Aug 03, 2016— read in full
Student Finance: the Essential Guide
What can I get?
For most full-time students, there are three basic loans and grants.
- Tuition fee loan: this covers the full cost of your tuition fees, so whatever your university charges you won’t have to pay up front.
- Maintenance loan: maintenance grants have now been replaced with bigger maintenance loans. However, if you started university in 2015 or earlier, you'll continue to get the grant. The grant gives you more money to live off while at university. The exact amount you get depends on where you live and how much you and your parents earn.
- Maintenance grant: more money to live off, but this never has to be paid back. Whether you qualify, and how much you can get, depends on how much you and your parents earn. This will no longer be available to new students from 2016, but the maintenance loan will be bigger to compensate.
Find out more:
- What financial support is available for students?
- Student finance explained
- Bursaries and scholarships explained
- Hardship funds
How do I get it?
Almost all student finance is taken care of with a single application you can complete online.
- When to apply for student finance
- Application mistakes to avoid
- What to do if your parents won't support your student finance application
Once you’ve filled in the form, you might have to send in evidence of your identity (eg. a passport) and your household income (eg. photocopied payslips). However, usually you can provide this evidence online. You’ll be sent a declaration you need to sign and send back.
- What evidence do I need to provide with my student finance application?
- Student finance: Appeals and complaints
When you arrive at university, make sure you register as this is the trigger for your money being paid. The university should make this happen without you asking, but if you’re not sure it’s been done properly it doesn’t hurt to check.
What about paying it back?
Your tuition fee loan and maintenance loan have to be paid back once you graduate and are earning money. If you started before 2012, you’ll pay back once you earn more than £15,795 a year. If you started in 2012 or later, you’ll pay back once you earn more than £21,000 a year.
How much you pay each month depends on how much you earn, not how much you owe. You’ll pay 9% of what you earn above the threshold. Usually, this will come out of your pay before it goes into your account.
Find out more:
Student finance is a little different for part-time students. If you started before 2012, you can get smaller grants towards your fees and living costs. You’ll need to fill in a paper application and you won’t have to pay it back. How much you get will depend on your course intensity and your income.
If you started in 2012 or later, you get the same Tuition Fee loan as full-time students, but not any other financial support.