Our very own student Anmbrin who has been through the finance application process herself provides you with her top tips.

Applying to study at university can be a daunting time with so many forms and such little time. It can seem so complicated, with you feeling as though you are surrounded by uncertainty and confusion about student finance, letters and evidence. I would firstly like to say it really isn’t as complicated as it may seem right now, planning and doing your research will help you stay on top of things. Here are some ways you can do this, to ensure your finance is in place for when you start your academic course.

  • Get your application in early – the deadline for student finance this year is 22nd May for new students, my advice to anyone looking to apply is to do it as soon as you can. Student finance is inundated with applications from students all over the country, apply early to ensure your application can be reviewed early on. In the case where your paperwork gets lost or there is a mistake, this will leave for plenty of time for it to be reviewed.
  • Make sure you send all requested evidence – evidence is a crucial part of your application, this is because the amount you can get is ‘means tested’ which means it is dependent upon your income, if your evidence is not submitted by the requested date, student finance will calculate the amount but without the additional amount, so you will receive the minimum amount which is not means tested.
  • Apply for extra funding if you meet the requirements – student finance offers extra support for specific groups of people, if you fall into one of these categories you could receive extra financial support through your education. This includes those with disabilities, children and those on low income. The applications require further evidence to be submitted, you will then be assessed on eligibility.
  • Notify student finance of all changes – students are often reluctant to apply for student finance due uncertainty of the university they will attend and the course they will pick. Results can sometimes take unexpected turns, changing universities or entering Clearing can put you in a mind of uncertainty, but once the change has taken place and is confirmed by the university, my advice would be to notify student finance as soon as possible. This will allow for changes to be made and payments to be processed sooner rather than later.
  • Make sure you triple check your bank details – I cannot emphasise this enough. When your money is put into your account it will go into the account you put on your student finance application. If your bank details are incorrect, the money cannot be retrieved and student finance will not reimburse you. So, checking your bank details is a crucial step.
  • Register your attendance – before you receive your finance, the university will have to register your attendance. Only then, will student finance release your tuition fee loan and maintenance loan. Student finance advises students to contact their banks if you do not receive it once it is marked as paid on your online account. You should also receive a text when the amount is released with information of an estimated date range that it will be received.