One of the main costs part-time students will have while studying is tuition fees. Student finance is available to cover the cost of the fees charged by your university or college – they will set 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 loan.
Any loan you borrow has to be paid back, but not until the April four years after the start of your course, or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first, and only when your income is over the repayment threshold.
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
- your course intensity
If you started your course on or after 1 September 2012, you can get a fee grant of up to £6,935.
Private universities or colleges may charge more than this. If they do, it's up to you to pay the difference.
You’ll 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 each 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|
If you started your course before 2012, and get a fee grant, this is paid in one single instalment to the uni or college.
If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send Student Finance England 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.
Proof of household income
If you’re applying for finance that depends on your household income, Student Finance England will ask your partner (if you have one) to give us their National Insurance number and details of their personal income. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will check this information matches their records.
Student Finance England may contact your partner to ask for evidence of their income, if the details they give don’t match HMRC’s records.
Your partner will need to give Student Finance England financial details every year you apply for student finance.
Changing your details
You must tell Student Finance England about any change in your circumstances which might affect your student finance.
The most common examples are:
- you’ve changed university or college
- you’ve changed your course (but stayed at the same university)
- you’ve left your course
- your name or contact details have changed
Before you start your new academic year, you can tell Student Finance England about any changes by filling in a ‘Change of Circumstances’ form, which you can download from www.gov.uk/studentfinance.
After the start of your new academic year, you’ll need to ask your university or college to tell Student Finance England about any changes to your tuition fee, your course, your course intensity, or if you repeat a year, leave higher education, or suspend your studies.