DfE have released a statement relating to EU nationals applying for Student Finance
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Applications for 2016/17 part-time students are now open
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Applications for 2016/17 are now open - it’s time for full-time students to apply.
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Education and Library Boards (ELBs) have been replaced...
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Birth Certificates or Adoption Certificates for evidence
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Frequently Asked Questions


Applying online

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Application Queries

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Changing course before you begin your studies

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Changing course after you have started a course

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Cancelling your course

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Information for parents and partners

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Families with more than one student

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Getting your payment

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Repayments and interest

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Additional information

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Applying Online

Can I get an estimate of my entitlement before applying?

Yes. If you’re thinking of going to university or college, you can use the Student Finance Calculator to get an estimate of your support. This is not an offer of support and is designed to give you an idea of what you’ll be entitled to as a first year student.

I don’t know my Customer Reference Number (CRN). Can I still log into my account?

Yes, you can also log into your account using your registered email address.

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I don’t know my Customer Reference Number (CRN) or the email address that’s registered to my account. What can I do?

You can get a reminder of either your Customer Reference Number or email address.

On the login page, follow the link 'Forgotten your email address or CRN?'.

You will be asked to confirm your:

  • Surname
  • Date of birth
  • Postcode

After confirming these, you'll be shown a reminder of your email address. Some characters will be hidden for security.

You can use this email address to log in. If you prefer, you can also request your Customer Reference Number be sent to your email address.

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I have forgotten my password. What can I do?

Follow the link 'Forgotten your password?' to create a new password. You will be asked to confirm your:

  • Surname
  • Date of birth
  • Postcode

After confirming these, a reset email will be sent to your email address. Don't forget to check your spam and junk folders for this email.

When you get the email it will contain a web address. Copy and paste the web address into your browser. You will be directed back to our login screens where you'll need to confirm some characters from your secret answer before you can create a new password and log into your account.

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I have forgotten my secret answer. What can I do?

Follow the link 'Forgotten secret answer?' to create a new secret answer. You will be asked to confirm your:

  • Surname
  • Date of birth
  • Postcode

After confirming these, a reset email will be sent to your email address. Don't forget to check your spam and junk folders for this email.

When you get the email it will contain a web address. Copy and paste the web address into your browser. You will be directed back to our login screens where you'll need to confirm some characters from your secret answer before you can create a new password and log into your account.

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I have forgotten both my password and my secret answer. What can I do?

Call the Helpline on 0300 100 0077 and speak with one of our customer advisers, who will issue you with a temporary password and secret answer by email.

When you get the email it will contain your temporary password and secret answer.
Log in again by following these steps:

  1. At the first login screen, use your Customer Reference Number or email address and the temporary password from the email.
  2. You’ll then need to confirm some characters from the temporary secret answer in the email.
  3. After successfully confirming these you can change your password to something more memorable.
  4. You’ll also be asked to choose a new secret question and answer.
  5. After doing that, you can log into your account.

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I don’t recognise the email address that displays when I try to reset my password or secret answer. What can I do?

You should speak with one of our customer advisers. They will be able to update your account with a new email address.

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I don’t recognise the email address that displays when I try to reset my password or secret answer. What can I do?

You should speak with one of our customer advisers; they will be able to update your account with a new email address.

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When I try to reset my password or secret answer I am told that you can’t verify me. Why has this happened?

There could be a number of reasons; the most common are:

  1. There is more than one account with your email address registered on it.
    Often the other account belongs to a parent or partner who has provided information in support of your application.
  2. You have a twin whose personal details are similar to your own and we can’t determine which account details to reset.

If you see this message you should speak with one of our customer advisers. They will be able to update your account and reset your passwords for you.

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Application Queries

What if I live outside Northern Ireland because a parent or partner is in the armed forces?

If you don’t normally live in Northern Ireland because you, your parents or partner are Armed Forces personnel, you can still apply for financial support.

You can apply through Student Finance ni if your or their enlistment to the armed forces happened while you were living in Northern Ireland

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I have applied late, will I get my financial support on time?

