Guidance

Guidance for prospective students

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

Can I still apply for student finance?

New and existing students in England and Wales can continue to apply for student finance and we will continue to process any applications that have been received as quickly as we can.

Student finance applications in Northern Ireland for academic year 2020 to 2021 have not opened yet. Continue to check the Student Finance NI website for more information on applying.

Postgraduate and part-time undergraduate student finance applications for academic year 2020 to 2021 are scheduled to open later this year. We will keep you updated on our social media channels.

Will my application be delayed?

Although these are extraordinary circumstances, we will continue to process any applications that have been received as quickly as we can. We do not currently expect any delays.

Can I still contact you if I need help?

Following the most recent Government guidance, we are having to change the way we deliver our services. To enable us to do this as quickly as possible, we are closing our customer contact centres temporarily. This means you won’t be able to contact us via phone or social media.

We will continue to update you on this and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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

At the moment we’ll still need evidence to be able to complete your application, but we do not want you to put yourself or others at risk to send us evidence.

These are extraordinary circumstances. We are currently working with the Government to ensure that we do everything we can to best help students prepare for and progress to the next stage of their education, which includes providing evidence for student finance.

We will provide further advice on evidence as soon as possible.

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:

Published 25 March 2020
Last updated 27 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. 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

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