When you have decided to study at Ulster, you will need to apply to Student Finance for funding to cover your Tuition Fees and daily living costs. Check out our tips below to ensure you don't face any unnecessary delays.

  • 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. This can be completed online, however, if you submit a late application (September onwards) this may need to be submitted via post.

    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, or maintenance grant 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:

    • Change your details on your Student Finance account, or
    • Complete and submit a Change of Circumstances form to Student Finance NI.
    • Bring your 'Notification of Entitlement' letter to campus Registry and advise them of the correct details, OR
    • 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 of the correct details.

    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.

  • Check if you're receiving all funding available

    When applying for student funding, you may need to provide evidence of your household income. Students who apply to Student Finance NI for their funding will need to ensure that their parents/guardians complete the income assessment form to ensure you are in receipt of the maximum amount available.

    To check you are in receipt of the maximum amount of funding available, follow the steps below:

    1. Log into your Student Finance account
    2. Click on 'Letters and Emails' and select your most recent 'Notification of Entitlement' letter (you will also have received a copy of this in the post)
    3. Scroll to the page on your letter called 'Your Student Finance Breakdown'
    4. If your application has been assessed on your household income, under 'Maintenance loan' the first line will say 'Loan not based on household income' and the second will say 'Plus loan based on household income'
    5. If this second line does not show, and your household income is not more than £50,451 (if living at home) or £53,035 (if living away from home in NI) you are not in receipt of the full amount of funding available to you
    6. You will need to ask your parents/guardians to complete the following form and submit this to SFNI for reassessment
    7. Once reassessed, Student Finance will provide an updated 'Notification of Entitlement' letter to show your new award totals. Any additional funds due, will be paid to you within 5-10 working days, and future funding awards adjusted accordingly

    To ensure you are not missing out on any additional funding, visit our Funding your Studies section.

  • Changing your mind

    If you have now chosen to study at Ulster, or want to complete a different course than what you 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 circumstances

    Drop in household income

    Your Student Finance application will be based on the household income for the financial year end 5th April 2021.

    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 fee 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. Those who cannot work, will still have full access to Social Security Benefits.

    All future full-time funding will stop. If you have been overpaid, you will need to arrange a payment plan with Student Finance. If you cannot afford to repay this, a minimum token payment can be arranged with the Students Loan Company.

    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 schedule 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 discountscholarship 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 Loans

    You do not start repaying your student loan until the 6 April after you graduate, or leave your course, and only once earning over £20,195 (gross) per year.

    You will pay 9% of anything you earn over £20,195 (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

    • Your gross salary is £27,000 per year.
    • £27,000 - £20,195 = £6,805 earned over the threshold per year.
    • 9% of £7,105 = £612.45 per year
    • Each month you will repay £51.04 or £11.78 per week.

    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.