Parent Blog: Jennie – Student Finance Applications
Jennie has two sons, the eldest is currently at Loughborough University, studying a sports coaching degree and the youngest son is working through his GCSEs.
Having completed the application process, your son/daughter is now awaiting offers from universities, at this stage it is advisable that you make sure they have applied for student finance. This can be done at SFE (Student Finance England) www.gov.uk/student finance.
This loan is for the fees for the course and then there is the maintenance loan which forms part of the accommodation fees and living expenses. You can also support your child’s application by giving your household income for the previous year which is verified by HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs).Once this is done they will send you the amount your son/daughter will get for that year. You as a parent have to do this separately from your child and all the information is on the site on how to carry this out. They do not need a confirmed place to do this as all the information is stored and can be changed if they attend a different course. They need to do this early to make sure their loan arrives on time before their course starts.
Student Finance England has a lot of information for parents on their website and they also have a Twitter and Facebook page. There is also a video explaining how to apply and a step by step guide how to do this. Your child can add you as a contact at any time in case you need to enquire on the whereabouts of their loan or general questions you need answered. No one apart from student finance can give you advice about your application as this is personal to you and your child as everyone’s income is different and specific to you and therefore determines the amount your son/daughter receives.
I found that even with this extra maintenance loan my son still needed extra money for clothes and social occasions. Therefore, part time work is a very good idea for not only now, but for future work and the practice of applying for jobs and gaining relevant experience alongside their course to acquire that rewarding post when they leave university and are looking for employment.
I would also recommend that you and your son/daughter find out all the extra little ways of making savings such as student discount, reduced travel expenses and best places to go while they are attending their chosen university. I always say ask the people that are doing these courses. The students themselves know all the best ways to make savings and how they found the experience. So at the open days ask the students how they managed and did they have to find part time work to support them while studying.
When my son attended university I had no idea that we had to re-apply for finance each year, common sense you would think? However, I was so worried about the experience at the time, which was actually not as bad as I anticipated, it never crossed my mind about possible changes in circumstances each year and that I had to submit my earnings again. This is why I am just making sure that you realise this has to be done and that both of you need to fill these in each year your son/daughter remains at the university.