Beginning your studies at university or an institution of higher education involves much preparation. Although one can still file the application for student aid up to nine-months from the first day of the academic year, it is best to turn the application as soon as possible. This will help ensure there is no delay in receiving the aid to which you are entitled.
Most people are eligible for student loans from the government; however, there are grants available as well for those students demonstrating financial need. In addition, students are encouraged to apply for bursaries and scholarship from their place of study. To apply for student finance, there is one application that encompasses the government loan and grant applications.
There are online applications available, as well as paper applications, for full-time students, part-time students, and students pursuing education and training in teaching, social work, or healthcare. It is important to note that you must fill out the proper application for your situation, and that you will have to fill out a new application each new academic year. The application forms for both new students and continuing students can be found on the Student Finance Direct website: http://www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk. Student Finance Direct is a service delivery partnership between the Student Loans Company, local authorities and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. At Directgov, you can also download the paper applications for student loans and grants: http://www.direct.gov.uk.
Documentation will be required to complete your application including proof of identity, household income, and tax information. The application will also have a place to indicate whether you would like to apply for extra help– for example, for students who are disabled, or students with dependent children. Also, on the main application for student aid, Student Finance Direct asks whether they have the permission of the student to share application details with the university or college. This may be necessary for the university to assess the financial need of the student with respect to bursaries and scholarships. The consent is required so the student does not have to resubmit information directly to the university and is simply a time saving step for the student.
The application process for part-time students is a little different. Part-time students will fill out the Fee and Course Grant application, and then bring the application to the University at the beginning of their course-work. After two weeks, the administration office will complete this application form, stating that they are indeed a student, the intensity level of their course, and what the fees for their course of study are. It is then the responsibility of the student to return this form to the local authority for student loans.
In terms of applying for bursaries and scholarships, the forms may be specific to your university. Most bursaries and scholarships are available only for full-time students, but it is an important to research whether they may be available if you are a part-time student. The application forms for bursaries and scholarships can either be found at Student Finance Direct or through the office of administration/financial aid at your university. Students should check with their university to be certain of where to apply for bursaries and scholarships.
Higher education is so important to ensuring a successful, bright and interesting future for the individual. Applying for student financial aid can help you get the assistance you need to make your dreams and aspirations a reality. Be sure to apply so that you can get all the help you are entitled to.