Students whose courses are to be run online due to COVID-19 are to keep their Maintenance Loans under measures announced today by the Student Loan Company.
Some may also be eligible for an increased loan if their household income has dropped by more than 15% compared to the 2018-19 tax year.
Over the next month, the Student Loan Company will be issuing over £2 billion in Maintenance Loans to around a million students across the UK, including those who will be studying online.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students who are unable to physically study at university may have been seen a received Maintenance Loan, but under today’s new policy, they will still be paid as normal provided they have registered for their course.
However, if students have changed their plans about where they will live during term time – for example if they will be living with parents instead of moving away from home – they must update their application in their online account.
The SLC’s Executive Director of Operations, Derek Ross, said: “This is a busy time for students as they prepare to start or return to their university or college.
“We appreciate some students may still have changes to make to their course, university or college and it’s vital that they update their information online as soon as possible to ensure their finance is in place at the start of term.”
In addition, for courses which now have a delayed start date, finance payments will also be pushed back. Many students in Loughborough could therefore be left without maintenance funding for a week longer than expected, as Loughborough University delayed their course start dates by a week to October 5th.
The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has also resulted in a change for means-tested Maintenance Loans based on household income. As students would have been asked to provide details for the 2018-19 tax year upon application, if their annual household income has subsequently dropped by more than 15% due to the pandemic, they can now apply to have their estimated income for the current tax year used instead.
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More information can be found over on the Student Loan Company website.