If you apply after the deadline you are not guaranteed your money for the start of term. It may take up to 6 weeks for an application to be processed. This could take longer during the peak processing period of August to October.

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Do I need to apply for financial support for each academic year?

Yes, you need to complete an application form for each year you are in attendance or on placement. If you decide to take a leave of absence during your course please complete a change of circumstances form.

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Does the application form (PN1/PR1) cover tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and maintenance grant?

Yes, but you may be asked to complete additional forms if you have indicated that you wish to apply for additional grants ie Childcare, DSA and Travel.

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What information do my parents need to send with my application?

If you want your student finance assessed on your household income your parents need to provide their financial details plus evidence to support it. Any evidence required to support your application is shown on the form or, if you apply online, at the end of the application process.

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I have returned my application form but have had no response. What should I do?

We will normally acknowledge receipt of your application within 10 working days. If you have had no correspondence regarding your application contact your EA regional office.

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My parents are divorced/separated. Who should support my application?

We use only the income of the parent you normally live with. Where parents have divorced/separated and remarried or are now living with a partner, we will use the household income of both your natural parent and their partner or your step-parent.

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My parents refuse to support my application, what would I be entitled to?

If your parents refuse to support your application, you will only be able to access the Tuition Fee Loan and the non-income assessed Maintenance Loan.

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I do not live with my parents. Will my support be assessed on their household income?

Yes, unless you can provide proof of independent student status.

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What is an independent student?

A student who, at the start of the academic year, meets any of the following criteria;
is 25 or over;
has care of a child;
is married or in a civil partnership;
has no living parents; or is irreconcilably estranged from their parents.

A student can also be considered independent if they supported themselves financially for at least three years prior to the start of their course.

The three years can include periods when; in paid full-time employment;
in receipt of Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or other state benefits paid to a person who is registered as unemployed;
in receipt of incapacity benefits, invalidity pension or maternity allowance;
receiving training under any scheme for the unemployed or other funding by any state authority or agency.

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My family are moving house which EA regional office should I apply to?

You should apply to the EA where you were living at the time of the initial application. That EA regional office will continue to administer support for the duration of your course.

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If I work part-time during the academic year will this affect my support?

No, we do not take student earnings from part-time work into consideration. However, if your parent(s)/partner has part-time employment they must provide details in the Financial Details section of the application form.

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Changing course before you begin your studies

Should I wait until I know which course I’m going to study before I apply for finance?

No. Apply now.

You need to choose a course you intend to study when you apply online or using a paper form. However, it’s common for people to change the course they’re planning to do after getting their A level or other exam results.

If you’ve changed course since applying for student finance, there’s no need to worry: you’ll still get paid and you don’t need to re-apply. Even if your Offer Letter has details of your old course or university, you should still take it with you when you register for your new course.

But you’ll need to report the change – just complete form CO1 and send it to your EA regional office. They will then work out whether there’s any effect on the student finance you’re entitled to, and make any necessary adjustments to your payments.

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HND students - I am on an HND course and I want to transfer to a degree course. Can I do this?

Yes. The process is the same as if you were transferring from one degree course to another. If after finishing your HND you decide to transfer to the final year of a three year degree course, you would be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and need to re-apply as a new student using a PN1 form.

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Changing course after you have started a course

Will I receive student finance for all the years of my new course?

We will reassess your entitlement to a Maintenance Loan and a Tuition Fee Loan for the whole of your new course, but only If:

  • you change courses before the start of the second year of your course; and
  • you have not changed course before

You may have to pay your own tuition fees for part of the new course. This depends on the duration of your new course and the number of years of previous study you have been financially supported for.

Provided you do not already have a UK Honours degree, you will be able to receive a Maintenance Loan for as long as you are studying a course of higher education.

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I want to transfer but I must go through ‘Clearing’ to obtain a place on a new course. Can you still transfer my student finance?

Yes. Your existing university or college must confirm the change to us, and you must inform them once you have been accepted onto a new course. Your new university or college will then confirm that you are in attendance at your new course.

