When does the academic year start?

My eldest has applied for student finance as an independent student as they will be 25 on 4th September. SLC have now said that the academic year starts on 1st September and therefore they will only be 24 so don't class as an independent student.

I can't find anywhere that defines the academic year start date on SLC. The university states their academic year starts on 18th September for 2018-19.

Any advice?

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