Managing your money

Seven Steps to Student Finance Success!

Ben from our Advice and Money shares his step by step guide for prospective students applying for student finance…



So Easter has just passed and you’re fairly set on where you are going to study in September. You’re getting excited about university and all the new experiences you are going to encounter, but don’t forget some of the boring things that need to be done! The earlier that you apply for student funding the less issues you are likely to have receiving it in time to start your course.


Step One

First you need to work out which student finance body that you need to apply to. You may have heard of the Student Loans Company, but you may not be aware that each home nation has its own devolved student finance company that actually arranges student finance for students from those nations. Where you apply is based on where you live before you start your course, and not the country where the university is based. So as an example:

  • a student from England applying to Cardiff needs to apply to Student Finance England
  • a student from Wales applying to Cardiff needs to apply to Student Finance Wales.


Step Two

Once you have worked out where you need to apply then you need to set up an online account with the relevant student finance company: England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland

Setting up an online account is the best way to track your application and update your information quickly.

However if you are an EU student be aware that you can only apply via a paper copy.


Step Three

Follow the checklist of actions that the Student Finance Company give you. Once you have set up an account there will be a number of things you need to complete and the online system will help you understand what information they need about you and your parents (if applicable).


Step Four

Make sure that your parents are checking their online account, it’s not just you that will end up with a student finance account, your parents – or anyone in the household you live that supports you – will have their own actions to complete so make sure they keep on top of any questions.

For both you and your parents’ there will be emails reminding you to update information!

There are a number of students that do not need any information from their parents to apply, this may be on the grounds of age, marital status, having a family of their own or estrangement from their family. There is more generic information on this provided here. If you are a care leaver you can also get in contact with Einir in our Advice and Money team to talk through how to apply.


Step Five

Respond to any questions that may be asked and provide them with the evidence they require, once that is done every student applicant must print off, sign and return their declaration to accept the conditions of the loan – no signature means no money!


Step Six

Receive your confirmation of award which will be broken down to explain how much is being paid to the University in the form of tuition fee support and how much you will receive as maintenance support. If this seems lower than you were expecting contact Student Finance and you may find that they are still working on their assessment of you and another award notification may be on the way!


Step Seven

Arrive at University and register to receive your funding, please note that if you originally applied for your finance based on attending a different university you will need to get in contact with your student finance body to change this before arriving in order to receive you student loan/grant.

You are now all set, but remember that if you have any queries along the way please get in touch with us at the Advice and Money team and we will be happy to help.

You can also access our funding guides here


Related posts: Did you know you need to reapply for funding every year?


Come and see us in Advice & Money

Student Support Services at Cardiff University are here to help you, please drop in or contact us should you have any questions, Telephone: 02920 874528 Email:


Best wishes,
Ben, Advice & Money Team
Ben Gray

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

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