Student finance is essentially money provided by the government to help students to be able to afford to study at university. It covers the upfront costs of course fees and provides money to help students with living costs whilst they are studying.
Student finance applications open in February for people going to university in September. Make sure you get your application in before the deadline otherwise you won’t get your student finance in time for when you start your course! You don’t want to be watching on while everybody else enjoys their first few weeks of university while you’re left at home counting the pennies.
Here are some things you need to know…
Tuition Fee Loan
- The tuition fees are paid up front by the government to the university
- This money will go straight from the government to the university and so you won’t see it in your account.
- Designed to help support you while you’re a student so that you can buy food, clothes and anything else that you need
- The money will be paid into your bank account in three instalments throughout the year and is repayable when you graduate
- The amount you receive will be completely dependent on your household income
But how much do I get?
The student finance calculator can be used to check how much money you will be entitled to at university. It will ask you to put on your household income, and uses this to produce a figure of how much grant and loan you can expect to receive. You can find that here.
When do I have to pay this back?
Many people worry about the “debt” that they come out with once they have finished university. You will have to pay back the tuition fee loan and maintenance loan, but this is done by affordable instalments and anything that isn’t paid off after 30 years is wiped clear.
You won’t start paying this back until you have graduated and are earning over £21,000 a year. You will only pay back 9% of everything over £21,000 that you earn. So, somebody earning £25,000 a year will only pay back £30 a month, which is just the same as paying a mobile phone contract.
How to Apply
To apply for student finance, go to their website. Create an account, log in and complete the application form. You’ll need to include details of your household income so that student finance can assess how much you are entitled too. You may need your parents to support your application if needed, and so they’ll need to put some details in, too. Once the application is completed, you’ll need to send off proof of identity (like a copy of your driving licence or passport). Once completed, you can expect to wait for up to six weeks for a response – that’s why it’s a good idea to get your application in early!