We will suspend your student finance until you are attending your new course, and reinstate it when they receive confirmation of attendance from your new university or college.

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Cancelling your course

I have applied for student finance but will not now be attending during this academic year. What should I do?

You must contact your EA regional office by e-mail, telephone or personal visit and advise them that you no longer wish to apply for support. Your application will be cancelled and no payments will be made to you.

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If I have submitted an application form this year and will not now be starting until next year can the application be used for next year?

No, each year is assessed on different income details. You must cancel your current application and apply again next year with a new application.

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Information for parents and partners

I want to provide my financial details in support of a student’s application online, how do I do this?

When the student completes their application, they're asked to give the name and email address of their parents or partner. The Student Loans Company sends an email with log in details to the parents or partner so they can complete their part of the application. If a parent or partner is unable to submit their financial details online they should contact Student Finance ni.

Once parents or partners submit their details they can log back in and check the progress of the student's application - or check on any evidence they need to send in.

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How do I inform SLC that a student or former student has passed away?

If you need to let us know that a student or former student has passed away, you can do so by calling our Customer Support Centre or your local EA regional office, or alternatively in writing to our offices in Glasgow.

You will need to provide us with the original death certificate or coroners’ report which you can send for the attention of the following:

Douglas Gould
Student Loans Company Limited
100 Bothwell Street
Glasgow
G2 7JD

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Do I need to provide household income details if my son/daughter will not be applying for means-tested support?

No, you do not need to complete the Financial Details Section of the application form or provide any verification of income

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I can’t afford to contribute to my son/daughter’s living costs. Do I still need to complete the Financial Details Section of the application form?

If you do not complete the Financial Details Section of the application form your son/daughter will only be able to access the Tuition fee loan and the non means-tested amount of Maintenance loan

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My financial circumstances have changed and my household income has fallen. Can my son/daughter apply for extra support?

If your total household income (before tax) has fallen by more than 5% compared to the previous year we may be able to reassess your son/daughter’s support on the lower income. Complete a Current Year Income Assessment form and return it to your EA regional office:

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Do I need to provide household income details every year?

You must send evidence to verify all your income in full in the first year but we only require income figures, without evidence, in second and subsequent years.

We carry out random income checks each year so you may be asked to provide full evidence of income if you are selected as part of this check. If you do not provide full evidence when requested, the student’s entitlement will be reduced to the non-means tested amount of support and this may result in the student having to pay back any overpayment of Student Finance.

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Families with more than one student

How may the amount of my financial support change if another member of my family is also in receipt of student finance?

We will reassess your parents' contribution to student finance, based on the circumstances for your family. In most cases, where two or more students from the same family are receiving student finance, the parental contribution will be divided equally between them.

However, if any of you are attending for part of the year only, we may divide the contribution between students according to how much time each student spends at university or college during the year.

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Will my brother’s or sister’s own income be taken into account?

No. If you are a dependent student, only your parents' and your own incomes are taken into account. If you have some income of your own you may have to contribute to your own student finance, but you do not contribute to your brothers' or sisters' student finance.

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I am a student and the parent of another student. Will my partner be assessed for a parental contribution and another contribution as my partner?

No. If there is both a student parent and a student child in a family, only one parental contribution is calculated.

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How will you know when other members of my family become eligible to receive student finance?

When applying for student finance, they will be asked to provide the full name and details of any other member of the family who is in receipt of student finance. We will then assess the parental contribution for the family as a whole and divide this between all the students from that family who are receiving student finance.

So if you have a family member who will be at university or college at the same time as you, and who has not yet been assessed for student finance, your own entitlement may change when we deal with their application. If the circumstances of your family member change during the year, your entitlement may also change.

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How will I know if my entitlement has changed and how much my revised financial support will be?

We will send you a letter to advise you of any new entitlement as soon as we have reassessed your financial support.

If you have applied for an income assessed Maintenance Loan and are entitled to borrow more as a result of the reassessment, the letter will tell you how much more you can now borrow.

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What happens if one of us leaves college?

