Guidance

Guidance for current students

SLC issues guidance for current students and answers common questions related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This guidance is for students who have applied for student finance in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Students from Scotland can find more information on the SAAS website.

Will my payments be delayed?

No. SLC can confirm that students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their Maintenance Loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching.

Can I still contact you if I need help?

We’re pleased to confirm that we have now began to operate a partial service in our contact centres for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland following a temporary closure.

We only have a limited number of staff available and we are prioritising urgent enquiries so please do not call if you have a general enquiry.

Our Student Finance England social media team are now available to answer questions about your funding on Facebook and Twitter.

Students in Wales can find out general information on the Student Finance Wales Facebook and Twitter pages.

What if I cannot post the evidence you’ve asked for because I’m self-isolating or unwell?

Don’t worry about sending evidence just now if you’re not able to. Our priority is your safety and well-being so stay at home. If you send us evidence later than normal, we’ll make sure you don’t lose out on student finance because of this.

Will I still get paid if I’m not studying on campus anymore or my school, college or university has closed?

Higher Education

We can confirm that students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their Maintenance Loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has closed or made alternative arrangements for teaching.

Further Education

For Advanced Learner Loans, we will continue to make scheduled fee payment to providers. Providers must continue to inform us if and when a learner’s circumstances change.

For Education Maintenance Allowance in Wales, colleges are allowed to continue EMA payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, at their discretion. Learner absence for reasons of illness, self-isolation or college closure can all be treated as authorised absences.

If I have to resit or extend my year will student finance be extended to help me cover that?

Yes. If you have to extend your current academic year, meaning your course lasts longer than 30 weeks and 3 days, we can assess you for what we call a ‘Long Courses Loan’.

The Long Courses Loan is part of the Maintenance Loan so to be eligible, you must be getting the extra Maintenance Loan that depends on your household income.

How much you could get will also depend on your individual circumstances, like your study and/or living arrangements, and we’ll usually ask you for evidence of these things before we work out your entitlement.

Will I still get student finance next year if I have to repeat or extend my study?

Yes. We already have a process for handling this type of situation where students sometimes have to repeat a year for various reasons.

For any period of previous study you will still be able to get a Maintenance Loan.

A Tuition Fee Loan is available for the full length of your first course, plus one extra year if needed. If you don’t have enough years of funding left to cover your course fees, you may be able to get an extra year of support due to compelling personal reasons.

I am still being charged for childcare although my children cannot attend. Will my Childcare Grant still cover this?

Yes. If you are still being charged by your childcare provider, and you’re still a student, your Childcare Grant will still be paid. The amount payable will remain capped at 85% of the cost charged, or the maximum applicable rate of Childcare Grant, whichever is lower.

If you use the Childcare Grant Payment Service, you will need to continue to review the invoices and approve your Childcare Grant payments online.

My childcare provider has closed and you’ve sent me a CCG2 form. If I can’t send this back will I still be paid Childcare?

Don’t worry about sending us a CCG2 form just now if you’re not able to. Our priority is your health and well-being so stay at home. When we get your form later in the year we’ll finalise your payments then.

If you have been overpaid, we’ll reduce your 2020/21 grant entitlement by the overpayment amount. We understand this may cause you financial hardship. Should this happen, we will work with you at the time to find a more affordable way for you to pay back the overpayment.

I am a Migrant Worker and can no longer work. Will I lose my eligibility to student finance?

We are currently working with the Government to answer this question and will update you as soon as we have clear guidance for you.

Will travel grant entitlement be affected for students that have to return early to the UK due to Coronavirus?

As long as you’ve spent at least 50% of your term abroad, any travel grant claims for that time abroad can still be submitted and will be processed as normal. Also, any payments already made to you will not be changed.

My parent/partner has recently lost their job. How will this affect my student finance?

Some student finance is based on your household income so we’ll need financial details from your parent(s) or partner to calculate how much funding you can get. However, we understand that financial circumstances can change and we have a process in place to help with that. This process makes sure you won’t lose out on any student finance you’re entitled to.

During the student finance application process your parent(s)/partner will be asked to provide financial details from a previous tax year. If they’ve lost their job and are not earning as much now as they did then, we can look at your application based on their ‘Current Year Income (CYI)’. But this can only be done after they’ve given us the details of the previous tax year.

There are different rules for the CYI process depending on where you live in the UK and also the type of student finance you’re applying for – to find out the specific rules that apply to you go to the relevant website:

2019/20 Academic year

If your student finance has already been calculated for 2019/20 using the CYI process, we may need to contact your parent(s) or partner for financial evidence for the 2019/20 tax year. In this case, we’ll get in touch with them in late 2020. If their income is different to what they estimated previously, your student finance will have to be recalculated.

I’ve had to come back from the UK before the end of my year abroad. I’m now doing alternative study, will I still get my student finance?

Yes. If you are continuing your studies remotely, your tuition fees and living costs will still be paid as planned.

Will joining the temporary paid early register whilst completing assignment affect my entitlement to student finance?

As an NHS or Healthcare student, your student finance entitlement will not change if you join the temporary paid early register. You will continue to receive your Maintenance Loan payments, and we will continue to make payments to your college/university for your tuition.

If my placement is delayed what impact will this have on my student finance?

Yes. If you have to extend your current academic year, meaning your course lasts longer than 30 weeks and 3 days, we can assess you for what we call a ‘Long Courses Loan’.

The Long Courses Loan is part of the Maintenance Loan so to be eligible, you must be getting the extra Maintenance Loan that depends on your household income.

How much you could get will also depend on your individual circumstances, like your study and/or living arrangements, and we’ll usually ask you for evidence of these things before we work out your entitlement.

Published 25 March 2020
Last updated 9 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added information about sending evidence if self-isolating or unwell.

  2. Updated answers on CCG, Travel Grant and placements.

  3. Updated to confirm partial re-opening of contact centres.

  4. We have added clarification that this guidance is for English, Welsh and NI customers. Have provided link to SAAS website for Scottish customers.

  5. I've added the section 'My parent/partner has recently lost their job. How will this affect my student finance?'. This includes links to another Gov.uk page, Student Finance Wales website, Student Finance Northern Ireland website.

  6. First published.