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Undergraduate finance

Frequently asked questions

Where do I get advice on Student Finance?

To find out more go to:

What is household income?

Your household income is the total amount your family earns each year before tax and National Insurance. It is based on earnings for the previous tax year (2017-18 if you are applying to study in 2019/20).

What happens if my household income drops?

If a parent or partner is expecting a 15% drop or more in their income they can ask to be assessed on the current tax year.

My parents are separated. Whose household income do I provide?

Student Finance will assess your eligibility for funding on the household in which you live most of the time. Where parents have separated during 2017-18, the parental income may be assessed on a pro-rata basis taking the parents' joint income for such time as the parents were living together. Please note, if a parent has a cohabiting partner, their income may be taken into account.

Does student finance take into account families who have more than one child at university?

Student Finance will examine the family income to see if any contribution should be made towards the student loan for maintenance. The contribution, if any, will be split equally amongst the student children, so each student will usually receive a higher amount of maintenance support.

Am I classed as an independent student?

You can apply for independent status if your circumstances meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • If you are irreconcilably estranged from both of your biological or adoptive parents or only living parent, you can ask to be assessed as an independent student and assessed on your own household income. Further information is available;
  • If you have supported yourself financially for a total of thirty six months prior to the start of your course, you can apply to be assessed as an independent student on the grounds of self-support. These months do not have to be consecutive, but you must show you have been earning a sufficient amount to be financially independent.
  • If you have been in local authority care for at least three months after your sixteenth birthday, and are irreconcilably estranged from your parents, you are entitled to be considered as a care leaver and awarded independent status.
  • If you don't know the location of your parents, or they are in a country where it is considered dangerous for you to contact them, you may be awarded independent status. If your parent has a significant mental health problem or health issue that would make it impractical or dangerous for you to contact them, you may also be awarded independent status on these grounds.
  • If you are 25 years old on the first day of the academic year; you are married or in a civil partnership or have been married or in a civil partnership in the past but are now separated; you have a child or dependent or both of your biological or adoptive parents are deceased. Please note, where an independent student has a spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner of the same or opposite sex, the partner's residual income may be included in the household income assessment.
When do I apply for student finance?

You should apply for student finance as early as possible.

Student Finance guarantee funding for the start of term if you have made an on time application.

Do I have to apply for student finance every year?

Yes. Student Finance will notify returning students when applications open each year.

I am not applying for a student loan; can I still receive a Harper Adams Scholarship?

You can apply for the Development Trust Scholarships, as these are not household income assessed. Further information is available at

I have applied for more than one course, which should I use for my student finance application?

It does not matter which course you put on the form in the beginning, however we do recommend that you use your first choice. If this changes for any reason, you can contact Student Finance at any time and change this. It is important that you make sure that Student Finance has the correct course before you register at university at the start of term.

When do I pay my tuition fees?

If you have applied for a Tuition Fee Loan, this will be paid directly to Harper Adams University by Student Finance.

If you are paying your own fees, you will be issued an invoice to pay at, or before, Freshers Registration.

When do I receive my maintenance payments?

Your payments will be made in three instalments, generally one at the beginning of each term. These will be paid directly into your bank account.

To ensure you receive your payments promptly:

  • Open a bank or building society account and give Student Finance your account details before the start of term.
  • Make sure that you have stated your National Insurance number in your application.

Your payments will not be released if you don't provide the information stated above. Please note, the first payment is usually delayed for around a week or so whilst we confirm your attendance at the University. It is important that you begin to think about how to budget your money whilst away at university. For further help budgeting, visit

I have lost my Student Finance letters. How can I view my correspondence?

You can view and print any correspondence by logging into your online Student Finance account. It is important to check correspondence regularly.

How do I contact Student Finance?

You can contact Student Finance by phone to discuss any problems. It is useful to make note of who you spoke to and the advice they gave.

  • Student Finance England - 0300 100 0607
  • Student Finance Wales - 0300 200 4050
  • Student Finance Northern Ireland - 0300 100 0077
  • Student Awards Agency for Scotland - 0300 555 0505
Who can help at Harper Adams University?

Sometimes it is helpful to discuss your situation with a member of staff at Harper Adams University. The Student Records and SLC Advice Office staff are happy to help with any queries. It is useful if you set up a 'consent to share' password, so that they can contact Student Finance to discuss your account on your behalf. If you want to set this up, just give Student Finance a call and request consent for 'Harper Adams University Student Student Records and SLC Advice Office' and give them a password. The postcode is TF10 8NB. Just email your password to This will be kept confidential.

When do I have to repay my student loan?

You only start to pay off your student loan once you have graduated. Your repayments will be taken directly from your salary. For further information, please visit the Student Loan Repayment site.

Will student loan repayments affect my ability to take out a personal loan?

This would be a decision for the loan provider, but student loan information won't be shared with credit reference agencies by Student Finance England.

Will loan repayments affect my ability to get a mortgage?

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has advised that a student loan is very unlikely to impact materially on an individual’s ability to get a mortgage. The amount of mortgage available may depend on net income.

Will I have to repay the full amount of the loan?

After a set period of time, your outstanding debt will be written as follows:

  • England and Wales - 30 years
  • Scotland - 35 years
  • Northern Ireland - 25 years
Will I be able to repay the loan early?

Yes, without incurring any penalties.

Who can I contact for further information?

Please contact our Student Records and SLC Advice Office for further information:

Telephone: +44 (0)1952 81 5264

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