The Student Loans Company (@SLCcomms) is asking part-time and postgraduate students in England to apply now for student finance.

Part-time students can apply for funding to pay for the tuition fees and some students may also be able to apply for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.  Postgraduate students can apply for either a Postgraduate Master’s Loan or a Postgraduate Doctoral Loan to help them with their tuition fees and living costs.

SLC has also opened its Advanced Learner Loan (ALL) service for 2021/22. ALLs are available to further education students and can help cover the costs of a course at a college or training provider in England. They are typically used for short access courses and students can apply for them throughout the year.

Chris Larmer, SLC Executive Director, Operations said: “I’m delighted to announce that the application services for part-time, postgraduate and further education students are now open.  Our advice to part-time and postgraduate students in particular is to apply early to ensure funding is in place before the start of term.”

The easiest way for part-time and postgraduate students to apply is online and students can do so now even if they don’t have a confirmed place on their course. Applications can take six to eight weeks to process. Students do not need to contact SLC during this time to check on the status of their application. They will be contacted if any additional information is needed.

Advanced Learner Loan students can also apply online but they need to check that their course is eligible for funding and provide a learning and funding information letter beforehand. 

To help part-time, postgraduate and further education students with their applications for funding, SLC has produced the following key facts:

Key facts about funding for part-time students

  • Part-time students can apply for Tuition Fee Loans. If your course started on or after 1 August 2018 you can also apply for a Maintenance Loan.  Part-time distance learning students are not eligible for Maintenance Loans unless they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability.
  • The amount of Maintenance Loan you get depends on:
    • Where you live while studying
    • Your household income
    • Your course intensity (we measure this by asking you how many module credits you will study – check with your university or college if you are not sure).
    • You need to reapply for funding for each year of your course.
    • You start repaying your loan the April after you finish or leave your course or the April four years after the start of your course (even if you are still studying), whichever comes first. You repay 9% of what you earn over the repayment threshold which is currently £27,295 per annum.

    Key facts about the Postgraduate Master’s / Doctoral Loan

    • You can get funding to help with course fees and living costs
    • The amount you get is not based on your income or your family’s
    • You only need to apply once even if your course is longer than a year.  The loan is divided equally across each year of the course.
    • You start repaying your Postgraduate Master’s or Doctoral Loan the April after you finish or leave your course. You repay 6% of what you earn over the repayment threshold which is currently £21,000 per annum. If you have other student loans you repay these at the same time.

    Postgraduate Doctoral Loan Explained

    Postgraduate Master’s Loan Explained

    Key facts about Advanced Learner Loans

    • If you are 19 or over you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help pay fees charged by colleges and training providers for Level 3- 6 courses.
    • You can get up to four ALLs at the same time for courses of the same level
    • Your ALL is paid directly to your college or training provider once they have confirmed your attendance on your course
    • Your ALL is not based on household income
    • You have to repay your ALL but only once you are earning over the repayment threshold which is currently £27,295 per anum

    New students can still apply for student finance even once the deadline has passed 

    27th May: The deadline for new full-time undergraduate students in England to apply for student finance passed last Friday. As anticipated, we have seen an incredibly strong demand for our service with application levels reaching record highs. Our team are now hard at work processing applications to ensure that students who applied before the deadline have their funding in place when their studies begin.

    There will be some applicants who may have missed the deadline and our advice is not to worry. They should still apply online now and if they are eligible, they will receive a basic funding package at the start of term. A top up payment will be made as soon as their full application is processed.

    The significant rise in the number of applications received this year does present us with some challenges, particularly as we continue to prioritise the health and safety of colleagues by enabling them to work remotely.

    We are currently experiencing a very high volume of calls and some callers are having to wait longer than we would like to speak to us. We know how frustrating this can be and are therefore asking students to follow the advice below:

    • Try and find an answer to your question online first. - Please only call us if you really need to as this will help free up our advisers to assist those applicants who need extra support. There is also an option to message us directly via SFE’s Twitter and Facebook channels although this service is also very busy right now.
    • Remember it can take 6 to 8 weeks to process an application - There is no need to contact us during this time as we will be in touch if we need anything further. Applicants can also check their application status online and view a ‘to do list’ of any outstanding actions they need to take.
    • Submit any evidence we ask for. However, we would ask that to avoid delays, only the evidence we specifically request is submitted.
    • Take advantage of the information and resources provided online - These resources are continually updated to respond to the needs of students and their parents and partners as they progress through the application cycle. Students should visit our FAQs and follow SFE on social media channels (FacebookTwitter and Instagram) to stay up to date with the very latest information.

    In the coming months we look forward to delivering improvements that will make it easier for students and their parents and partners to self-serve without having to contact us. I would like to thank all those who use our services for their continued patience as we work towards providing student finance to more students than ever before in the 2021/22 academic year. The deadline for returning students is 25 June.

    Countdown to apply for student finance in England 

    6 May 2021: Applying for student finance before the deadline is the best way for students to ensure they have their finances in place for the start of the academic year.  New students can apply now even if they are unsure which course they will study, or what university they will be attending. The deadline for returning students is 25 June.

    Derek Ross, SLC Executive Director of Operations, said:

    “So far this year, we have already experienced a significant increase in students applying for finance. Applications have increased by  more than 10% year-on-year and we are anticipating that this will be the busiest academic year ever.  We are urging students to get their applications in before the upcoming deadlines. By doing so they can be confident that they will have their student finance in place before their studies begin in the Autumn.

    “To support students and their parents and partners (sponsors) with their applications, we have made information available aimed at helping to answer some of the most common questions about applying for student finance.  Throughout the year we will be making even more resources available online to support students as their student finance journeys progress.  They can also keep themselves up-to-date on the latest information by following Student Finance England on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”

    Students should apply online and remember:

    • Applications can take six to eight weeks to process. Students do not need to contact SLC during this time to check on the status of their application. They will be contacted if any additional information is needed.
    • Students can also check their application’s progress in their online account and view a ‘to do list’ of any action they need to take.
    • Students may be asked to submit evidence to support their applications.
    • Parents and partners (sponsors) may also need to provide details of their household income if they are supporting a student’s application.  Once a student applies the named sponsor(s) will receive an email explaining the steps they need to take. 

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