Applying for Student Finance 2022/23
Don’t get stumped by Student Finance – get funded! Our application walkthrough has everything you need to know…
Student Finance is the official government funding you apply for in order to pay for university tuition fees or living costs while studying.
The cash is bankrolled and regulated by the government, then doled out by an official Student Finance organization.
Here’s everything you need to know about applying for funding, including the Student Finance deadlines in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
5 tips for applying for Student Finance
Here are our top tips for applying for Student Finance:
- Apply early as the sooner you get your application rolling, the better. Plus you’ll have extra time to sort out any teething troubles before your course starts.
- Do your research and ask for everything you think you’ll need (and are eligible for) upfront.
- Double-check everything before you submit! Any mistakes now will only delay when you get paid.
- Don’t forget to re-apply for Student Finance each year!
- Don’t panic if you miss the deadline. You can apply for Student Finance up to nine months after the start of the academic year, but the longer you leave it, the more of your own cash you’ll have to shell out in the meantime.
What documents do you need when you’re applying for Student Finance?
In short, you’ll need paperwork, parents, and some serious determination to hand. More specifically, here’s what you’ll need when you’re applying for Student Finance:
- A working email address if you’re applying online. When you first register with Student Finance, they’ll email you a reference number – keep hold of it. You’ll need it to get official funding for the duration of your course.
- A bank account in your own name. Any maintenance money you get will be paid directly into your bank account, so set one up before you apply and make a note of the account number and sort code.
- School, uni, and course details. If you don’t have a confirmed place, use the one you’re most likely to get and update it later.
- An in-date UK passport. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to send original documents (passport or birth certificate) to Student Finance. Just make sure you allow a few weeks to get them back.
- Information about the income of your parents or guardians (including National Insurance numbers and details about any savings or pensions), or for yourself if you’re applying as an independent student, or for one of the dependants’ grants. And before you do, find out what income doesn’t need to be declared to avoid being short-changed on funding.
- Information about any support you’re already getting, as well as health evidence if you’re applying for DSA.
Applying for Student Finance
These are the answers to all your burning questions about applying for Student Finance:
How to apply for a Student Loan
If you come from England, Northern Ireland, or Wales, you can either apply online or by post. Scottish students can only apply online.
Either way, you may need to send evidence in the post – things like your passport or birth certificate, or other paperwork if you’re applying for extra support such as dependants’ grants or Disabled Student Allowance.
How long does it take to apply for Student Finance?
The form has enough questions to rival University Challenge so, depending on your circumstances (and how organized you are with paperwork), allow a couple of hours to complete your application. And always double-check it!
After that, the Student Finance bodies reckon it can take at least six weeks to crunch the numbers and get back to you. That said, it could be longer if you leave it until peak time during the summer holidays.
In the meantime, do the following three things in order to stay on top of your finances:
- Estimate how much money you’ll need and, crucially, how much of it will be covered by Student Finance. Plan a budget to see how the numbers pan out and get a backup plan in place for any shortfall.
- Scout out scholarships, uni bursaries, and charity grants.
- Start making some cash to tide you over when you first land on campus. You won’t get your first installment from Student Finance until you’ve registered at your uni, so you may need to get by until your Student Loan lands.