Thanks!

UCAS said...

Hi Georgia, it's best for you to contact Student Finance England with your query. They respond to questions on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sf_england but if you'd rather call them you can find their contact details at www.gov.uk/contact-student-finance-england. Good luck with it all :)

UCAS said...
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Catriona Mathew said...
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Albert einstien said...
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Albert einstien said...
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Albert einstien said...
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Albert einstien said...
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Martina said...

Hi! I have just applied for a student tuition loan online. I am an EU student, and I did not know that I could not apply online. What can I do now??
Furthermore, they ask to send an evidence of my identity, but do I have to send them the original passport? A photocopy will be just fine? Will they return the original one to me? I'm so confused, please answer

UCAS said...

Hi Martina. I would advise you contact student finance directly for further guidance, you can find their contact information here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-student-finance-england

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