When you start applying to university, you will come across the term “student finance” a lot. Especially if you’re the first in your family to attend university, this term can be confusing. Since you have to apply for student finance before you start university, the process of applying can seem quite complicated. One of the parts of this process is a student finance cover letter. However, if this term is new to you, you’ll definitely be asking: what exactly is a student finance cover letter?
A student finance cover letter can also be referred to as an evidence cover letter. You can be asked to send the letter as part of your application along with the evidence you are submitting. Your evidence cover letter can be brief but will need to have your Customer Reference Number (CRN), your name as well as your current address. This makes it easier to link the evidence enclosed to your student finance account.
The above provides a brief summary of what a student finance cover letter is. To find out more about the evidence you must enclose and how you can send the cover letter, I recommend you read on.
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Where is your evidence cover letter on your student finance account?
After you have submitted your evidence, you can be asked to attach the evidence cover letter from your account. In this case, you should submit the letter online or in through the post to Student Finance England.
Uploading the evidence cover letter should be done the same way that you upload your other documents of evidence. You can download the evidence cover letter when logged into your student finance account.
You should only upload a cover letter or any other types of evidence to your account when asked to. If uploaded otherwise it can cause a delay in your application.
To start uploading evidence, you must first sign into your student finance account. You must then select the type of application. This will most likely be the ‘Undergraduate student finance applications’.
This is a separate application to the Disabled Students’ Allowance application which requires a different form and an additional cover letter. You can find out more about this on this gov.uk page here.
After you have selected this, you can view all the current undergraduate applications in your account. Choose your most recent application unless the evidence is for a specific year.
Under the section heading ‘Manage your student finance’, you will find the option to ‘Upload supporting evidence’. This is where your evidence can be uploaded and submitted.
As well as uploading evidence, you can use your student finance account to change any details in your application. This video here from Student Finance England shows you how.
What evidence must be submitted for student finance applications?
There are two types of evidence that must be submitted when you apply for student finance for the first time. These are proof of identity and household income information.
Proof of identity is the first step to checking if you are eligible for student finance. You will normally submit a copy of your valid passport details when you apply.
If you are an international student, you can send your valid non-UK passport. You may also be asked to submit Home Office documents.
If you do not have a valid UK passport, you will need to send your UK birth or adoption certificate. When sending your certificate by post, you will need to include your name and address as well as your customer reference number.
Once you have your student loan confirmation letter, you can use it to prove your address. Check out this article here on Think Student to find out more ways of proving your address.
How does household income affect your student finance application?
Your household income details are very important when determining how much maintenance loan you are eligible for. You can find out more about maintenance loans here on Think Student.
What is considered as household income changes based on your individual circumstances such as your age and who you are dependent on.
For most undergraduate students, household income includes your parents’ income and any income from your own savings or investments.
To give details of your household income, your parent must create a separate student finance account to you. You can create an account here.
Once your parent has signed in, they will need to provide the correct information about any personal taxable income and any income you may receive from savings/investments. Your parent will most likely have to send photocopies of their P60 or payslips.
This information will then be reviewed by the HMRC and will take about two weeks.
What evidence is needed to apply for CPR support?
CPR stands for Compelling Personal Reasons. CPR refers to when a student has to suspend their studies or change their course due to a personal situation like bereavement or health issues. If you are eligible for CPR support, you can receive additional funding.
To apply for CPR funding, you must submit both a covering letter and a form of evidence from a professional. You will need to reapply each year for compelling personal reasons in order to gain the additional year of funding.
Your CPR application acceptance is highly dependent on your cover letter. This cover letter will be structured very differently to the evidence cover letter and should not be as brief. The purpose of the cover letter is to explain why your CPR should be taken into consideration and why you should receive funding as a result of it.
When writing your cover letter, you should remember to include the following details:
- Your personal details – this includes standard information like your full name, date of birth and your CRN as well as your contact details.
- Key dates – this refers to which year/years you would like to be considered for CPR support and when you suspended your studies and when you plan on resuming your studies.
- Your CPR – this can be due to health issues, family issues or more but it is important to state your reasons clearly so SFE can assess the complete situation.
- Changes to your circumstances – if there is progress in your circumstances, you are more likely to be successful when you return to your studies.
The evidence from a professional as well as the cover letter confirms the difficulties you have experienced and how they have disrupted your studies.