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What happens when you apply?


An application for student finance will go through a number of stages. This guide should help you understand what will happen and what we will need from you at each stage.

Making your application

Who is responsible?

You are responsible for applying for any financial help you might need while studying at college or university.

What happens?

You can apply for student finance by:

  • registering through this website and applying online
  • downloading a copy of the PN1 application form for student finance and its accompanying guidance notes from this site
  • Asking for a copy of the form at your Education and Library Board.

Your National Insurance number

You will be asked to quote your National Insurance number on your student finance application. It is extremely important that you provide us with your National Insurance number: we cannot make any loan payments to you or your university until it has been verified by the Department for Work and Pensions.

If you do not have a National Insurance number, we may release your first payment if proof is received that you are actively trying to obtain one.

More information on how to apply for a National Insurance number

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Providing evidence with your application

Who is responsible?

You and anyone who provides information in support of your application (If you apply for student finance based on household income, your parents or your partner will need to provide financial information).

What happens?

If you apply online, you will be told exactly what to send and where to send it when you submit the application.

If you apply on paper, details of any evidence items you need to send will be explained on the form. You should send all the items you are asked for along with the application form to your Education and Library Board.

Double check you have enclosed all the required evidence before you send it
– if you don’t, the assessment of your application might be delayed
.

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Assessing and approving your application

Who is responsible?

Your Education and Library Board
Student Finance ni

What happens?

The information you provide on your application and any supporting evidence you send will be reviewed by an assessor at your Education and Library Board.
After your Education and Library Board reach a decision regarding your entitlement to student finance, we will send a Student Finance Entitlement letter to confirm what will be paid to you and when.

It is important to note that the payment dates given in this letter are dependent upon you registering on your course in time and ensuring that we have your most up to date bank account details.

How long does this take?

You can expect to receive your Student Finance Entitlement letter between six and eight weeks after you submit your application. Though, you might have to wait longer if your Education and Library Board request additional information or evidence from you.

At any time, you can check the progress of your application through your online account.

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Registering and confirming your attendance at college or university

Who is responsible?

You and your college or university

What happens?

When you register on your course at the start of your first term, you must take your Student Finance Entitlement letter with you.

Your college or university will then confirm your attendance with us.

How long does this take?

Confirmation of your attendance will normally be sent to us on the same day that you register at college or university.

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Paying your student finance

Who is responsible?

Student Finance ni

What happens?

When we receive confirmation of your attendance, we check that we have your National Insurance number and that it has been verified by the Department for Work and Pensions.

If we have your National Insurance number, any loans and grants you have requested are approved for payment.

How long does this take?

Your first payment will normally reach your bank account on either;

  • the first payment date quoted on your Student Finance Entitlement letter
  • or, if the first payment date has already passed, within five working days of you registering on your course.

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