Student funding and finance: three things you need to know

06 October 2017

There are a lot of mixed messages around student funding and finance, about how much individuals are entitled to and the cost of tuition.

We want students to have access to the information you need to make informed choices about your education, so here are three things you need to know about student finance:

1 What about tuition fees?

Tuition fees in England and Wales were increased to £9,000 a year in 2012. Since then, inflation has caused the cost of delivering a university course to rise but fees have not risen in line with this. 2017 will be the first year that there has been an inflationary increase, with fees rising to £9,250 a year. However, the government has committed to freezing fees at this level. These fees are not paid upfront. Instead, you won’t pay back until you are working and earning more than £21,000 a year. While the government has announced that they will raise the repayment threshold to £25,000 a year, we are waiting to hear when this new threshold will come in. Unlike a personal loan, repayments are based on your salary and are set at 9% of your earnings above the repayment threshold. If after 30 years you have not paid off the loan, the debt will be written off.


2 Loans are now available for postgraduate and undergraduate students

There are two types of loan a student can get – one for tuition fees and one for maintenance to cover living costs. Students taking a masters degree can get a loan for tuition fees of up to £10,000 and will be able to access maintenance loans from 2018.

The level of maintenance loan you can receive for an undergraduate course will be means-tested and depend on a number of factors including:

  • Your annual household income
  • Whether you study full time or part time
  • Whether or not you live with your parents
  • Whether you study inside or outside of London.

For students in England, you can apply for your maintenance loan online here.

For more information about your entitlement to student finance here

The funding available to students in each of the devolved regions is slightly different and you can find further information about the arrangements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.


3 Bursaries are available from all Russell Group universities to support students from low income backgrounds

We know that bursaries play an important part in encouraging students from disadvantaged backgrounds to continue their studies at university and complete their course.

Effective bursary schemes address the concerns of some students who feel they may not be able to finance their years of study. Financial worries should never be a barrier to study.

You can apply for this funding directly from your university fees office. Check individual university websites for more information.

Extra help is also available – more information here

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