While the clearing process provides a lifeline for students, it's crucial to understand the financial considerations that come with it. The issues put forward for student finance by entering into Clearing are relatively easy to deal with.
Both UCAS and the Student Finance company have very easy guidelines to follow. These guidelines will cover all aspects of student finance and ensure that every student is provided with enough money to start the term, even if their student finance application is still under review.
What should I do?
First, you need to immediately alert Student Finance England to any changes you have made immediately. The sooner, the better. You will need to let the company know what course you are studying, at what university, and your start date.
From there, the Student Finance company will tell you what to do next. They will tell you who you need to speak to, how your payments will be made and what kind of student loan plan you will likely be on when you graduate.
Already applied for student finance?
If you've already applied for student finance, it should be pretty simple to get things moving. You will need to log in to your Student Finance account on the government website and then follow these simple instructions:
- Go to Your Account.
- Click Change Your Application.
- Click University/College Course.
- Make the necessary changes.
UCAS will then receive these changes. From there, both UCAS and the Student Finance Company will make the necessary changes to your account to see how much student finance you are entitled to.
Haven’t applied for student finance yet?
It’s not a problem if you do not already have your student finance sorted before entering Clearing. You should do, but it’s still possible to work things out.
Applications for student finance can take several weeks. The usual wait time for your student finance application to be accepted is usually around six weeks. Despite this, UCAS and student finance will ensure that you have some money to begin your studies, even if your application will take some time to be sorted out.
What about EU students?
EU students will have a slight advantage over students from the UK in terms of applying for Clearing. Typically, the results for the international baccalaureate are released on or around the time of Clearing officially opening, which is almost always ahead of when A-Level, T Level and BTEC results are released. This means that EU students will be able to get their applications in sooner than students from the UK.
EU students who do not meet the qualification criteria for standard residency have alternatives open to them. EU students in this predicament can still apply for the Tuition Fee Loan, which will take around six weeks. Otherwise, the process for applying for student finance after Clearing is the same for EU students as it is for UK students.
How much am I entitled to if I haven’t applied yet?
How much you are entitled to will depend on where you are studying. Typically, the Student Finance company will award you with the minimum amount of your Maintenance Loan.
Typically, the amount you are entitled to is:
|Where you are living||Minimum amount of Maintenance Loan||Maximum amount of Maintenance Loan|
|Living with parents||£3,597||£8,171|
|Not living with parents and studying in London||£6,308||£12,6674|
|Not living with parents and studying outside of London||£4,524||£9,706|
The maximum amount of your maintenance loan is based on the general household income. If your circumstances change or you are entitled to financial aid from your university, this may also factor into the amounts.
When am I paid my money if I applied late?
Your Maintenance Loan is paid on the first day of term. Your Maintenance Loan is split into three different payments, which are at 33% of the overall loan, another 33%, and a further 34%.
If you have applied late, your first payment may be less than you first thought. This is because you will likely have taken the minimum amount of your Maintenance Loan, to begin with, and will simply have the rest paid afterwards.
Am I still entitled to grants, bursaries and scholarships after Clearing?
Yes, you are. You will need to speak to the university directly and sort this out, however. We recommend doing this on your initial Clearing call beforehand.
After doing this, you will need to inform the Student Finance company. You will need to disclose what amount you are receiving and may need to provide some evidence of this to the company.