Facts & figures

BIS/SLC: Early Statistics on Student Support for Higher Education in England, 2009/10 at 25 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.

This is the second such release of this information, and covers the processing and payment up to and including 25 October 2009. Figures for the previous year as at the equivalent Sunday, 26 October 2008, are included to allow comparison.

The first release was published on Tuesday 27 October 2009. There will be one further weekly publication 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 Maintenance 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 (for example, applications for tuition fee loan only)
  • 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
Applicants who have not received first maintenance payment following approval Applicants whose applications for support have been approved, but as yet no payment has been made.
On-line declaration required After approval of an on-line application a signed on-line declaration form is required from the applicant before the first maintenance payment can be made.
Attendance confirmation not received No confirmation of attendance has been received from a University or College so no payment can be released. The applicant may have not secured a place in HE or may have chosen not to attend after all. Some may be in attendance but have not registered for maintenance support because they only want a Tuition Fee loan which is paid directly to the HEI in February and May. Others may not have registered attendance yet because the course has not yet started.
Maintenance payment not requested The student has confirmed attendance but there is no maintenance payment required because they did not request any.
National Insurance number being verified The National Insurance Number provided by the student must be verified with the Department for Work and Pensions. SLC is awaiting this verification and payment will be made once this is received.
Revised bank details required Bank details provided in the original application were missing or incomplete: correct details have been requested from the student and payment is not possible until this information is provided.
Payments currently being processed through the banking system Where attendance has been confirmed at the very end of the reporting period the payment will have been initiated via the banking system but will not reach the student's bank account till 2-3 days later.


Application StatusAcademic Year 2008/09 at 26/10/2008Academic Year 2009/10 at 25/10/2009
Number of ApplicationsNumber of Applications
Applications received 909,000 991,000
Applications approved 815,000 855,000
... of which number with full assessment N/A 820,000
... of which number with interim assessment N/A 35,000
Applications currently being processed 32,000 24,000
Ineligible/withdrawn applications 27,000 42,000
Applications started online but not completed 16,000 30,000
Further information required from student/sponsors 19,000 40,000

Payment statusNumber of studentsNumber of students
Students receiving first maintenance payment 705,000 723,000
Applicants who have not received first maintenance payment after approval 110,000 132,000
. of which awaiting online declaration form from applicant 24,000 32,000
. of which not yet received attendance confirmation (Fee Loan only) 14,000 19,000
. of which not yet received attendance confirmation (Other) 38,000 53,000
. of which not requesting maintenance support 8,000 5,000
. of which National Insurance Number currently being verified 5,000 3,000
. of which revised bank details currently awaited 500 1,000
. other (mainly those with payments currently being processed through the banking system) 20,000 19,000

Source: SLC