You must advise us immediately if you or another member of your family stops studying part way through the academic year so we can adjust the parental contribution to the remaining student or students. If a member of your family leaves university or college during the year, your financial support may also change

We will notify you of any reassessment of your financial support. Do not assume that a reassessment has been carried out until we have told you. Sometimes there may be a delay in us advising you about any change to your financial support, this is because we may require more information from the university or college.

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Getting your payment

What is my Notification of Entitlement letter?

This letter is sent to you once you’ve been assessed for support. It tells you what you’re entitled to and when you’ll be paid.

If you apply online it also contains your Online Declaration form. You must sign and return your Online Declaration form immediately otherwise we won’t be able to make any payments to you or your university or college.

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I’m thinking of changing to a different course from the one stated on my Notification of Entitlement letter, should I still return the Online Declaration form?

Yes.

When you sign the Online Declaration you’re agreeing to the Student Finance terms and conditions, you’re not confirming that the course details or entitlement amounts are correct. If you decide to change course you’ll receive an updated Notification of Entitlement letter with your new details on it but you won’t receive a new Online Declaration form.

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I have lost/not received my Notification of Entitlement letter, where can I get a replacement?

You can view and print off your Notification of Entitlement letter online. Log in to your account and click on ‘View Correspondence’.

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How do I update my contact details?

You can update your personal details, including your preferred contact address, permanent home address, email address, and contact phone numbers by logging into your online account and selecting ‘Update My Profile’.

You can also update these details by contacting the Customer Support Centre on 0300 100 0077.

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What is the difference between my ‘preferred contact address’ and ‘permanent home address’?

Your preferred contact address (or correspondence address) is where you will normally live during your studies, such as a hall of residence. We will send most letters to you at this address. Your permanent home address is where you normally live outside of term time, such as your parents’ home. This is the address which is used to assign your case to the appropriate EA regional office.

You can update your contact and home address from the ‘Update My Profile’ section of your online account. You can also update these details by contacting the Customer Support Centre on 0300 100 0077, or by completing a Change of Circumstance form.

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Can I change the payment dates of my loan instalments?

No, you can’t change the payment dates for your loan instalments. The payments are always made at the start of each term. These are the dates specified by your university or college.

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I have checked my account online, under the view payments section it says "Awaiting Confirmation" or "blocked", what does this mean?

Awaiting Confirmation means that we are still waiting for confirmation of your course attendance from your university or college. In order to get this, you will need to take your Payment Schedule Letter to your university or college. Once your attendance has been confirmed you will be able to receive the first instalment of your loan.

Loan payments may be blocked while Student Finance NI confirms your National Insurance Number (NINO) with the Department for Work and Pensions. The block is automatically removed as soon as your NINO is confirmed. This can take up to one week.

Payments may also be blocked if you haven’t provided your bank details.

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How do I update my bank details?

You can update your bank details from the ‘Update My Bank Details’ link in your online account.

You can also update your bank details by contacting the Customer Support Centre on 0300 100 0077.

Although your local Student Finance office can’t update your bank details, if you’re attending an Allied Health Professional course at Ulster University or are in the 5th year of a medicine or dentistry course you should still inform them if your details change.

Note: there may be a limit on how close to the payment of your loan instalments you are able to change your bank details. Any time restrictions will be announced on the Student Finance ni website.

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I have decided not to continue with my course, will I be eligible for financial support in the future?

Leaving your course early could affect your eligibility for financial support if you decide to take another course in the future. How your eligibility is affected will depend on your personal circumstances. Contact your EA regional office for further details.

You will also be asked to repay any overpayment.

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Repayments and interest

Will I receive a statement of my student loan balance?

When you are eligible to start making repayments to your loan balance Student Loans Company (SLC) will send you an annual statement. Your loan balance is calculated from the previous tax year when we receive notification of your repayment amounts from HM Revenue & Customs (previously known as Inland Revenue). Statements are normally issued each September.

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What is the current interest rate for student loans?

Details of interest rates can be found on the Student Loan Repayment Interest Rates page.

