Here are some frequently asked questions to try and help you get some quick answers.
The answer is usually no. However, if you are applying to study Nursing, Midwifery or an Allied Healthcare Profession then you may still be eligible. Part-time students studying STEM subjects are also unaffected by having an honours degree. Social Work students with previous honours should at first contact the NHSBSA to discuss their options.
Yes you can, but entitlement may be reduced, so research this and seek advice before you apply for a course.
For example, more than one previous year of being a student in higher education without academic progression onto the next year often means that you will not get a tuition fee loan for the whole course. This means that for at least one year, you may have to self-fund your tuition fees. This is down to the previous study rules. In this scenario, years which must be self-funded are usually applied to the start of the course by student finance, not the end. You can make a compelling personal reasons request to reclaim a tuition fee funding year if you can show that you could not pass a previous year of study due to an officially evidenced compelling personal reason. Causes of this are often medical. Student finance are also sympathetic to years not passed in full due to a proven bereavement from an immediate family member.
With the exception of refugees, you must qualify for student funding based on how long you have lived in the UK (as well as your immigration status). For UK and Irish nationals or other ‘settled’ students, there is a lawful 3-year UK residency requirement, which also means not breaking ‘ordinary residency’ in the UK during that time. For other EU and EEA nationals this period is 5 years unless they can qualify as migrant workers. So, this residency qualifying period runs for either 3 or 5 years, for example, from 1 September 2017 to September 2020 for UK or Irish national new students. However, do note that there are some exceptions which can often revolve around a recent change in immigration status. There is also a ‘long residency’ qualification route for some students who are not settled in the UK.
It is highly recommended that non-UK nationals consult UKCISA under the Info and Advice section covering fee status. There are a few different qualifying categories for non-UK nationals not covered here, and the site gives full information on all of the current qualifying categories. It also covers Brexit.
The rules on claiming tax credits were unaffected by being a student, but tax credits are being replaced by Universal Credit, which is affected by this. Check with gov.uk or with your local authority’s website to see what the situation is where you live. The Citizens Advice Bureau can provide a good source of reliable information and can be contacted on 03444 111 222.
The Student Loans Company can help with childcare expenses and more information can be found here. You should claim any childcare expenses through the student funding system, not Universal Credit.
The amount of funding that you will receive depends on where in the UK you are living.
Student Finance England: Use the student finance calculator at gov.uk.
Student Finance Wales: The Financial support available is shown here
Student Finance Northern Ireland: The Financial support available is shown here
Student Awards Agency for Scotland: The Financial support available is shown here
Save the Student has more information on student funding across the UK.
Getting an offer, and before the next academic year starts:
Yes. You must apply for funding each year. The earlier you apply, the higher chance that it will be sorted before your course start date. Students funded by Student Finance England should apply between February and June. Most student funding problems are caused by students applying late.
Students on Allied Healthcare Professions should apply as soon as they get a course offer letter.
Your Tuition Fee Loan (which covers the cost of your course) is paid directly to the university.
Your loan for living costs (which helps cover the cost of accommodation, food and course materials etc) will be paid in three instalments into your bank account. These payments usually are transferred into your bank account in September, January and April. The loan for living costs must be paid into a bank account in your name, so make sure you open one if you don’t have one already.
There are many student bank accounts available, each offering their own benefits and rewards for using them. Most will offer an interest-free overdraft, which can be useful if you have any unexpected expenses. Try not to use this important resource for day to day living.
Note that many banks convert student accounts into graduate accounts upon graduation. This will preserve the overdraft for a couple of years while you pay it off at 0% interest. Reliable information on student accounts is available at Moneysavingexpert.com
Registration and starting your studies:
You have a cooling off period which is up to 14 days after you have registered at the University to change your mind and withdraw from your course. If you wish to withdraw, you must follow the instructions here. This is so that the University can put in place the relevant steps for your student finance. If you don’t follow the withdrawal procedure, this will cause problems later on.
Student Finance will pay you up to 5 working days after completing your registration. If your funding still doesn’t arrive then check these vital things:
- Have you registered with the university and collected your student ID card?
- Does your Student Finance Breakdown have the University of Salford as your University?
- Have you signed and returned your declaration form?
- Does your online student finance account ask you to submit other information?
- Do student finance have your correct bank details?
Only registration and the collection of your student ID card (if a new student) can trigger your payment, so ring your student finance authority to see if they have received your ‘confirmation of attendance’ from the university.
If you have just switched university, your previous institution must know of this, and they must also have told Student Finance about this, or there will be delays.
See if any family or friends can offer any temporary financial support. You can also speak with your bank to see if they can offer you a temporary overdraft. If you are struggling to cover basic food and travel costs, please contact askUS.
There are a few reasons for this but one could be that because of previous study you may not be entitled for this loan. It could also be that you have forgotten to request the Tuition Fee loan in your application as there is a tickbox for this. Contact Student Finance firstly to find out what is going on.
If you can, get advice from Student Finance or Money Matters first before you register on your next academic year to ensure that you will have funding in the future.
Firstly, contact Student Finance as soon as possible as they will be able to explain what’s happened. Book to see an adviser if you will be left in financial hardship and need advice.
Changes to your study or circumstances:
Student finance is paid at the start of each term. Therefore, student funding is based on attendance, and a student who interrupts before the end of a term has been overpaid. Firstly, we advise to hold on to the money that Student Finance have paid to you and not to spend it before you get specific advice from one of our advisors.
Students who interrupt for health reasons, including pregnancy, are entitled to get their student loan for living costs paid to them for the first 60 days of their interruption.
Essential information for students can be found here. This also includes information on the Student Finance Hardship Fund.
Full-Time students on interruption may still be exempt from Council Tax, but this is at the discretion of the local authority. You cannot claim Universal Credit on interruption unless you are already entitled to do so as an attending full-time student. More information on State Benefits is available on our website.
If you would like to discuss how your Student Finance funding will be affected, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduation and beyond:
Unfortunately you will not be allowed to attend graduation or receive your degree certificate if you have tuition fee debts with the university.
We recommend that you visit the Student Loans Company website for answers. If you are a recent graduate, then repayments will not start until the year after you graduate, and you will only start repaying once you are earning over £25,000. You will repay 9% of your earnings over this amount.
If you move overseas you will need to contact the Students Loan Company.
The PAYE system adjusts your repayments when you go over or under the repayment threshold of £25,000.