Starting a course in September? Get ahead of the crowd with your student finance

We know that heading off to university can be a daunting prospect with the longest to-do list in the world, but one thing you can do now (if you haven’t already) is to get your funding up and running before A levels results are published next week.

Here’s how….

  1. Make an application

If you know you want to apply for tuition fee or maintenance (living costs) loans, you firstly need to know who to apply to. If you normally live in England before heading off to uni, you apply to Student Finance England, if you’re from Wales, it is Student Finance Wales, if you are Northern Irish, it is Student Finance Northern Ireland and finally Scottish students should apply to Scottish Awards Agency for Scotland. It is important to understand that who you apply to depends on where you are from, not where you are going to be studying.

The easiest, quickest and safest way to apply is to create an online account.

EU students – if you have been living in the UK for more than 5 years (since before 1st September 2014) or you are here as a migrant worker, you can apply for the same funding as a UK student.

If you are a new EU student just applying for a Tuition Fee Loan, and possible University of Brighton bursary, you need to apply on a paper application form.

2. Memorise your login details or make your answers memorable

You don’t need to memorise your customer reference number as this is very long, but you should remember your password and secret answer – these are 2 different things which you are asked for every time you log in.

You can reset your login details if you do forget them, but this just adds another layer of admin which you want to avoid. We also advise you not to rely on saving your details to one device like your phone in case you need to access your account from a pc or tablet elsewhere. You should not share this confidential information with anyone else.

3. Check your account for updates

You should wait a couple of weeks then check your online account for any updates. Student Finance may contact you by text, email or letter if they need more information from you, so make sure your contact details are correct and keep checking regularly. Any progress with your application will be shown on your online account.  If there is no change after 3 weeks, telephone the Student Finance company you applied to. The main number for Student Finance England is 0300 100 0607.

Whilst you’re waiting to get a reply, you can check how much you might be entitled to by using the English and EU student calculator. The amount depends on your household income, the course you are studying and if you are independent and/or have children.

Most correspondence will show under the ‘letters and emails’ heading on your online account or there will be an outstanding action list on the home page of your account.

EU students – you will need to send proof of your id when you apply for the first time. You can send the original document or a certified copy. You should send this with your application form to:

Student Finance Services Non UK Team
Student Finance England
PO Box 89

You will be sent a letter in the post to your home address. Usually this takes 6 weeks.

3. Send in any extra information they ask for

If you have a customer reference number, make sure you write this on every document you send in the post and if possible send your documents recorded delivery. Some information must be original documents or certified copies and other documents can be photocopied so make sure you understand exactly what they need. In most situations, original documents will be posted back in 4 weeks.

4. Keep your account up to date with things like your bank account details. Some students open a new student account before they start uni but forget to tell Student Finance which account to pay their Maintenance Loan into.

5. Check your award

This can be difficult unless you know what your household income income is. Most students under 25 are assessed on their parents income, so if you know what this is you can check quite easily. If you are not sure, just contact Student Finance and ask if you have been ‘means tested’, which means assessed for the full funding available to you. If you haven’t been means tested, you should ask your parents if they have provided all of their information. In some instances parents are unwilling to disclose their income details – if this applies to you, please contact the Student Advice team here at Brighton. We can support you and/or talk to your parents if they have concerns.

6. Find out if you can access any additional funding 

We have a range of bursaries for people of different situations and there are additional supplementary grants available from Student Finance and the NHS (depending on your circumstances).

And lastly, lucky number 7.…… at the University of Brighton we have a very experienced, knowledgeable and approachable team of experts waiting to answer all your questions and help you with any money problems

We look forward to meeting you all next month!! 🙂

Helen is the Student Advice Service Manager within Student Services and is based in Tithe Barn on the Moulsecoomb campus

Posted in General advice and information, Money Advice, Money, Grants and Bursaries

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Skip to toolbar