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Olympic badminton star urges students to get their funding forms in on time

By Jenna Conti

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Students are advised to get their forms in before the deadline on June 30.
Students are advised to get their forms in before the deadline on June 30.

OLYMPIC badminton star Susan Egelstaff is urging students and school leavers from the Highlands to get finance fit ahead of the deadline for university and college funding applications.

The sportswoman and former Stirling University student joined SAAS staff manning the phones as the agency announced extended opening hours in the run up to June 30 to deal with enquiries.

Full-time students must submit their funding forms by the deadline to ensure their money is in place for the start of the new term.

SAAS phonelines will be open Saturday 10am to 7pm and Sunday 12pm until 12am this weekend to ensure students get the support they need to apply in time.

Susan said: "This is the final week to get your application in and net your cash in time for your first term. SAAS staff will be on hand to help just in case you’ve left it until the last minute so pick up the phone for support.

"I remember what it was like, it’s easy to leave it to the last minute but if you rush it you’re leaving yourself at risk of not having your funding in place for the start of your course.

"With the phonelines open to the very last minute of the deadline there’s no excuse for not getting your form in."

This year Scottish students will benefit from the best funding package in the UK, with SAAS administering fees, bursaries and loans totalling £600 million.

Changes this year means students in Scotland have access to the best funding package in the UK. As well as tuition, an income of £7,250 will be available to those from the lowest income households and all students will be eligible for a student loan of £4,500.

The agency will handle more than 150,000 funding applications from students in full-time higher education.

David Wallace, Chief Executive of SAAS said they’ve trebled the number of advisors for students needing support. He said: "We’ve invested in more staff to ensure the help is there to guide students through the process and avoid the most common application pit-falls.

"It’s often as simple as misreading the form or entering the wrong information so I’d urge students to take their time and ensure once the form is completed online they remember to post any supplementary evidence needed to us.

"It may seem daunting at first but if you’re unsure, contact one of our expert advisers for support to ensure your funds are in place for the start of the new term."

New and returning students are required to fully complete the online application correctly and supply all supporting documents by post, such as proof of parents’ or partner’s income or lone parent status.

The SAAS helpline is open Monday to Friday from 8am - 7pm and Saturday 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 12pm to 12am. Call 0300 555 0505 for help to complete your form.

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