Chris Larmer, SLC Executive Director, Operations provides an update on student finance payments
SLC has now completed the majority of first term student finance payments for the 2021/22 academic year. This is a significant milestone for the organisation, and I am pleased to confirm that we have advanced £3bn to students in Maintenance Loan funding. A further £2.3bn in Tuition Fees has been paid to universities and colleges on their behalf. This brings the total amount of student finance paid this term to £5.3bn*.
Although the vast majority of students will have received their first payments, there may be some who have still not received their full entitlement. This may be because they applied later, or perhaps because they still have evidence to submit. Applicants who want to know what stage their payment is at can check their payment status at any time on their online account. More information on getting your first payment if you are applying late can be found online.
This year SLC has supported more students than ever before to invest in their future through higher and further education. We have provided trusted, transparent, flexible and accessible student finance services to a record number of applicants. And, despite this growth in demand, we were still able to increase the number of applications which were fully processed and ready-to-pay at term start.
Regrettably, our phonelines have been busier than normal, and our customers have had to wait longer than we would like to speak to us. I would once again like to thank students for their patience, and for following our advice to make use of our digital resources and social media channels for assistance when required. This year we have increased the amount of guidance available to help students both online and within the application portal itself. We will continue to build on this as we work towards our vision of providing an outstanding customer experience.
Undergraduate students can still apply for student finance for 9 months after their course start date. However, they should be aware that it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to process an application. We do our best to ensure eligible applicants have some money in place as soon as possible by awarding the minimum Maintenance Loan amount first, followed by a top-up payment if students are entitled to more funding.
Anyone who has still to apply can find lots of useful information and resources about payment and other student finance topics online at https://studentfinance.campaign.gov.uk/. They can also follow SFE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all our latest guidance as the academic year progresses.
*Please note these are provisional figures. Full year figures are published in our Student Support for Higher Education statistical release which will be published on 25 November.
Published 4 November 2021