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 to £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 need to send us your original UK birth or adoption certificate.
We’ll return your evidence as soon as we’ve checked it, so you won’t be without your original documents for long. The sooner you apply and send your evidence, the quicker we’re able to return it. We’ll return your original documents using a secure method of post.
You’ll need to send a UK Birth/Adoption Certificate form with your birth certificate and ask someone to sign it for you and provide their details. This person must be a professional person of good standing in the community, such as a:
- police officer
- teacher or lecturer
- civil servant
- social worker
These are only a few examples. Check the full list of acceptable occupations.
The person signing the form must also meet all of the following:
- they must have known you for at least 2 years,
- they must not be related to you by birth or marriage,
- they must not be in a personal relationship with you,
- they must not live at the same address as you,
- they must hold a current UK passport, and
- they must currently live in the UK.
Non-UK and non-EU nationals
If you’re a non-UK and non-EU national, you will need to send us your original passport or Home Office biometric residence permit card.
You’ll also need to provide us with proof of your lawful residency status in the UK for the full 3 years prior to the start of your course. Your biometric residence permit card or proof of your visa stamped in your passport are both acceptable forms of evidence to prove your status. We’ll return your original documents using a secure method of post.
It’s important to apply early and send us your evidence as soon as possible. We’ll return your evidence as soon as we’ve checked it, so you don’t need to worry about being without your original documents for long.Do not send your original documents to us if you’re due to travel within 8 weeks as we can’t guarantee they’ll be sent back in time. Instead, you should send the evidence when you return from travelling.