Student Finance is essential for most people who go to university. However, it can be a confusing and stressful time; the prospect of making a mistake or not submitting on time is a scary one! It is a pretty easy process, and genuinely worth it.
Whilst the video below covers my experience with Student Finance, I just wanted to lay out some facts alongside that for anyone who may be struggling with how it all works…
- When you should apply by is dependent on the start date of your course. See the table below which I got from the Student Finance website:
|Course start date||Apply by|
|Between 1 August and 31 December||31 May after your course started|
|Between 1 January and 31 March||30 September after your course started|
|Between 1 April and 30 June||31 December after your course started|
|Between 1 July and 31 July||31 March after your course started|
- Don’t worry if you aren’t sure whether you will get a place with your top choice of university. Apply for a loan based on that course at that university, and you can amend those details if things take a different path.
- The maximum tuition loan receivable is £9250*, and the maximum maintenance loan receivable (for accommodation and living costs) is dependent on where your university is based. Again, see the table below from the Student Finance website. How much of that maximum you receive depends on factors like your household income.
|Full-time student (England only)||2018 to 2019 academic year*|
|Living at home||Up to £7,324|
|Living away from home, outside London||Up to £8,700|
|Living away from home, in London||Up to £11,354|
|You spend a year of a UK course studying abroad||Up to £9,963|
- Make sure you check your emails for any forms or proof of information that Student Finance request. If you don’t cooperate with this, you won’t get the loan.
- To be eligible for a loan, your course needs to be in the UK.
- For a quick estimate of your loan in the meantime of waiting to hear back an official figure, you the Student Finance calculator
My experience with Student Finance was a generally smooth one. Whilst I needed help once or twice, it was easy to ask questions and get answers by calling the number that is available on their website.
Finally, once you apply and hear back about the sum of your loan, you can start factoring in accommodation costs and budgeting in preparation for your time at university.
* These figures are correct at the time of publishing, please see the Student Finance website for the latest information. There’s a different process if you’re a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Contact the education authority if you live in the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey) or Isle of Man.