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When does the interest on my student loan start?

Interest will accrue on the amount you have borrowed from the date you receive your first loan instalment, or when the payment is made to your college or university on your behalf.

If you have been identified as a PAYE or Self-Assessment repayer, interest accrual will be suspended from the start of the tax year until the end-of-year repayment details are received from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (formerly the Inland Revenue). Interest for the previous year will then be calculated and applied to your account retrospectively upon receipt of your repayment details.

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Where can I find more information on repaying my student loan?

The Student Loan Repayment website gives further information on repaying ICR and Mortgage Style loans.

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Additional information

I am an EU national, how can I find out about financial support to study in Northern Ireland?

If you are an EU national (or a child of an EU national) and wish to study in the UK, you may get a tuition fee loan on a similar basis to UK students. If you are an EU student, and applying through UCAS, they will send you an application form when you are offered a place on a course. If you do not apply through UCAS, you will be able to get an application form and further details about the support available from the EU Team:

Student Finance Services European Team
Student Loans Company
PO Box 89
Darlington
County Durham
England
DL1 9AZ
United Kingdom

Phone: 0141 243 3570 (Monday to Friday - 9am to 5:30pm)
Website: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

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I want to study part-time, what support can I get?

Part-time students are entitled to a fee grant and help with course costs.

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I will be entering postgraduate study, am I entitled to support?

In general, there is no mandatory support for postgraduate study. An exception to this is PGCE studies for those wishing to become teachers. Postgraduate students may be able to apply for help through the college or university they will be attending under the Access to Learning Fund and the Additional Fee Support Scheme. Help is available if you are a student who has a disability or specific learning difficulty

Can I apply for a student loan if I have previously studied in higher education?

You may have to pay your own tuition fees for part of the new course. This depends on the duration of your new course and the number of years of previous study you have been financially supported for. Provided you do not already have a UK Honours degree and are not following an Equivalent Level Qualification , you will be able to receive a Maintenance Loan for as long as you are studying a course of higher education.

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I am going to study nursing what support can I get?

Support for Nursing courses is funded by the Department of Health. More information can be found in the DoHand NHS funded courses factsheet.

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What support can I get if I start studying in the Republic of Ireland?

If you’re going to study in the Republic of Ireland, then your university or college will charge you an annual fee contribution.

The maximum amount for 2016/17 is €3,000.

To cover this upfront cost, you can apply for a Student Contribution Loan when you complete your PN1 or PR1 application form. This will pay up to the full amount of the fee contribution.

If you don’t take the Student Contribution Loan or you take less than the full amount you’re entitled to, you’ll need to pay all or the difference directly to the university or college you are attending.

If you need to change the amount of Student Contribution Loan you are taking out, contact your EA regional office.

Student Contribution Loans need to be paid back. Interest is applied to your Student Contribution Loan balance from the date payment is made to your university or college until the loan is repaid in full. The exchange rate used to determine the Sterling equivalent of €3000 is based on an HMRC average for the last full calendar year.

You may also be entitled to a Maintenance Loan to help with living costs.

Tuition fees - studying overseas, work placements & ERASMUS

The tuition fee rates for studying overseas, on placement and ERASMUS can be complex. The following tuition fee rates are based on you:

  • studying at a publicly funded university in Northern Ireland;
  • having started your course on or after 1 September 2012; and
  • applying through Student Financeni (or Student Finance Services if you're an EU student).
You’ll be: Tuition fee charged up to: Tuition Fee Loan available will be up to:
On ERASMUS and:
  • studying abroad
  • on a work placement abroad for a full year
No tuition fee charged No tuition fee charged
Studying abroad* £1,955 £1,955
On a work placement year of a sandwich course* £1,955 £1,955

*with less than 10 weeks at your Northern Irish university.

Speak to your university about the tuition fees charged if you’re unsure or if your course:

  • is at a university in Scotland, England or Wales;
  • started before 1 September 2012.

More information can be found in the Study Abroad and Travel Grant fact sheets.

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