It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million people will attend college or university this autumn, and the Student Loans Company (SLC) is urging students to apply for student finance in plenty of time.

SLC’s role is to enable opportunity for students to invest in their futures through access to further and higher education, and new full time, undergraduate students in England have just under three weeks to apply for funding before the deadline on Friday, 20 May.

Students should apply online now even if they don’t have a confirmed place at university. By submitting their application before the deadline, they can ensure their finance will be in place for the start of the academic year.

Returning students in England also need to reapply for student finance every year, and the deadline for applications is Friday, 24 June.

Chris Larmer, SLC Executive Director, Operations said: “Our mission is to enable opportunity and we are committed to supporting students to achieve their ambitions.

“Our application window opened earlier this year, which gives students plenty of time to apply before the deadline to ensure they have the best possible start to their further or higher education journey. We know that this can seem daunting, particularly for new students, but there is a range of content on our website and social media channels to help guide students, and their parents or partners, through the process. Applying early means that busy students can tick at least one thing off their list as they prepare for university life.”

SLC is continuing to improve its customer experience and students have access to self-serve tools allowing them to track their application online and receive progress updates.

Chris added: “We continue to invest in providing a digital service that offers the best customer experience to students. Applications can take around six to eight weeks to process and for the vast majority, the whole experience will be online. Students can monitor their application’s progress via their online accounts and if we need any further information, we will get in touch directly.”

Students can continue to apply for finance throughout the summer, but SLC is not able to guarantee that funding will be in place for the start of term.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.