A Tuition Fee Loan covers the cost of the fees charged by your university or college. Content provided by Student Finance England.

Part-time student finance applications for academic year 2024 to 2025 are now open, apply now!

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.

What's available?

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.


Whether you can get student finance depends on your:

  • personal circumstances
  • course
  • course intensity
  • university or college

How it's paid

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.

How to apply

When you apply for student finance, you'll need to agree to Student Finance England's terms and conditions.
The easiest way to apply for student finance is online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance as soon as the application service opens. If you’re a continuing student, Student Finance England will send you an email to let you know when it’s time to reapply.


Proof of identity

UK nationals

Include your valid UK passport details in your application the first time you apply.

If you don’t have a UK passport (or it has expired), you can upload a copy of your UK birth or adoption certificate to your online account.

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 three 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.

Don't send your original documents to us if you’re due to travel within eight weeks as we can’t guarantee they’ll be sent back in time. Instead, you should send the evidence when you return from travelling.

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 your initial course start date, 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/apply-for-student-finance/change-an-application.

After your course start date, you’ll need to ask your university or college to tell us about any of the following changes:

  • your tuition fee amount
  • your course details
  • your course intensity
  • you repeat a year
  • you leave higher education
  • suspend your studies