What happens to your student finance application
For new and continuing students, the stages to the assessment and payment of your financial help are the same. It may be useful for you to understand who deals with your application at which stage, and how long you can expect the process to take.
Checking the progress of your application
There are five main steps your student finance application goes through. These are outlined below. You can also check the progress of your application by registering and logging into your online student finance account.
Step one: submit your application for student finance
You should apply for financial help as soon as possible after you have applied for your course. Once you have completed your details, your form may then go to your parent, partner or spouse to complete details of their income. If any of your details subsequently change, contact your local Student Finance NI office to keep them informed of this.
Step two: your application is assessed
Your local Student Finance NI office will review the information on your application form, and will decide the amount of financial help you are entitled to.
Step three: support is confirmed and prepared for payment
Once your local Student Finance NI office decide how much financial help you are entitled to, they forward this information to Student Finance NI. Student Finance NI will then write to you to confirm the amounts that will be paid to you and when. The dates given in this correspondence are dependent upon you registering on your course in time, and ensuring that Student Finance NI have your most up to date bank account details.
If you have supplied all necessary information with your application, you can expect to be advised of your support entitlement between six and eight weeks after you have submitted it.
Step four: register on your course
When you register on your course, take with you your:
- Financial Assessment (sent to you by your local Student Finance NI office)
- Payment Schedule Letter (sent to you by Student Finance NI)
Your place of study will then send a message to Student Finance NI on the same day confirming your attendance. Student Finance NI will then release payment of the first instalment of your loan and/or grant.
Step five: your financial help is paid
Payment is released automatically when your confirmation of attendance is received. It usually clears in your bank account within three to five working days.