We've just received this message from Student Finance: "We are pleased to announce the launch of the Student Finance England service for academic year 2011/2012 on 14 February 2011. From this date, all students applying for full-time courses in higher education can apply for student finance online at www.direct.gov.uk/student finance."
However I think this link is not working properly (!) but you can access the information at
It's worth getting started on your application to Student Finance as soon as possible (after 14 Feb 2011), and you don't have to wait until you've received all your university offers first.