As I’m sure you all know going to university can be a very expensive time, which can be quite daunting. Thankfully student finance are on hand to make it a little easier, offering a range of different grants and loans to assist, so I thought I would write a post explaining a little about it all.
There are three main finance packages; Tuition fee loan, Maintenance loan and Maintenance grant. Obviously the first one, the tuition fee loan covers the cost of your tuition fee. You won’t have to worry about this much, as student finance pay this directly to the University when you start.
The next one is the maintenance loan, this is designed to help you with living costs such as rent, food and bills. The amount you will receive for this is based upon your household income, but everyone will receive something. On top of that some people will also be eligible for a maintenance grant, which is again based on household income, however unlike the loan, not everyone is eligible for this, in order to receive this your household income must be less than £42,620, the closer you are to this the less you will get. You can use this student finance calculator in order to get an estimation of how much you can expect to receive.
In my opinion its best to apply as early as possible, as when I applied there were multiple issues with documents such as getting hold of payslips from the previous tax year (which is what it is based on). The more time you allow yourself to complete it the less stressful it can be. You don’t need to have a finalized place at a university to apply either, as that can all be changed once you are confirmed if you do happen to change your choice.
In order to apply you will need to have on hand your passport, course details (even if they may change you have to enter something), bank account number and sort code and also your national insurance number.
Once you have completed your application, student finance will review your application, it’s important at this stage to not forget about it as they may request evidence to do with household income, so be on the lookout for emails regarding this. After it has been assessed you will receive a letter detailing how much you are entitled too and you will have a declaration to sign and return. This is vital as if you don’t complete the declaration you will receive nothing when term starts.
The process is made as easy as possible, but that’s not to say there won’t be mishaps, so my top tip has to be to not leave it till the last minute. Speak to you all soon!