Student finance jargon buster!

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1 Student finance jargon buster! Administered via university Access to Learning Fund: Free money from the university awarded to students who can prove that they are in financial difficulty and that they have exhausted all other funding options (not guaranteed for all applicants). Bursary: Free money that you can qualify for. Packages differ at universities. Scholarship: Free money that you earn, often a reward for academic achievements. Packages differ at universities. Tuition Fees: Money that is paid to the university to fund your course. Applicable at all universities. Administered by Student Finance England Grant: Free money that is awarded to help students fund university. Amounts are dependent on the student s family background. Maintenance Loan: Money borrowed from the Student Finance England to help fund all aspects of university. Money is to be repaid once student graduates. Student Finance England: Student Finance England is a public sector organisation that works alongside Local Authorities (England and Wales), Student Awards Agency (Scotland) and the Education and Library boards (Northern Ireland) to deliver financial support for eligible students pursuing Higher Education. Tuition Fee Loan: Money borrowed from Student Finance England to cover tuition fees, paid directly to the university, money is to be repaid once the student graduates. Available to all applicants. Miscellaneous Means-Tested: Loan/grant entitlement is assessed based on family s income. NHS Bursary: Free money that is awarded from the NHS, only students studying an NHS-funded course can qualify for this. Student information

2 Student finance Applying for financial support to help fund your university career can be a daunting process. It is an area that is often associated with complex terminology and multiple application forms. Just like your original UCAS application this process will require time and attention to ensure that all the information that you provide is accurate and that you receive your full entitlements without problem or delay. Certain sections of the form will also ask for details regarding your family s household income so it may be useful to set aside time with your family to ensure that this can be completed correctly. Guide to making your application All funding is initially applied for using an online system run by Student Finance England. Your details are then sent to them to be processed. Based on this information Student Finance England will then award each student with the appropriate amount of money whilst they are studying. Guide to making your application Step 1: Step 2: Step 3: Step 4: Visit the Student Finance England website direct.gov.uk/studentfinance and register your details. You will be asked to create a password and answer security questions. The site will then generate a unique Customer Reference Number (CRN). It is important that you take note of all this information as you will require it whenever you wish to return to your form. Once you have completed the first two steps you can begin to complete your application. Follow each page as it takes you step-by-step through the process. Each time you leave the site remember to save your details. You can continue to revisit the site to change or enter new information whenever you choose. As you begin to insert your data the form will remove any sections that are not relevant to you, this will help to speed up your application. Step 5: Student Finance England has links to UCAS which allows you to drag information from your UCAS application onto your finance application. This eliminates the need to repeat details that you have previously provided about your chosen courses and universities. Step 6: Step 7: Step 9: Step 10: When completing the form you will be asked for information about your university choices, here you should use the details of your first choice. Student Finance England will then calculate your entitlement based on this scenario. For example, if your first choice is a London-based university you will be allocated more funding to accommodate the extra living costs. If you change your mind regarding your first choice you can easily change your details online or by contacting Student Finance England directly. In order to speed up the verification process Student Finance England also shares data with the Identity and Passport Service (IPS). Using this link they can check your identity using your passport number (which you will be asked to input into your form). This eliminates the need to send your passport away. If you wish to use your birth certificate as identification you will need to send this to Student Finance England. Once you have completed and checked all sections of your application you can submit it to Student Finance England. Remember that you can use your Customer Reference Number and password to check its progress, change any necessary course/university information or ask any further questions that you may have. Should you encounter any problems or difficulties whilst completing the form there are several support areas that you can consult. 1) Explore the homepage of the website, you will find links to support, FAQs and supporting materials here 2) Contact Student Finance England directly via phone ( am-8.00pm Monday to Friday, 9.00am-5.30pm Saturday-Sunday), or live web chats 3) You can apply for your free customer information pack which provides you with further guidance for applying Now that you have successfully completed your application you can begin to think about the next crucial stage in student funding money management. Student information

3 Student finance Balancing your finances at university can be tricky, but with careful money management and budgeting you can help to ensure that your funding covers all expenditure and that your debt is kept to a minimum. This exercise is split into two parts. For Exercise 1 make a list of the weekly bills and costs that you would expect to encounter at university. Don t forget about living costs, course/study related costs and funding your social life. For example: Weekly bill Rent Food Phone credit Exercise 2 Working with a weekly budget of 175 (if your original list is based on you moving away to university) or 75 (if your list is based on you staying at home) divide your money between your predicted bills and costs. Try and ensure that all of your original areas are covered adequately. For example: Weekly bill Rent Food Phone credit Cost Student activity

4 Student finance How accurate was your budgeting? Below is a list of the national average weekly costs for students across the country. Do these bills match your original predictions? Are there areas of student life that you haven t considered or that require funding in addition to that which you have allocated? Bill/Expenditure Rent Electricity/Gas* Water rates* Contents insurance Food and toiletries Books and stationary Travel Laundry TV License House phone/internet Mobile phone Clothes Socialising Total Cost *These bills are usually included in the Halls of Residence fees. >> Top tip Remember that student accommodation costs vary across the country and with facilities. Cities (especially in the south) and facilities such as ensuite bathrooms will add extra cost to your bills. >> Top tip Take advantage of NUS discounts, buy one get one free deals, two for one deals and student nights at local bars to keep socialising costs low. Discounts include: Topshop, Topman, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Amazon, Ticket Master, HMV, McDonalds, Subway, Dominos Pizza, French Connection, Oasis, Matalan, Arriva, CD Wow, Claire s, Principles, Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds, Thorpe Park, Holiday Inn, and many more. Student information

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