How to apply for student financeby Laura Buckle
Getting everything in order before you start university can feel a little overwhelming at times, particularly when it comes to applying for student finance.
If you're a UK student and are finding applying for your student loan intimidating, read our complete guide on how to apply for student finance - including the student finance deadline and what to do if you’ve missed it.
Are you eligible?
Most students who live in the UK are eligible for student loans. These are provided by the UK government through the Student Loans Company (SLC). This body is responsible for Student Finance England and Student Finance Wales, and is a delivery partner of Student Finance Northern Ireland and the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
If you're a UK student, where you live will dictate which funding service you apply to. Other criteria will decide whether you are eligible to apply. (This blog concentrates on UK students who are planning to study full-time at university).
You can check the full criteria in the eligibility guide on Gov.uk but broadly speaking, whether you qualify for student finance depends on:
- your chosen university
- your course
- whether you’ve studied a higher education course before
- your age
- your nationality or residency status
This blog concentrates on UK students who are just leaving school or college and planning to study full-time at university.
What student loans can you get?
Student loans for UK students can be split into two types:
Tuition Fee Loans: these cover the cost of your teaching, as well as contributing to the upkeep of the buildings, facilities and technology you use during your degree.
Your tuition fee will depend on where you live in the UK and where you want to study. It might also vary from university to university.
For 2023/24 entry, fees for English students studying at an English university were up to £9,250 a year.
Maintenance Loans: these help cover your living costs. The amount of loan you can get will depend on your household income as well as where you live and where in the UK you'll be studying.
For 2023/24 entry, the maximum Maintenance Loan an English student studying in England could apply for was:
- £8,400 if living with parents
- £9,978 if living away from home, outside London
- £13,022 if living away from home and studying at a university in London
To get an idea of how much you're entitled to, use the student finance calculator.
What do you need to apply?
In order to apply for student finance, you will need:
- a computer, phone or tablet with internet connection
- proof of identity in the form of a valid UK passport
- or your birth or adoption certificate
If you don't have a UK passport, or if your passport has expired and you don't have time to order a new one, you can use your birth or adoption certificate to prove your identity - there are details of how to do this on the Gov.uk website.
You will also need to provide details of your household income. This covers:
- your parents' income, if you're under 25 and live with or depend on them
- the combined income of one of your parents and their partner, if you're under 25 and live with or depend on them
- your partner's income, if you're under 25 and live with them
Make your application
Students living in England, apply for student finance online with Student Finance England.
You can do this by:
- Setting up an account online
- Logging into your account and completing an online application
- Including your household income, if required
- Sending proof of identity, if required
If you're unable to apply online, you can apply using forms. Alternatively, if you would like to know how to apply for student finance online but need a little help, you can call Student Finance England who can talk you through the process.
The student finance application deadline
To make sure you get your money in time for the start of your course, you need to apply to Student Finance England by late May. Application deadlines for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may differ.
What to do if you miss the student finance deadline
If you've missed the student finance deadline, you should still make your application as soon as possible. You will still receive financial support, as long as you're eligible. However, you may not receive the money in time for the start of term.
You can apply up until nine months after the start of the academic year, so don't panic if you're a little behind schedule. If you're quick, you may even still get your money on time.
Student financial support with Newcastle University
The financial independence that comes with studying at university can feel a little scary. For some extra help, including information about tuition fees and loans, as well as scholarships, bursaries and other financial support, refer to our Undergraduate Fees and Funding hub.
Published By Laura Buckle on 02/03/2020 | Last Updated 13/09/2023