Higher Education is free at the point of entry and if you’re full time, you can get help with living costs too!
Find out more
The government, via the Student Loans Company, offers loans and grants to cover your Tuition Fees and assist with your living expenses while you are studying. Tuition loans are available to full- and part-time students. Maintenance Loans and Grants are currently only available to full time Home students.
In this section you will find details of:
- Tuition Fee Loan
- Maintenance Loan (living cost loan)
- Maintenance Grants
- How much living expenses you could get
- Paying it back
- Where to find more information
Tuition Fee Loan
If you're a full-time or part-time student (if the latter studying at 25% intensity) ordinarily resident in England, or an EU student, studying for your first degree or other higher education course you can get a government loan that will completely cover your tuition fees.
- You don't have to wait until you've been formally offered a place at university before applying for your tuition fee loan, and you don't have to have your loan approved before you can start your course.
- You can log back in and change your course or university details on your finance application if you want / need to before enrolment
- We advise you to apply as early as possible so your finance is in place when your course begins.
- Applications for Student Finance open after the New Year (for new students)
- Continuing students also have to reapply for each year of finance
Visit the Gov.uk website to apply now.
Maintenance Loan (living cost loan)
You'll also see a Maintenance Loan referred to as a 'living cost loan'.
If you're a full-time Home student you can apply for a maintenance loan. This is a loan available to help you with the day-to-day costs of going to university (a place to live, food, travel and course materials, for example). The amount you can borrow depends on where you live and study and your household income. You can apply for your maintenance loan when you apply for your tuition loan.
You will also see grants as 'non-repayable finances'.
If you are a full-time Home student you can also apply for a maintenance grant. If your household income is under £25,000 per annum you could be entitled to up to £3,387. If your family income is between £25,000 and £42,620 you could be entitled to a partial grant.
- Household income - The amount you could get as a maintenance grant or maintenance loan depends on your family income, whether you are living at home whilst studying and where you live.
How much could I get?
Figures in the table below refer to students living away from home and studying outside of London and are based on the latest data for 2014/15 entry.
NB: The package of support differs if you're living at home and studying outside of London. For more information see Gov.uk.
||Maintenance Grant (£)
||Loan for living cost (£)
||Total Grant plus Loan (£)
| Student studying outside London (Max Loan £5,555*)
|*65% of loan is non-income assessed
Paying it back
- You only repay 9% of your gross income (i.e. before tax or other deductions) above £21k.
- For example, if you are earning £25k a year you’d pay back £6.92 per week. (This is worked out as follows: £25,000 - £21,000 = £4,000. You will only pay back anything (9%) on earnings over £21,000: 9% of £4,000 is £360. So you would have to pay back £360 per year. Divide this by 12 and it amounts to £30 per month or by 52 and it is £6.92 per week).
- Payments will be taken directly from your salary via the tax system (or through the self-assessment process if self-employed).
- If your income later drops below £21k you will stop repaying until it increases again
- If you haven’t paid off the whole debt 30 years after graduating, anything remaining will be written off by the Government
You do pay interest on your loan up to the rate of inflation plus 3%, but this does not affect the way you pay it back.
The following websites can help you learn more about student finance: