Attending a college or university is a big step and it can also be an expensive one. Many students require loans, bursaries, or a combination of the two in order to pursue their higher education. To assure that they have received any financial assistance to which they are entitled prior to starting classes, they should apply well in advance of attendance.
Students are able to apply for financing at the start of a calendar year for the following academic year. In other words, starting in early 2011, students can apply for financing for the 2011-12 academic year.
Applications may be completed by either full or part-time students in paper or online format. Applying online is the quickest and easiest method and requires first establishing a student finance account.
When a student initially registers with Student Finance England to apply online, he or she will receive a Customer Reference Number, or ART ID. Anyone who has already registered or begun an online application should already have this identification number. This number and other security information must be supplied to log in to the student finance account and complete an online application.
Once the online application has been completed, an online declaration form must be signed and returned. Whether the student completes the paper or online application, certain documents must be supplied
as evidence. An application cannot be processed until this documentation has been supplied.
Student Finance England will review the application, approve the payment, and send the applicant a Payment Schedule Letter. This letter must be taken to the university or college for confirmation of course attendance. Once this confirmation is received by Student Finance England, the payment will be released. Payments take approximately three to five working days to appear in the recipient’s bank account. The maintenance loan and grants are usually divided into three payments.