Student finance

We recognise that fees and funding can be a complex topic for students and their families. That’s why we continuously work with students to ensure that finance is not seen as a barrier or obstacle to accessing Higher Education and that they understand what support is available to them.

Understanding Student Finance

For some students, concerns centre around the costs associated with Higher Education and finishing their studies with significant debt.

Reassurance that there are funding packages available for all to support them throughout their studies, that the repayments are kept very low and manageable and that crucially they are linked to their salary and not the amount owed can help alleviate these concerns.

If a student would like a more accurate picture of their potential student funding package they can utilise the GOV.UK student finance calculator.  Alternatively, visit our Fees and Funding resource section for an overview of the financial support available.

Above all, highlighting all of the incredible opportunities university can offer will help to generate excitement and enthusiasm. Being able to move away from home (both domestically and abroad!), meeting hundreds of new people, exploring a subject area in depth, gaining independence and enhancing employability are to name just a few.

Tuition fees

All students entering university for the first time are entitled to a non – means tested Tuition Fee Loan, which is payable directly to the institution where they will be studying and will cover the full cost of their course fees up to the value of £9250. The tuition fee charged can vary between institutions and courses. Understanding that university tuition costs are a study now, pay later scheme will help some students and their families overcome their concerns relating to the expense of their degree.

Living costs

The additional costs associated with university are often dependent on a student’s personal choices and preferences. They can include rent, utilities, food, course materials and socialising and are largely funded via the means tested Maintenance Loan. The amount an individual receives for this will depend on their circumstances but it can be supplemented further by part time employment.


Once a student finishes their studies they will find that the sum of their Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans will be consolidated, leaving them with one repayment per month. This only begins in the April after graduation and providing that the graduate is earning above £27,295. If their wage dips below this threshold, for any reason, the repayments cease. Any remaining balance thirty years after graduation is written off.

Scholarships and Bursaries

These are free pots of money allocated by universities to help students supplement and manage their finances. Each institution has their own package of support on offer and details regarding amounts, criteria and applications can be found via their websites.


Funding applications are carried out in the Spring of Year 13, and then renewed each subsequent Spring term until a student has finished their course. They are made to and processed by Student Finance and completed electronically. In order to begin an application or to research further detail of support available, students should visit the Student Finance webpage on the government website.


Managing a budget and financial commitments can be a steep learning curve for students entering higher education. Understanding the various different areas of expenditure associated with university can help students to appreciate where their financial support packages will be spent and forecast a weekly or monthly budget. It is very common for students to undertake part time employment during term time and in the holidays, providing it does not interfere with their academic commitments it is an excellent way of supplementing their finances.

Key information and tips


Tuition fees

  • Fees vary between institutions and courses, check the university websites for more information
  • Students are entitled to a non means tested Tuition Fee Loan to cover the cost
  • Tuition Fee Loan paid directly from Student Finance to the relevant university

Living costs

  • Can include rent, utilities, travel, food and socialising
  • Students are entitled to a means tested Maintenance Loan, amount received depends on:
    • Household income
    • Where a student lives
    • The location of their university
  • Paid to the student in three instalments, at the start of each term

Scholarships and Bursaries

  • Financial support that does not have to be repaid
  • Can be used to support tuition or living costs
  • Allocated by universities, based on different criteria
  • Applied for via the awarding institution, not Student Finance


  • Begin the April after graduation
  • Rates linked to salary NOT the amount borrowed
  • The threshold to begin making repayments is a salary of £27,295 per year
  • Any remaining balance 30 years after graduation is wiped