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-   -   Confused about applying for student finance for the first time? Look here! (FAQ) (http://forum.e4s.co.uk/showthread.php?t=665)

Dave 07-07-09 02:48 PM

Confused about applying for student finance for the first time? Look here! (FAQ)
 
How much will I have to pay for my University Tuition Fees?

If you are from any part of the UK other than Scotland (or if you are from Scotland, but choose to study in another part of the UK) you will be charged a "Tuition Fee" by your university. For the 2008/2009 academic year, this fee can be anything up to 3,145 per annum.

You should now be able to find out the precise figure from your chosen university's website, but here are the general rules:

If you are from England...

* ... and your university is in England, they may charge up to 3,145
* ... and your university is in Wales, they may charge up to 3,145
* ... and your university is in Scotland, they may charge up to 1,775 (2,825 if you are studying Medicine)
* ... and your university is in Northern Ireland, they may charge up to 3,145

If you are from Wales...

* ... and your university is in England, they may charge up to 3,145
* ... and your university is in Wales, they may charge up to 1,255
* ... and your university is in Scotland, they may charge up to 1,775 (2,825 if you are studying Medicine)
* ... and your university is in Northern Ireland, they may charge up to 3,145

If you are normally resident in Wales, and you also choose to study in Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government will provide you with a non-repayable Fee Grant of up to 1,890, regardless of your parents' income. For this reason, if you are Welsh and choose to study in Wales, you will pay around 1,255 in tuition fees per annum instead of the 3,145 you would pay elsewhere in the country.

If you are from Scotland...

* ... and your university is in England, they may charge up to 3,145
* ... and your university is in Wales, they may charge up to 3,145
* ... and your university is in Scotland, there will be no tuition fee
* ... and your university is in Northern Ireland, they may charge up to 3,145

If you are from Northern Ireland...

* ... and your university is in England, they may charge up to 3,145
* ... and your university is in Wales, they may charge up to 3,145
* ... and your university is in Scotland, they may charge up to 1,775 (2,825 if you are studying Medicine)
* ... and your university is in Northern Ireland, they may charge up to 3,145

You do not have to pay your tuition fees before you start your course. Please see "Student Loan for Tuition Fees" below.

What types of funding are available?


Student Loan for Tuition Fees


If you are from any part of the UK other than Scotland (or if you are from Scotland, but choose to study in another part of the UK) you will be charged a "Tuition Fee" by your university, as described above.
However, you do not have to pay this fee in advance, because you can take out a "Student Loan for Tuition Fees". This type of loan is not based on your parents' income, and you do not need to repay it until you have graduated and are earning over 15,000 p.a. If you earn less than 15,000 at any point after you graduate, your repayments will cease, and will only recommence if you start earning over 15,000 again. If any of your loan remains unpaid after 25 years, the government will "write off" the outstanding balance.
Your Student Loan for Tuition Fees will cover the exact cost of your course. However, as you will presumably need to sleep somewhere and eat during your time at university, there are also a couple of other types of finance, to cover your living cost, or your "maintenance".

Student Loan for Maintenance

This is a low-interest loan taken out to cover the general cost of living, which includes everything from accommodation and food to books and train-tickets. It is entirely separate from the Tuition Fee Loan and, unlike the Tuition Fee Loan, the amount you get may depend partly on how much your parents earn.

The maximum Student Loans for Maintenance are as follows:

* For those living in London whilst at university: 6,480
* For those living elsewhere in the UK (not with parents) whilst at university: 4,625
* For those living with their parents whilst at university: 3,580

Maintenance Grants


If you are normally resident in England, your household income is less than 60,005 and you are eligible for some/all of the means-tested part of the Student Loan for Maintenance (see above), you may be entitled to a Maintenance Grant of up to 2,835 which does not have to be paid back. The Maintenance Grant is worked out like this:

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i1...EnglandMGs.jpg

Please be aware that if you do qualify for a Maintenance Grant, up to 1,260 of the Maintenance Grant will simply replace up to 1,260 of the Student Loan for Maintenance. This is beneficial in the long-run, as you will have less Loan to pay back. Any Grant you get over 1260, however, is "extra money", and will not deduct from your Loan for Maintenance in any way.

If you are normally resident in Wales
, your household income is less than 39,300 and you are eligible for some/all of the means-tested part of the Student Loan for Maintenance (see above), you may be entitled to a Welsh equivalent of the Maintenance Grant (known as the Assembly Learning Grant (ALG) of up to 2,835 which, again, does not have to be paid back. The ALG is taken out instead of a Maintenance Grant (i.e. you cannot have them both), and if you are eligible you will receive it no matter where you study within the UK. The ALG is worked out like this:

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i1...6/WalesMGs.jpg

Again, up to 1,255 of the ALG will replace up to 1,255 of the Student Loan for Maintenance; any ALG you get over 1,255, however, is "extra money", and will not deduct from your Loan for Maintenance in any way.

