Funding your studies

Learn how you can deal with any delays in receiving your student funding, change your course details or mode of attendance.

When you have decided to study at Ulster, you will need to identify how much it will cost and what funding options are available to you.

With the many different courses available, it is important to ensure that you have chosen a course that is going to get you the qualifications you need to progress into your chosen career.

How to apply

It is important to apply for your Student Finance as early as possible.

When applying for your student funding, provide details for your first choice university and course. If you change your mind, these details can be easily updated at a later stage.

Apply as soon as possible

Applications can take up to 8 weeks to process, but longer during busy periods.

Consent to share the household income

Ensure that you and your sponsors (parents/guardians) tick the box to give consent to share the household income details with the University. This will help us identify full-time undergraduate students who qualify for the Widening Access Bursary.

Check the critical dates

To avoid any delay in the processing of your application, please check Student Finance website for critical cut-off dates.

Return your student declaration

Ensure that you have returned your student declaration form (if applicable).

Notification  of entitlement letter

Be aware that in order to avoid withdrawal of IT and Library Facilities, you will need to have received your Notification of Entitlement letter before 15th November.

Delays in funding

There are a few reasons that you may not have received your maintenance support.

Check your eligibility

If you complete first year and change to a different degree course, starting in first year again, you may not be eligible for a Tuition fee loan from the corresponding funding body.

Late applications

It could be that you have made a late application to Student Finance, or have made a change to your course or university.

Outstanding documents

If you have not received your Notification of Entitlement letter from Student Finance, check your Student Finance account to ensure that there are no documents outstanding.

If nothing else is required and you have not submitted your application within the last 4-5 weeks, contact your local Student Finance office for an update.

Check details are correct

If you have received your Notification of Entitlement letter, check the details are correct. Does this letter show the correct University and Course? If not, you need to change this with Student Finance for your registration to be confirmed, and funding to be released.

You can do this in the following ways:

Check the payment schedule

Check the payment schedule on your 'Notification of Entitlement' letter to ensure your payment is not due in the coming week(s). If you are a full-time undergraduate student, also check that the letter is showing the correct sort code and last few digits of your account number, this will ensure your maintenance support is paid into the correct account.

If the date has passed and your Tuition Fees and/or maintenance loan/grant have still not been paid out, email your 'Notification of Entitlement letter' to studentloans@ulster.ac.uk advising that all details are correct. Our team will check to ensure that you have been confirmed as registered with Ulster University.

Once confirmed, payment will be released within 5-7 working days.

Changing your mind

If you have chosen to study at Ulster, or complete a different course than your put on your Student Finance application, there are a few steps you can take in order to correct your details:

  1. Change your details on your Student Finance account, or
  2. Complete and submit a Change of Circumstances form to Student Finance NI.
  3. Bring your 'Notification of Entitlement' letter to campus Registry and advise them of the correct details, or
  4. Email your 'Notification of Entitlement' letter to studentloans@ulster.ac.uk with the correct details. Our team will manually confirm your attendance, and inform Student Finance that you have changed University.

If you have chosen not to come to University or wish to defer for a year, simply advise Student Finance and your funding will not be released.

Changes in circumstance

Drop in household income

Your Student Finance application will be based on the household income for the financial year end 5th April 2020.

If you have experienced a household income reduction of 5% or more, since the tax year, you can request a current year income reassessment.

Your parents/guardians will need to provide confirmation of their new household income.

Changing from full-time to part-time

Undergraduate students

You will need to contact your local Student Finance office to advise that you have withdrawn from the full-time undergraduate course.  The University will also confirm this with them.

You will then need to complete the Part-time Tuition form if you wish to avail of the tuition fee grant/loan to fund the part-time version of the course.

Part-time students are not eligible for any maintenance support as it is assumed that you can work to cover daily living costs.

All future full-time funding will stop. If you have been overpaid, you will need to arrange a payment plan with Student Finance.

Postgraduate students

You will need to contact Student Finance's Postgraduate office to advise that you are changing your mode of attendance to part-time from full-time study. Your Tuition Fee loan will be adjusted accordingly and an updated payment scheduled posted out to you.

Don't forget: Postgraduate Tuition Fee loans are for a maximum of £5,500, this will mean that any outstanding tuition fee balance will need to be covered by yourself or your sponsor.

Check to see if you are eligible to apply for a tuition fee discount, scholarship or prize when paying your fees.

Social Security Benefits

If you are in receipt of Social Security Benefits, you will need to update your details with them before commencing your study.

Full-time students are typically not eligible for Universal Credit, however those with children or a disability may still qualify.

Contact Advice NI for information around what you are eligible to apply for. Current students can also contact UUSU Advice Bureau.

Repaying your student loan

You do not start repaying your student loan until the April after you graduate, or leave your course, and only once earning over £19,895 (gross) per year.

You will pay 9% of anything you earn over £19,895 (before tax) per year.

Your repayments are calculated according to how often you are paid, and are deducted from your wage/salary before Tax and National Insurance deductions are applied.

If you are self-employed, HMRC will calculate how much you are to repay from your tax return.

For example

If your income varies each week/month, your Student Loan repayments will change to reflect this.

Did you know?

Student loans are not treated as 'real debt'.

This means that outstanding balances will not affect your eligibility for personal loans or mortgages.

Outstanding balances will be written off 25 years after the April you were first due to repay.