The first part of your university application process will be choosing your universities and completing a UCAS application. However, another important part of the process is arranging your student finance to handle your tuition fees and determine how much student finance you can receive. Student loans are typically provided by the government through the Student Loans Company. However, they can be privately financed. When applying for financial aid like grants or loans, you must provide a Student Loan Award Letter.
In simple terms, a Student Loan Award Letter is a letter given from the organisation who has agreed to provide your student loan. The letter details and confirms the amount that will be paid to both you and to your university each academic year. It will also explain how and when these payments will be made, as well as explaining what your student finance is made up of.
The above gives a brief explanation of what information a Student Loan Award Letter can give you. However, I encourage you to read on to find out why you will need one and how you can find your letter.
Why do you need a student loan award letter?
As mentioned above, you will need to provide the letter when applying for financial aid. You will often be asked to upload the letter before being able to move on further in the registration.
The letter confirms your funding by containing lots of details. The following details are information that must be correct on the letter.
- Amount paid: including how much you are getting and how much the university is getting.
- Payment dates: the exact day payments are received depends on term dates.
- Bank or building society details.
- Customer Reference Number: this will be assigned to you when you apply for student finance.
- University details: this includes your course details and course year.
The payments to your university will be given once the university has confirmed your registration on the course. However, universities will often ask for the letter before doing so.
The most important part of the letter is the details of payment. However, it will also have instructions on the steps you must take afterwards to make sure you get paid.
This may include signing and returning the declaration form, or providing information that needs to be updated like bank details.
You will have to apply for your student finance every year during your course and the letter will provide details for this as well. Check out this article by Think Student to find out how many years of student finance you can get.
You can also look at the official government guidelines to applying for undergraduate student financial aid.
How do you get your student loan award letter?
The letter will be sent to you once you have submitted your student finance application and it has been approved by whoever is providing the finance. Have a look at this Think Student article for information about when you can submit this application.
Students previously were sent the letter as a physical copy. However, students can now access the letter online on their student finance account.
If you are a new student applying, you will have to create an account. You will need your National Insurance Number to apply for this.
You can start by creating an account by using the government website here.
Once you have created an account, you will be able to see your letter in the “letters and emails”. The most recent letter will always replace the previous ones you’ve received. This section will have your most recent “Notification of Entitlement” letter as well as every correspondence sent to you.
This means that even if you lose the physical copy or download of the letter, you could print it again by going to the “letters and emails” section. The Student Finance account also cannot be deleted.
What other Notification of Entitlement Letters can you receive?
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for additional sources of funding. These can include the Disabled Students’ Allowance or bursaries dedicated towards specific courses as well as others. You can find a full list of government supported extra funding here.
If you are eligible for any of these, you will have an additional separate Notification of Entitlement Letter.
For example, if you are eligible for the Disabled Students’ Allowance, the Notification of Entitlement Letter will also be sent to the Disability Adviser and Needs Assessor.
The letter will contain roughly the same information as the Student Loan Award Letter. It will also contain additional information related to the equipment and support you will receive. This includes the instructions of how to arrange the delivery of equipment needed or other forms of support. The DSA entitlement letter is needed so your costs can be reimbursed.