Student life definitely poses challenges. Some are pretty stern: managing your household finances, preparing for your career, meeting essay deadlines. Others are less spiky: which societies to join, where to go with those cheap rail fares, what day to schedule the 'Game of Thrones' marathon...
However, all of those challenges, large and small, become much worse when your bank account is empty. That's why it's important to get your student finance application sorted before 30th May.
Don't join the queue
It happens to students every year: some don't complete their online application on time. The consequences are straightforward, but serious – you won't have your money in place for the start of term to pay for your tuition, or accommodation. This tends not to make the beginning of your student life (or your new term) a fun experience.
Universities can be sympathetic and supportive in these cases but there's only so much they can do, and it usually won't involve letting you off your payments; so it's much better to have the funds snug and secure well in advance.
How to apply
Fortunately, the actual process of applying is easy. The Student Finance England (SFE) section on Gov.uk is the place to go – to fill in your online application.
If you haven't started yet, head over there today – yes, that means you – and complete your application! The earlier it's done, the sooner you can relax in the knowledge that the financial side is taken care of. You'll also give yourself a bit more time in case SFE request extra info from you.
If you've already started an application, don't forget to log back in and finish everything off. What's worse than no application before the deadline? A half completed one that you kick yourself for not sending when you're navigating tricky financial waters. Get clicking and get it completed!
Don't wait for your place
Remember, you don't need to have a confirmed offer of a university place in order to apply for finance. All you need to provide is the name of the course you're hoping and the university or college details. You can update the final details once you have them.
Once that's done, make a few last minute checks to be sure that you've provided all the info required and then send away. Be sure you click 'submit' and look out for a confirmation email in your inbox: if you don't get one, get in touch with SFE (before the deadline) and make sure that everything is in order.
Getting help and staying in the loop
If you haven't started yet, or if you've begun the process but have stalled a little bit, don't panic: there's still time to get your application in before the deadline. You don't have to work it all out by yourself if you're struggling, either, as SFE have put together lots of tools and info to help you.
You can access all the help you need from SFE and from the dedicated finance zone on The Student Room. You'll find expert guidance from the SFE team – and they would know – as well as tools to help you work out what financial support you're entitled to, plus step-by-step guides to walk you through the application process and make sure you don't miss anything.
You can also get the latest info, regular advice and reminders about what to do and when via social media –you can like SFE on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to keep in touch.
The deadline is coming up fast, but if you act now you'll have everything sorted in no time. Your finances will be in place for the start of term, which means you can get on with the rest of your student life – including fretting about Daenerys and her dragons – in peace.