SLC has now made the majority of first term student funding payments for the 2021/22 academic year. This is an important milestone for the organization, and I am happy to confirm that we have advanced £ 3bn to students as part of the maintenance loan funding. An additional £ 2.3 billion in tuition fees was paid to universities and colleges on their behalf. This brings the total amount of student funding disbursed this quarter to £ 5.3bn *.
Although the vast majority of students have received their first installments, some may not yet have received their full entitlement. Maybe it’s because they applied later, or maybe because they still have some evidence to submit. Applicants who wish to know the stage of their payment can consult the status of their payment at any time on their online account. More information on getting your first payment if you are applying late can be found online.
This year, SLC has helped more students than ever to invest in their future through higher and further education. We have provided reliable, transparent, flexible and accessible student funding services to a record number of applicants. And, despite this growth in demand, we were still able to increase the number of claims that were fully processed and ready to pay at the start of the quarter.
Unfortunately our phone lines were busier than usual and our customers had to wait longer than we would like to talk to each other. I would like to thank the students once again for their patience and for following our advice on using our digital resources and social media channels for help when needed. This year we have increased the amount of guidance available to help students both online and in the application portal itself. We will continue to build on this as we work towards our vision of delivering an exceptional customer experience.
Undergraduates can still apply for student funding for 9 months after their course start date. However, they should be aware that it may take up to 6-8 weeks for an application to be processed. We do our best to ensure that eligible applicants have a sum of money as soon as possible by first granting the minimum maintenance loan amount, followed by a top-up payment if students are entitled to a more funding.
Anyone who has not yet applied can find a lot of useful information and resources on payment and other topics in student finance online at https://studentfinance.campaign.gov.uk/. They can also follow SFE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with all of our latest tips throughout the academic year.
* Please note that these are provisional figures. The figures for the full year are published in our statistical release on student support for higher education which will be released on 25 November.