Students in Clearing urged to apply now for student finance

Last year, the Student Loans Company (SLC) saw its largest ever year-on-year increase in new student finance applications, and the number of applications we have received this year has again increased. It is widely anticipated that record numbers of students will attend university or college this academic year.

SLC exists to enable people to invest in their futures by providing access to further and higher education and our absolute priority is to ensure that we have as many student finance applications as possible processed and ready to pay at the start of term, including those that applied late (after the deadline).

Still to apply for student finance?

We are pleased that the majority of students followed our advice and got their applications in before the deadline, ensuring that they will have funding in place for term start. However, we also recognise that some students may be going through Clearing or waiting for exam results before making a decision about their next steps.

If this is you, or someone you know, our message is clear: you don’t have to wait on your exam results to apply for student finance. If you think you may be attending university or college this academic year, then we strongly advise that you apply now to ensure that you have some funding in place as close to term start as possible. You can do this even if you are not certain of your course or institution, it is better to apply now and update your university or course details later if you need to.

To help, we have produced a new guide containing lots of useful resources including information on how you can help us process your application quickly.

If you are applying now then you should be aware that student finance applications can take 6-8 weeks to process which means applications may not be fully processed by term start. We will do our best to ensure that all eligible applicants have some money in place by awarding the minimum maintenance loan amount first, followed by a top-up payment if students are entitled to more funding.

Already applied for student finance?

If you have already applied for student finance you don’t need to contact us, we will contact you if we need anything further. If we ask you to provide evidence please submit it promptly and only send the specific evidence we ask for. You can check your application status online and view a ‘to do list’ of any outstanding actions you need to take.

If you change your course, university or college details during clearing you should update the details in your online account. Our Clearing guide includes information explaining how to do this.

Need an answer to a question?

The high volume of applications means our phone lines are particularly busy right now and you might find it harder to contact us. Answers to the most common student finance questions are available at www.gov.uk/student-finance and www.studentfinancewales.co.uk and we would always advise that you try online for an answer first before calling us – some useful resources are listed below. If you do need to call then our quietest times tend to be at the weekend, whereas Mondays are our busiest days and best avoided.

Students in England can also contact us via Student Finance England’s Facebook and Twitter channels and of course social media is a great way to stay up to date on the latest student finance information.

Over the next few weeks, our priority will be ensuring that as many students as possible start the new term with some funding in place. Applying now if you haven’t already done so will help us achieve this.

Chris Larmer, Executive Director, Operations

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