How to apply for student finance during Clearing

With only a few weeks before the university term starts, and your journey through Clearing and results day taking up a lot of your time, students can easily forget about funding and student finance. If you haven’t got your application in then you can still apply – but you need to complete it as soon as possible.

If you have already applied for student finance but your course and university has changed due to results day and/or Clearing you can update your details now, or as soon as you know where you are studying. If you haven’t already applied you can still apply but it can take up to six weeks after student finance has received all the correct evidence to process the information, therefore, you will probably have started your university term before being paid.

The Student Loans Company processes applications for students in England and Wales, and students in Scotland apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), and students in Northern Ireland should apply to the Education and Library Board (ELB). You can also log onto your student finance account on the government website too.

What can I get from Student finance?

Students can apply for tuition fees, for all or part of the tuition costs which can be as much as £9,000 a year, and this price is set by the government, and each individual institution chooses how much to charge tuition. Tuition fee loans are paid directly to the college or university so you won’t see a penny of this. Maintenance loans are paid to the student to help with living costs whilst you are studying such as accommodation, travel and food. Maintenance loans can differ depending on where you are studying and where you are living whilst studying. Maintenance grants – which are disappearing next year, are grants that students don’t have to pay back, and are means tested.

Students you have dependents, children or a disability (disability-based UCAS application) can also apply for extra help via student finance.

What do I need to apply?

Students will need UK passport number, their bank account details, their national insurance number, the university or college course details for their application to be processed as quickly as possible. If you’re unsure what course or university just yet you can add what you’re hoping to study (if you’re waiting for an offer) and can change these details later. There is also a section for a partner or parents to complete to aid your application if they need to supply evidence. They will need their national insurance number handy if you’re applying for student finance based on household income.

If you do need to send any evidence, you should do this as soon as possible. It is also quicker to print the declaration form yourself and send it with your evidence instead of waiting for student finance to send it to you.

Top tips to get your application processed as quick as possible

Apply online as soon as possible and send any needed evidence straight away. If you have applied for financial support based on your household income make your parents or partner send their details as soon as they can too. If you have to update your course, university or the amount of tuition fee loan amount you can do this online by logging into your student finance account. Sign and return your declaration form. Remember students won’t be paid their student finance until they register and attend the university course. Student finance sends details of how much students should expect and when throughout the year. Most students receive their student loans and grants within 2 to 3 weeks of attending university. But if you are applying late you might have to wait longer to receive yours, so ensure you have savings and money to budget before you receive your financial support.