Congratulations to everyone around the country who is receiving exam results today. It’s been a challenging academic year and you should be very proud of all you have achieved.
We know that right now many of you will be making important decisions about your future, particularly if your results are different to what you were expecting. You may be changing your course or university through Clearing and this has implications for your student finance application. To help you understand what action you need to take the Student Loans Company (SLC) has produced a new Clearing guide.
The key thing to note is that if you haven’t already applied for student finance, you must do so now to give yourself the best chance of having some funding in place as close to term start as possible. If you are applying late, you may get less money than you expect initially. This is because it can take 6-8 weeks to process a student finance application, which means that 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.
In addition, if you are changing your university or course through Clearing you must update the details on your online application form. We have produced a short film explaining exactly how to do this as part of our Clearing guide.
SLC is on track to process a record number of applications this year. This means that we are enabling more students than ever to invest in their futures through higher and further education, but it does present us with a challenge in ensuring the best service for our customers.
There is an extremely high demand for our phone lines which means it is taking longer than we would like for you to speak to us. We have responded to this by expanding the amount of information and guidance available online so that you can find answers to the most common student finance questions without having to call us. If you simply want an update on your application status this can be easily checked via your online account.
You can also send us direct messages via the Student Finance England Facebook and Twitter channels.
Of course, we know that this can also be an anxious time for parents and partners who are supporting student finance applications and, to help, we have also made resources available specifically for them. This includes information on providing evidence and what to do if their income has gone down.
To help with Clearing, SLC has put together the following top five tips:
If you haven’t already done so, please apply online now to ensure you have some funding in place as close to term start as possible – remember you may not get your full entitlement initially.
Update your application with any Clearing changes
If you change your course or university during Clearing you must update the details on your online application form.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you (if we need to!)
Applications can take six to eight weeks to process. Students do not need to contact SLC during this time. They will be contacted if any additional information is needed. Students can check their application status via their online account as well as a to-do list of any action they need to take. If your ‘to-do list’ isn’t showing, this means you have no actions.
Provide evidence promptly
Students and/or their parents or partners may be asked to submit evidence to support their applications. Please submit your evidence promptly, you can watch our short film which explains how to do this. Please don’t upload evidence to your account unless we’ve asked you to in your ‘to-do list’. If you upload evidence when nothing has been requested, it will take us longer to process the details you submitted.