Are you in your first, second or penultimate year of study? Do you get student funding now? Would you like it again next year? Did you know that you need to reapply for funding each academic year? The Advice & Money Team tells us more …
In the talks we, the Advice & Money Team, give to Cardiff University applicants and their parents, on average, 53% of them don’t know that you need to reapply for funding each year of your course.
The good news is that the process is simpler and more-streamlined after the first year. If you want to get an idea of the funding you may receive, you need to go to your funding body’s webpages* and look for information on funding as a ‘Continuing Student’ – the term Continuing is used, to differentiate you from a New Applicant.
If you are funded by Student Finance England
If you are a continuing student, you should be automatically emailed during February and March with a reminder to apply for funding for 2015/16. SFE are currently advising that it is better to wait for them to get in touch with you before reapplying, and preferably to wait until after 20th February 2015.
If you are funded by Student Finance Wales
If you are a continuing student, you should be automatically emailed with a reminder to apply for funding for 2015/16.
Please remember that from 2015/16 Local Authorities will no longer be dealing with student funding applications and queries. You should have received a letter about this. All funding applications and queries need to be directed to Student Finance Wales www.studentfinancewales.co.uk
If you are funded by Student Finance Northern Ireland or the Student Awards Agency for Scotland
You will be contacted automatically via email with a reminder to re-apply.
If you have not heard anything by the end of March, it may be worth getting in touch with your funding body.
Most applicants will apply online, but if you do complete a paper form, make sure it’s the right one. For continuing students from England or Wales, the form is a PR1 (R for returning), as opposed to a PN1 which is for New Applicants (You can remember N for new). For either online or paper forms, you will need your Customer Reference Number to hand.
You can actually apply for funding up to 9 months in to each year of your course, but the spring deadlines mean that your funding should be in place for when you return in September. This is particularly important if you are means-tested, which means you or your parents’ household income needs to be assessed.
It’s important that your funding body has up to date contact details for you, so if you have moved or your family has moved, or if you have changed mobile or email address, it would be wise to give them a ring to make sure they update their systems. Contact details are below.
A special note for those funded by the NHS
If you are a continuing NHS funded student you will get a reminder that you also need to apply each year for your funding. You will have to apply via a paper application that will be sent to you by the NHS Student Awards Service (SAS).
If you are studying Medicine or Dental Surgery and you will go into the 5th Year of your course in 2015/16 you should be able to apply for NHS funding. Your School will confirm this with the NHS. You can apply online via the NHS SAS (Wales) if you lived in Wales prior to the course or the NHS Business Services Authority (England) if you lived in England prior to your course.
As ever, if you would like any advice about funding, welfare or academic issues, come and see the Advice and Money Team at the Student Support Centres at both Park Place campus and the University Hospital site. For details of our opening times, see www.cardiff.ac.uk/advice and click on ‘Contact us’.
And finally…..it’s not too late to apply for funding for 2014/15!
If you are a current student and have chosen not to apply for either the Tuition Fee Loan or Grants (where applicable) or Maintenance Loan and Grant, it’s not too late to apply for this current year, 2014/15. You have 9 months from the start of your course to put in an application, which means you can apply until 31st May 2015! This also includes EU students, who are entitled to Tuition Fee support in the form of a loan and grant.
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*Funding body contact details
If you normally live in Wales www.studentfinancewales.co.uk Telephone 0300 200 4050
The new address for the central Student Finance Wales office is:
PO Box 211
If you normally live in England www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance Telephone 0300 100 0607
If you normally live in Scotland www.saas.gov.uk Telephone 0300 555 0505
If you normally live in Northern Ireland www.studentfinanceni.co.uk Telephone 0300 100 0077
NHS funding bodies
Students living in Wales prior to the start of the course:
NHS (Wales) Student Awards Service
Telephone029 20376854 (Between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday)
The NHS SAS will send an application pack to you.
Students living in England prior to the start of the course:
NHS Business Services Authority www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students.aspx
You can apply on the NHS BSA website.
Students living in Scotland or N Ireland prior to the course:
Contact your respective funding authorities via
www.saas.org.uk or www.studentfinanceni.co.uk