The two main costs while studying are tuition fees and living costs and there is student finance available to help students with both of these.
Depending on your circumstances, course and where you study, you may be able to get other financial support too.
Loans for full-time students are available from Student Finance England. You can get a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of your tuition and a maintenance loan to cover living expenses.
The tuition fee loan goes up to £9,250 and is not linked to household income.
The maintenance loan depends on household income and where you live. The maximum is:
To get an approximation of how much you might receive check out the student finance calculator.
Part-time students who are studying at least 25% of a full-time course are eligible for a tuition fee loan and part-time maintenance loan.
If all of the following apply to you then you are eligible:
You may also be eligible in other circumstances too, check on the Student Finance England website.
You may also be eligible for extra financial help if you are on a low income.
Students with dependents may be eligible for the following help:
Students with a learning disability, health problem or disability may be eligible for Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).
Student Finance England (SFE) counts your own taxable income plus any of the following as your household income:
You’ll typically need a P60 or tax return for the previous year, so pre-warn your parent(s) or partner as it can take some time to find them.
If you are under 25 and had no contact with your parents for over a year, you might be able to apply as an ‘estranged student’.
The tuition fee loan is paid direct to your university by SFE. You do not see this money at all, it does not get paid in to your account. The maintenance loan is paid termly; three payments per academic year in September, January and April.
You will need to complete an application for finance, every year during your degree.
You do not need a confirmed place at university to apply for student finance. You’ll be able to apply online for student finance from early 2021 for funding to start at university in September 2021. It can take 6-10 weeks to hear the outcome of your student finance application.
You may be able to get extra financial support in the form of bursaries and scholarships. This varies between universities. These do not have to be repaid and are in addition to your loans.
You only start to pay back your loans once you are earning a specified amount and after you have left university.
This is called a loan, but there is no obligation to pay it back if you are earning below the repayment threshold.
Please note: All figures are for 2020 as the figures for 2021 were yet to be released at the time of writing (October 2020).