Issue 1

Regular column Focus on processing
Nichola Malton talks about processing late applications and how you can help students who are worried about not getting paid on time.

Nichola Malton picture

Nichola Malton

Nichola has worked in student finance for 11 years, originally at a local authority and for SLC since 2006. Nichola looks after the Assessment Services Department in Processing and she is responsible for entitlement assessment for SFE and EU customers.

Hello and welcome to my first column in Student Finance England’s new practitioner eMag. I’m an Assessment Services Manager in the Processing department at SLC and every issue I’ll be keeping you up-to-date on what we’re doing and how we’re doing. I’ll also answer your questions, so if you have a burning question about student finance you can contact me at exchange@slc.co.uk, I’ll choose one and we’ll publish the answer in a future issue.

At this time of year we’re busy processing applications from students who have only just decided to go to university through late applications or Clearing. We’re also dealing with changes to applications from students whose course or university or college details have changed.

We’re working flat out to make sure these students get their tuition fees paid on time and some funding as close to the start of term as possible. And you can help too! Remind your students to send us any evidence we’ve asked for as soon as possible. Encourage them to check the ‘To Do List’ on their student finance account. This will show them if they’ve sent us everything, including evidence from their parents or partner, and given us all their study details.

We are expecting 1.3million applications from full-time students in AY 2015/16 – so far we’ve processed 1m applications

Remember, we can’t process their application until we have all the information we need.

Next year we’ll be celebrating 10 years of processing student finance applications for students in England. We began with a small pilot in 2006 and had fully taken over from the local authorities by 2010. We were joined by experienced staff from the local authorities, some of whom will be celebrating 25 years of service in student finance with SLC this year!

When we started we had 100 members of staff working in application processing. Now, at our busiest time of year we have up to 1,500 staff directly involved in application processing and payment in our Darlington and Glasgow offices. Around 230 members of staff are based in Glasgow with the rest based in Darlington, where 600 staff work night shifts.

We’re expecting 1.3million applications in AY 2015/16 from SFE full-time students, 160,000 applications from part-time students and 47,000 applications from EU students – which should keep us busy!

Good luck to everyone for the start of the academic year!

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