Facts & Figures

BIS/SLC: Early Statistics on Student Support for Higher Education in England, 2009/10 at 18 October 2009 (Provisional)

Due to high levels of public interest in the processing of Higher Education Student Support applications by Student Finance England, the Student Loan Company, in conjunction with BIS analysts, is releasing early provisional figures to show the levels of processing and payment of Student Support in England for the 2009/10 academic year.

The first release of this information is published on Tuesday 27 October 2009, covering the processing and payment up to and including 18 October 2009. Figures for the previous year as at the equivalent Sunday, 19 October 2008 are included to allow comparison. An error was found in the originally published 2008/09 data whereby two figures were transposed i.e. "Applications currently being processed" and "Further information required from student/sponsors". A correction has been made on 3 November 2009.

There will be two further weekly publications followed by the annual Student Support Statistical First Release to be published on Wednesday 25 November 2009, which will cover the processing up to and including 15 November 2009.


Applications approvedThe application has been assessed and approved. If the student/prospective student applied online they will then need to sign an online declaration form. If they are a new student their National Insurance Number will need to be verified with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Thereafter payment will be released once confirmation of attendance has been received from the higher education institution (HEI) they attend.

English domiciled applicants (new and continuing) The figures are for English domiciles applying for student finance under full time regulations. It covers those applying as a new entrant into HE (processed by SLC) as well as those continuing study from the previous year (processed by Local Authorities).
Applications received Applications can be created online by the applicant or can be submitted on paper. Some applicants withdraw their online application in favour of a paper application. This means that the number of applications is higher than the number of students. The student/prospective student can apply for a maintenance grant, maintenance loan, tuition fee loan and/or special allowance (childcare grant etc.). Some opt for a tuition fee loan only which means no maintenance payment is expected by them at start of term.
Applications approved with interim assessment The non-means tested element of the application has been approved (i.e. the first 72% of the maintenance loan) to ensure that the applicant has part of their student finance at the start of the academic year. The applicant has indicated that they also want means tested support (i.e. a maintenance grant and the additional part of the maintenance loan). Where evidence has already been received the full assessment will follow once the financial evidence has been assessed. Otherwise the evidence will be sought from the applicant. Applications in 2008/09 that were processed as interim were not classed separately so data is not available for comparison.
Applications approved with full assessment The applicant only requested non-means tested support or they requested means tested support which has been fully processed.
Applications currently being processed Applications that have not yet been approved, rejected or withdrawn and which can be worked by SLC or the Local Authority responsible. Applications that cannot yet be worked which are excluded from this figure, are those online applications not yet completed by the applicant as well as those applications pended awaiting further information from the student or their sponsors. Sponsors are the persons who need to submit financial evidence for the means tested part of the application to be completed.
Ineligible applications Applications found to be ineligible. The applicant does not meet the residency criteria or the HEI and course is not eligible for support or previous study rules prevent them gaining support for this period of study.
Withdrawn applications The application has been withdrawn. The applicant has decided not to attend HE this year or they have withdrawn an online application in favour of a paper application.
Applications started online but not completed The applicant has started an online application but has not entered all the information and, hence has not yet submitted it to be assessed.
Further information required from student/sponsors The application has been processed as far as possible. A request has been sent to the student or sponsor for missing information and once that is received processing will resume.
Students receiving first maintenance payment The number of students who have had their first instalment (maintenance grant and/or maintenance loan) paid into their bank account. The difference between the number of applications approved and the number of students paid is accounted for by the following:
  • Some of the approved applications are not for maintenance support
  • Some of the approved applications are for students whose course has not yet started
  • Some of the approved applications are from applicants who are not attending this year after all but have not withdrawn their application
  • Some of the approved applications are awaiting the online declaration form from the applicant


Application StatusAcademic Year 2008/09 at 19/10/2008Academic Year 2009/10 at 18/10/2009
Number of ApplicationsNumber of Applications
Applications received 903,000 985,000
Applications approved 801,000 844,000
... of which number with full assessment N/A 805,000
... of which number with interim assessment N/A 39.000
Applications currently being processed 39,000 31,000
Ineligible/withdrawn applications 23,000 40,000
Applications started online but not completed 16,000 31,000
Further information required from student/sponsors 24,000 39,000

Payment statusNumber of studentsNumber of students
Students receiving first maintenance payment 677,000 698,000

Source: SLC