If you are normally resident in Northern Ireland, your household income is less than 39,305 and you are eligible for some/all of the means-tested part of the Student Loan for Maintenance (see above), you may be entitled to a Northern Irish equivalent of the Maintenance Grant. This grant is up to 3,335 and, like those for Welsh and English students, does not have to be paid back. Here is how the Irish Maintenance Grant is worked out:

http://i68.photobucket.com/albums/i1...1986/NIMGs.jpg

Up to 1,760 of the Irish Maintenance Grant will replace up to 1,760 of the Student Loan for Maintenance; any Irish Maintenance Grant over 1,760 is, again, "extra money" and will not deduct for your Loan for Maintenance in any way.

If you are normally resident in Scotland, your system is comparatively complex. Detailed information can be found at http://xn--http-996a//www.saas.gov.uk/student_support/scottish_outside/student_loan.htm%E2%80%9D

Dave 07-07-09 02:50 PM


Bursaries


If you are in full receipt of the Student Loan for Maintenance and the Grant for Maintenance (or regional equivalent), you will also be entitled to a minimum of 310 from your university, in the form of a non-repayable bursary. Many universities are currently offering much more than this - typically, bursaries of around 1,000 were available to students within this category during the 2007/2008 academic year. Even if you are not in full receipt of the government loans and grants, your university may still give you a partial bursary. As the actual figure varies from university to university, you will need to look at your chosen university's website and/or contact them to find out whether how large a bursary you may be entitled to, if any.

You do not have to apply separately for a university bursary; all you need to do is select the option to "share your details" with the university when you apply for your student loans through the Student Loans Company. They will then pass on your details to your firm-choice university, and if you are entitled to any money the university will take care of the process of getting it to you.

Childcare Grants


If you have children you could be entitled to help with your childcare. It depends on your household income and is based on 85% of your childcare costs. The maximum available is 148.75 per week if you have one child and 250 per week if you have two or more children.

Financial Contingency Funds

Also known as "Hardship Funds". You do not need to worry about this type of funding before you get to university, but for those of you who are concerned that you might not be able to make ends meet if something goes wrong: most universities will have some sort of "hardship" scheme in place, if you really begin to struggle financially once you're there. It is best to contact the universities of your choice to find out their policy in such circumstances.

NHS Bursaries


These may be available to students on pre-registration health professional training courses. For more information, visit the NHS Student Bursaries website.

Other Types of Funding

Many universities will also offer their own special bursaries; for example, sometimes there is funding available to students studying on an under-subscribed course, whilst some male-dominated courses give extra money to female students. Many universities also give small book grants, travelling grants and achievement grants. As all of these things are university-specific, you will need to contact your university, or search on their website for further information.

How do I apply?


Now that you have a better understanding of the funding available, you need to know how to get it. The description below is of the online process; if you wish to apply on paper, you can either contact your LA and ask them to post you a form or request one from your school.
If you choose to apply online, you will need to register with the Student Loans Company, through the relevant site, before you do anything else.

* English students should go through Student Finance Direct
* Welsh students should go through Student Finance Wales
* Scottish students should go through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland
* Northern Irish students should go through Student Finance NI

Once you have registered, you will be able to start filling in your application.

Dave 07-07-09 02:51 PM

What do I need to do once I’ve completed my form?

Once you've completed and submitted your online form, you should come to a page entitled "Evidence Summary", or something equivalent. On this page, you will be shown the address of your LA (Local Authority); you will need to post all of your evidence to them, at that address.

Verifying your Identity

To verify your own identity, you will need to send them either your passport or your birth certificate or your adoption certificate - but if you send a birth/adoption certificate you will need to fill in a separate form called an Identity Declaration Form, which you can download from the applications website under "Forms and Guides". This form will need to be signed by a person of standing who has known you for at least two years; a teacher would be the most common person to ask, but a doctor, vicar or lawyer (amongst other professions) would do just as well - but they must be a UK national, and they must have access to their passport as they will need to write their passport number on the form. You then need to send your birth/adoption certificate and declaration form (or your passport, if that's what you're sending) to the address you've been provided with. Don't be confused by the statement on the website that they need to be "original documents": you do not need to fish out the first birth certificate you ever had - they just mean that you cannot send photocopies. It also does not need to be your extended birth certificate - the shortened version will do just fine. Given that your documents contain personal information and could be used for fraudulent purposes if they fell into the wrong hands, you should probably send them by Recorded Post. You can expect your documents to be sent back to you within a few weeks (mine took just under three weeks).

Verifying Household Income

If you've applied for a means-tested loan, your parents will need to provide the SLC with evidence of their earnings. This can either be in the form of a P60; a month 12/week 53 payslip showing "total paid to date" for earnings in the most recent tax year (06/04/07 to 05/04/08); a completed "Confirmation of Income" form, which can be downloaded from the Student Finance website; or a letter from an employer, confirming earnings.

You must verify both your own identity and your parents' income (if applicable) before the SLC will process your application.


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