University can be daunting enough without all the paperwork and the thought of financial burdens, but luckily applying for student finance isn’t as complicated as you might think. Knowing where you stand with all the payments for your accommodation, tuition fees and living costs will also take away from the stress of starting university, so the earlier you apply the better. First of all, there are some important deadlines to note – if you’re starting university and applying for the first time, do so by the 21st May 2021, but if you are a returning student you have until the 25th June 2021. This is because applications take up to 6 weeks to process, especially since there is always an influx, so it’s advised that you don’t leave it all until the last minute. All student finance applications are done through the Gov UK website and they also provide lots of helpful information especially if you’re an EU or international student.
There are also multiple loans students usually apply for and the amount of money they receive depends on their household income and background – these include the ‘Tuition Fee’ loan which goes straight from the government to the university and is paid back after you finish your degree and earn above a certain threshold, as well as a ‘maintenance’ loan used to pay for your accommodation and living costs which is paid into your bank account every term and is also repaid later on.
As well as this, you can apply for grants and bursaries which go towards your living costs if you are eligible, and these do not have to be paid back. Though these depend on the university you are going to and so you apply through them – the easiest way is to check your university’s website and their details about any financial aid they may offer. Bursaries and grants are also offered by charities and do not have to be repaid either. The easiest way of checking your eligibility for these is by using the Turn 2 Us grant search which is also linked on the Gov UK website under the Student Finance section.
In summary, students have many options when it comes to financial aid and it shouldn’t be something you fear.