We know you probably have questions about how you’re going to cover the costs of going to university; so here we’d like to help you to get to grips with it all.
In this guide, you'll find out:
This is the support you can apply for:
This is the support you can apply for:
*Home refers to all students who are UK nationals or have settled status in the UK and who have been ordinarily resident in the UK or its islands for three years before the start of their course. A small number of other categories of students may qualify for home status, too. Further information is available from the Student Financial Advice Service .
This section is for UK home students only. Please see our International student pages for information about the funding available to pay for your undergraduate studies.
Good news – most new UK home* students don’t have to pay any fees upfront. Instead, they can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan which will be paid by Student Finance England. This will apply if you are studying full-time or at least 25% of an equivalent full-time course.
The loan will be paid directly to the University on your behalf in three instalments, so all you’ll need to do is apply for it. Make sure you apply early to ensure that the fee loan is confirmed before your course starts.
And it doesn’t matter what your household income is as the Tuition Fee Loan is available regardless of income.
You can visit Gov.uk for more information on who is eligible, how to apply and when you repay your loan.
If you’re beginning your studies in 2018/2019, we anticipate that the funding available for your tuition fees will be the same as that for 2017/18 starters and you’ll be able to find more information on paying for your studies here as it becomes available.
While most of you will have your tuition fees taken care of, one thing you will need to think about is paying for your day-to-day living costs – things like your accommodation, food, books and social life.
Maintenance loan (repayable): If you’re a full-time UK home undergraduate student from England, you can usually get a loan of up to £8,430 per year. The amount you can borrow depends on your household income, your year of study, whether you are living in your parental home during term-time and whether you are eligible for certain benefits.
You won’t have to pay this loan back until you’ve left the University and you’re earning more than £21,000 per year, £1750 per month or £403 per week. See below for more information about paying back your loan.
If you’re a part-time UK undergraduate student, you can’t apply for a maintenance loan towards your living or other course costs.
Scholarships and bursaries (non-repayable): You may even be eligible for other types of funding, which you can find out about on our scholarships page.
Get a job: Many students decide to get a part-time job in term time and / or work full-time in the holidays. Find out more about working as a student.
Other funding: There is extra money for disabled students, students with children, students with care responsibilities and care experienced students. Make sure you research your own circumstances and check you are applying for everything you’re entitled to.
If you have previously studied at higher education level your eligibility for student finance maybe affected. You are advised to contact your national Student Finance Service for further guidance.
To check exactly what financial support is available to you visit the Gov.uk website and speak with one of our advisers.
If you’re beginning your studies in 2018/2019, we anticipate that the maintenance loan arrangements will be broadly the same as for 2017/18 starters. The loan rates for 2018/19 have not yet been announced but you’ll be able to find more information on paying for your living costs here as it becomes available.
English students can apply for loans online through Student Finance England. If you are starting your course in 2017/18 you should apply now if you've not already done so.
We would urge you to apply early – you don’t have to wait until you’ve confirmed your university place.
The deadline for applications is usually the end of May prior to the start of your course. You can still apply after this time, but your funding may not be in place for the start of your course.
Students who normally live in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland can find further information about the financial support package available to them and how to apply for it from their student Finance Service as follows:
Relax – you’ll only start paying your loan back after you’ve left university. And not necessarily straight away.
Your repayments won’t begin until your earnings, based on your weekly or monthly pay, look set to exceed £21,000 per year.
If you lose your job, or your pay drops below £21,000 per year, your repayments automatically stop.
Currently, how much you pay back is worked out as a percentage of your income (9% of anything you earn over £21,000). So, no matter how much you borrow you pay it back at the same rate. The repayments are taken automatically out of your wages each month, just like tax and national insurance.
Your loan will accrue interest. The interest rate on your loan varies depending on your income, but for current borrowers, it will never be more than inflation (based on the Retail Price Index) plus 3%.
If you pay off the full amount, you’ll stop paying. Alternatively, any outstanding balance is written off after 30 years, so some people will never pay off the full amount they’ve borrowed.
(Monthly repayment amounts are based on the amount you earn, not the amount you borrowed.)
Monthly income (before tax)
*Repayments are calculated at 9% of anything you earn above £21,000
On average graduate students earn £12,000 more a year than their non-graduate peers… £500,000 over a lifetime!
Adzuna.com – June 2015 research which analysed 100 million job vacancies
Above all, remember that a degree gives you:
It’s a huge investment in your future!
Our Student Financial Support Service is here to help you. Find out how on our Financial Support Services page.
If you still have any questions or concerns about paying for your studies, please don’t hesitate to email the Student Financial Support Service or call them on +44 (0)115 848 2494.
Gov.uk (for full details on paying back your loan, the interest you’ll have to pay etc.)
Quick Start Finance Guide (step by step information on your student finance journey)