Are you planning to go to university or college in September this year? Do you want to know what kind of financial support you might be entitled to?
Now's the time to get ahead of the game. You’ll be able to apply for your funding very soon; you don't need to wait for confirmed university offers.
Instead, you can apply for student finance for 2013/14 before you've made your final course decisions, and before your offer has become unconditional on UCAS.
By doing so, you can make sure your application is in the system and that it will be assessed in plenty of time so the money you're entitled to is available when you start your course.
Coming soon on The Student Room, we’re launching a special Student Finance Zone in association with Student Finance England (SFE), a Student Loans Company service. This hub section will provide everything you need to know about applying for funding, what you might get, how to get it, how the repayment process works and what to do if you have special circumstances.
But you can start your preparation right now. First, check what funding you can expect to get by using the student finance calculator on the SFE website.
The site is full of information on the grants and loans that you can get, making it a great resource for getting yourself quickly up to speed on money matters.
Once SFE open the student finance application for academic year 2013/14 and you're ready to apply, you should visit the government's site at www.gov.uk/studentfinance.
If you’ve never applied for student finance, then you need to be prepared. To complete your application you'll need to dig out the following:
- Your valid (up to date) UK passport number – or your birth/adoption certificate if you don’t have a passport.
- Your university or college course details. Don't yet know for sure? Pick the course you're most likely to start: it’s easy to update your details online at a later date.
- Your bank account details
- Your National Insurance number.
If you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still apply for a loan. Student Finance England will contact you if you need to do anything to obtain one. This may mean that you’ll need to arrange an appointment with your local Job Centre to have one assigned to you.
If you're applying for student finance based on household income (for instance, if you are looking to get a Special Support Grant or the full Maintenance Loan) then there is a section for your parents or partner to complete and they’ll need to give their National Insurance number.
But if you’re only applying for the Tuition Fee Loan and the part of the Maintenance Loan which doesn’t depend on your household income then your parents or partner don’t have to do anything.
Top tips: how to be student finance savvy
- Find out what you might be entitled to by using Student Finance England's student finance calculator
- Apply when applications open in early 2013 at www.gov.uk/studentfinance
- When completing the online application make sure you have all the necessary information to hand – passport number, course details, bank account numbers and national insurance number
- Send any evidence requested ASAP to ensure you don’t hold up your application.
- Be aware of online fraudsters – don’t share personal or financial details on public platforms such as social media – SFE will never email you to confirm your login details or bank account details
- Don’t forget: the final deadline for new full-time students to apply for 2013/14 student finance is 31 May 2013
Find out more:
For more information and to apply, visit www.gov.uk/studentfinance
For a range of helpful tools and guidance, visit www.studentfinanceengland.co.uk
Follow Student Finance England on Facebook and Twitter.
Not studying in England?
Student Finance Wales
Student Awards Agency for Scotland
Student Finance NI