This page covers how to apply for student finance, what evidence is needed and how to make changes to an application.
The quickest and easiest way for students to apply is online.
Students applying for the first time should:
- create an account if they don’t already have one
- log into their account and submit their application
- send us any evidence we ask for
Continuing students can reapply for their student finance at www.studentfinancewales.co.uk
If they haven’t applied before, they’ll need their passport details and birth certificate to hand.
Students should apply as soon as possible to make sure they have their student finance in place for the start of their course.
They can apply up to 9 months after the start of their academic year. If they apply after this, there's no guarantee they'll receive any funding.
All students have to provide some evidence when they apply for student finance for the first time.
Proof of identity
New students will be asked to prove their identity so we can check if they’re eligible for support. The easiest way to do this is by giving us their valid UK passport details when they apply – they don’t need to send us their original passport.
Students who don’t have a valid UK passport will need to send us their:
- UK Birth or Adoption Certificate, or
- valid non-UK passport, or
- Biometric Residence Permit.
These must be original documents, not photocopies..
Proof of household income
If they apply for funding that depends on their household income, such as a Welsh Government Learning Grant, their parents or partner will need to give us their National Insurance numbers and income details. We’ll confirm this information with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
In some cases, we may contact their parents or partner to ask for further evidence such as copies of their P60s or payslips. This helps us to make sure students get the correct funding.
Any evidence we need should be sent as soon as possible to avoid delays in their application.
Continuing students need to reapply for student finance each academic year but don’t usually have to send any further evidence unless we ask them to.
Students with children or adult dependants
Students who are applying for Dependants’ Grants will be asked to send additional evidence. You can find out more by reading our extra help pages
Change of circumstances
If any of the student’s details change after they’ve applied for student finance, they need to let us know as soon as possible as it could affect what funding they can get. In most cases, they simply need to update their application.
Before the start of their course they can use their online account to make changes to:
- their choice of course
- their choice of university or college
- the amount of loan they’re applying for
- their personal details
They can also use their online account to make changes to their personal details once their course has started. But if there are any changes to their course, they should let their university or college know so they can tell us.
If a change to their details results in them being overpaid, they’ll need to repay any money they’re not entitled to. In this case, the repayment threshold won’t apply and they might have to repay the amount they’ve been overpaid earlier.
Taking a break or withdrawing
If a student decides to take a break or withdraw from their studies, they need to let us know as soon as possible. They should also ask their university or college to tell us.
We’ll reassess the amount of student finance they should get based on the number of days they attended their course. If they’ve withdrawn, we’ll also stop any future payments to them or to their university or college.
Taking a break because of an illness or other reason
If they’re taking a break from their course because of an illness, they can still get full student finance for 60 days. We may be able to extend their funding for more than 60 days if they’d otherwise be in financial hardship.
If they’re taking a break for any other reason, such as caring responsibilities or bereavement, they might still be able to get student finance during some or all of their time off.
If they’ve withdrawn from their studies and were paid a grant or a bursary, we may take into account any financial hardship that could be caused by stopping their student finance for that term.
In any of these circumstances, they’d need to send us evidence of their situation, such as a letter from a medical professional, bank statements or evidence of financial obligations. Each case will be assessed on an individual basis.
If they’ve been paid too much
If the student has left their course early, this might mean they’ve been overpaid.
Usually, we’ll just take the amount from any future payments they’re due. For example, if they’re overpaid by £300 and are due a future payment of £1,000, we’ll pay them £700 instead.
If they’re not due any future payments, they might have to repay the amount they’ve been overpaid early and, in this case, the repayment threshold won’t apply.
Once the student has left their course, we won’t make any more Tuition Fee Loan or Fee Grant payments to their university or college.
They’ll still be responsible for paying back any Tuition Fee Loan we’ve already paid to their university or college, but not until their income is over the repayment threshold.
Taking a break or withdrawing from their course could also affect any student finance they could get in the future.