The Student Loans Company disburses £2.6bn in funding to UK students
Over £2.6billion was paid out to 1.1million students in the first quarter of the 22/23 academic year, according to figures released today* by the Student Loans Company (SLC) .
The organisation, which manages student finances on behalf of the UK government and devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, has now made the majority of first term maintenance loan payments to students across the United Kingdom. Payments will continue to be made to students who are due to start classes in the coming weeks.
For the third year in a row, SLC has increased the number of applications it has processed and ready to pay to students at the start of the term.
Chris Larmer, Executive Director of Operations at SLC, said, “SLC exists to empower students to invest in their future through access to reliable, transparent, flexible and accessible student finance services. We are pleased to have reached this important milestone where we have made the first quarter maintenance loan payments for the majority of students, ensuring that they have started the new academic year with their funding in place.
Although the majority of students have now received their first installment, not all will get their full rights immediately. Eligible applicants who applied late will first receive the minimum maintenance loan amount, followed by a top-up payment if they qualify for more funding. Payment can only be released to students once their higher education institution has confirmed their enrollment. You can find more information on late requests here.
SLC has continued to expand its provision of online information throughout this payment cycle – creating new resources, including a common questions area, with a dedicated payment section, which students can access through their online accounts.
Chris added: “September is always our busiest month, and this year was no exception. We have experienced a high volume of calls and we thank our customers for their patience when contacting us. We have brought significant improvements to our online experience this year – we are committed to improving our customer experience and this work will continue.
“Our focus now shifts to paying tuition fees on behalf of students, with payments beginning to flow to educational service providers from early November.”
SLC does not set the minimum or maximum amount of financial support students can receive each academic year, however, the organization is aware that many students will have concerns at this time regarding their finances and we will continue to help promote support which is available to them. .
For example, if a student’s application is assessed on the basis of income and their household income has decreased by 15% or more since the last tax year, they can apply for an assessment of the income for the year in course (CYI). This means their claim can be reassessed using their estimated income for the current tax year instead. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/support-child-or-partners-student-finance-application/current-year-income. Students are also encouraged to verify that they have applied for the maximum amount of funding available, which they can do through their online account.
Chris said: “We want to assure customers that we will support them as best we can. However, if a student is experiencing financial difficulties, they should speak to their university or college first. They may be able to offer help and advice as well as access to financial support through hardship funding. They can also refer students to other organizations offering support.
Further information to help students understand their living costs can be found at Understanding Student Living Costs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
*Please note that these are provisional figures. Full year figures are published in SLC’s Higher Education Student Support Statistical Release, which will be released on November 24, 2023.