Your university or college sets your tuition fee. You should check with them how much you’ll be charged for your course, so you can apply for the right amount of Tuition Fee Loan.
The Tuition Fee Loan needs to be paid back, but not until you’ve finished or left your course, and your income is over the repayment threshold.
The following information is for full-time students – find out about Tuition Fee Loans for part-time students.
Most students won’t have to pay for tuition fees up front – you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to pay your fees.
How much you can get depends on:
- how much your university or college charges
- whether you’re studying at a publicly or privately-funded university or college
- when you started your course
You could get a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 if you're studying at an eligible uni or college. If you're studying an accelerated degree course, you could get up tp £11,100.
If you're not sure if a course qualifies for student finance, check with the uni or college.
Courses starting before 1 September 2012
If you started your course before 1 September 2012, you can get a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £3,465.
How it's paid
You need to register at your uni or college before Student Finance England can make your first payment. You’ll usually do this in the first week of your course, and you may have to take your student finance entitlement letter with you.
Your Tuition Fee Loan is paid directly to your university or college in three instalments during the academic year.
|When are payments made to your uni or college?||How much is paid to your uni or college?|
|At the start of term one||25% of the tuition fee|
|At the start of term two||25% of the tuition fee|
|At the start of term three||50% of the tuition fee|
How to apply
The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance as soon as the application service opens.
- Set up a student finance account
When you register, you’ll be given a unique Customer Reference Number, and will need to create a password and secret answer. You should keep these safe, as you’ll need them to sign in to your account to check the progress of your application, and reapply for student finance next year.
- Fill in and submit your application
The first time you apply, you’ll be asked for proof of identity. You can easily do this by providing your valid UK passport details. If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send evidence.
If you want to apply for student finance that depends on your household income, Student Finance England will ask your parents or partner for their National Insurance number, and their personal income details.
You will also need the following information to complete your finance application:
- course start date
- bank account details
- National Insurance number – don't worry if you don't know you National Insurance number, or where to find it. HMRC has made it quick and easy to find this information – all you have to do is register your details. This means you no longer have to contact HMRC directly to obtain your National Insurance number
- Send any evidence you're asked for
Student Finance England may contact you, or your parents/partner, to ask for evidence to support your application. If you’ve had no contact with your parents for over a year, you might be able to apply as an ‘independent student’.
To reapply for student finance, sign in to your student finance account, and apply online as soon as the application service opens.
If you’re applying for the first time, you can do this online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance.
- course start date
- bank account details
- National Insurance number
If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send evidence, such as a non-UK passport, or your UK birth or adoption certificate.
You should send this as quickly as possible to avoid any delay in your application being processed. Remember to include your Customer Reference Number with everything you send to Student Finance England.
Proof of household income
If you’re applying for finance that depends on your household income, Student Finance England will ask your parents or partner to give Student Finance England their National Insurance numbers, and details of their personal income. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will check this information matches their records.
Student Finance England may contact your parents or partner to ask for evidence of:
- their income – if the details they give don’t match HMRC’s records
- their marital status – if they’re separated or divorced
Your parents or partner will need to give Student Finance England financial details every year you apply for student finance.
Changing your details
If any of your details change after you’ve applied for student finance, don’t worry – you can simply update your application. Before the start of your course, you can use your online account to make changes to:
- your choice of course
- your choice of university or college
- the amount of loan you’re applying for
- your personal details
You can also use your online account to change your personal details once your course has started. But if there are any changes to your course, you should contact Student Finance England and let your university or college know.
If you don’t tell Student Finance England about a change to your circumstances, you might end up being overpaid. In this case, you might have to start repaying earlier and before your income is over the repayment threshold.