Student Finance need-to-know
Student finance: for many a worrying aspect of attending university. Before I got to university I remember being extremely worried about sorting out my student loan and other student finance related things. I will share with you some if my tips so you’ll be financing like a pro!
First things first: do you research. Student Finance (SF) is the organisation that helps students with receiving student loans, and there are separate branches for England, Wales and Scotland. There are two main types of loans: a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan. The former is paid directly to your university and covers the cost of your course. The latter covers your living expenses such as rent and your weekly shop. If you decide to take a student loan, you will be entitled to a Tuition Fee loan that covers all of your tuition fees. How much you get on the maintenance loan depends on your household income. There are other support grants and loans available, including support for parents and adult dependants, so make sure you check what you are entitled to on the SF website.
Before you start your new course, you will need to set-up an online account. You’ll then be assessed based on your household income, before receiving confirmation on how much you’ll get once all your information has been processed. You will need to apply each year for the maintenance loan, but rest assured, SF will remind you that you need to do this. As long as there are no changes in your circumstances throughout your course your finance will stay the same for the duration of your degree.
Don’t wait until the last minute to apply for your student loans; do it as early as you can to allow room for any issues that may arise (e.g. additional documentation required). I had a nerve-wracking time trying to sort the loans out because I forgot to apply before my first year. Luckily, the SF staff were really helpful. The process isn’t too hard as long as you follow the advice and you consult with SF staff if you’re unsure about what to do. Do send your application early (you can change your course and university later on) to avoid the stress of any problems.
Finally, students at The University of Manchester may be eligible for bursaries and scholarships. These are grants that students do not need to pay back. Some of the bursaries are dependent on household income, others can be based on academic performance. For the former, the University will use the same SF assessment to determine if you are eligible for the bursary.
- make sure to start your application early.
- research: do your background reading on your eligibility for loans and what is available to you.
- ask for help when you’re not sure what to do next .
- relax – we all managed it, you can too!
Resources you’ll find useful: