Student finance explained…

With student finance applications expected to open soon, a simplified run-down of everything you need to know might make the whole process a bit easier. So, here goes…

First of all, to avoid any confusion, there are TWO types of student finance:

Tuition Fee Loan – this pays for your course fees
Maintenance Loan – this pays for your living costs

You can apply for up to £9,250 for your tuition fees (this is the maximum cost). Your Maintenance Loan is calculated by Student Finance England and they will determine the amount by checking your household income, where you’re going to be studying, and if you’re living at home or not.

Most people think that you have to have received offers from universities before you can apply, but this is not the case! You can make applications before your place is confirmed, just remember to update any changes as this could affect how much money you receive or where the money is sent. Applications are expected to open at the end of February and can be done online. Remember to apply before the deadline, any late applications could result in a late payment.

When completing your application you will need your passport and your National Insurance number. Applications are fairly easy and will take around 30 minutes. After you’ve done your part, your parents will then need to provide their information. Make sure to remind them to check their emails, otherwise, they won’t be able to fill their part out.

It’s also worth looking into scholarships and seeing if the University offers them, but just bear in mind that they are often quite specific.

Once you’ve actually started your studies there may be opportunities for part-time work at your uni, like working in the library, in the catering team, or helping out on Open Days. Plus, being on-site means that you can fit work round your studies and you won’t have any travel costs!

The most important tip of them all is something I wish I had known – learn how to budget. You will only receive your loan three times throughout the year, so in short, once it’s gone it’s gone! Learning when and where to spend your money is something which is important and might just save you from calling your mum for some extra cash!

Good luck and make sure to check out our Student Room thread for Mature student finance tips!

Mia – Graduate Advocate

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