Uni is a big investment, so you may need a student loan from one of the regional student finance organisations – they advise you to apply by around May/June before the start of your course. You might be eligible for additional funding from other organisations too.
What financial support are you eligible for?
Apply to Student Finance England for a loan to cover tuition fees (paid directly to the university) and maintenance costs (paid directly into your bank account at the start of term). This is available wherever you choose to study in the UK, and is repayable. You don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.
Travel expenses – you may be able to get a grant to cover some of your travel expenses if:
- your course requires that you study abroad, or if you’re on an Erasmus work or study placement
- you’re a medical or dental student studying abroad, or undertaking a clinical placement in the UK
If you live in Wales, you can apply for a tuition fee loan (repayable) to cover some of your tuition fees, and a fee grant (non-repayable) for the remainder, regardless of where you choose to study in the UK. This will be paid directly to your university or college by Student Finance Wales. You don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.
If you are applying to a privately-funded university, you will not be eligible for a fee grant.
A maintenance loan is available from Student Finance Wales for full-time students to cover accommodation and living costs, and is paid directly into your bank account. This is repayable and the amount depends on where you will be living. You don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.
The Welsh Government Learning Grant and Special Support Grant are both means tested, non-repayable, and available to students from low income households. You can apply for either grant but not both, so check which is best for you.
OtherTravel expenses – if you are undertaking a clinical placement in the UK or studying abroad as part of your studies, you may be able to claim some of your costs. This grant can cover expenses such as medical insurance, visas, and vaccinations.
A student funding guide is available from SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland).
If you live in Scotland and choose to study full-time at a Scottish university or college, you will not have to pay tuition fees. However, you will need to apply to SAAS to have your tuition fees paid for you, as this is not automatic.
Scottish students who wish to study elsewhere in the UK will be charged the standard tuition fees for their chosen course provider, but may apply for a loan to cover the costs through SAAS.
Part-time students with an individual income of up to £25,000 per year can apply for a fee grant. The amount paid depends on your course.
The student loan (repayable) is means tested. There are different levels of support available if you are applying as a dependent or independent student, and you don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process. See the funding guide for more information
Bursaries (non-repayable) are means tested using either your parents’ income or your own household income if you are an independent student, and are available to Scottish students studying anywhere in the UK. Three bursaries are available:
- The Young Student’s Bursary (YSB) is an annual payment for students aged 25 or younger who are classed as ‘dependent’.
- The Independent Students’ Bursary (ISB) is an annual payment for independent students.
- Nursing and midwifery students may also apply for a non-income-assessed bursary (plus some additional allowances) for qualifying full-time courses at a Scottish university or college.
Travel expenses – you may be able to claim help with reasonable travel expenses if:
- you’re on an Allied Health Profession (AHP) course, or taking a nursing diploma/degree and need to travel to a practical placement away from the university
- studying abroad is a compulsory part of your course – you can claim the cost of your journey abroad and medical insurance
For students who live in Northern Ireland and choose to study at a Northern Irish course provider, the maximum tuition fee is capped, and you can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover this cost. Likewise, if you choose to study elsewhere in the UK, you may apply for a tuition fee loan, but the costs will be higher. This loan is repayable.
A repayable maintenance loan is available to full-time students to cover accommodation and living costs, and is paid directly into your bank account. The loan is means tested and will vary on where you live/study and the length of your course. You can apply from February and you don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.
The maintenance grant and Special Support Grant are means tested and help you pay for additional course-related costs such as books, travel, equipment, and childcare. You can apply for either grant but not both, so check which is best for you. Neither grant is repayable.
OtherTravel expenses – if you are a medical or dental student attending clinical training in the UK or Republic of Ireland as part of your course, or studying outside the UK for at least 50% of each term, you may be eligible to apply for a means tested grant to help with some of the costs incurred.
Further and higher education are inclusive environments, with support available to help you study.
There’s plenty of support in higher education for care leavers – with finances and accommodation, as well as help with settling in to your new surroundings.
International and EU students
If you live outside the UK you’ll need to arrange a Tier 4 student visa – unless you’re an EEA or Swiss national.
- If so, you’ll need to prove your English language skills, and make an application through UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
- Your university or college will help you to apply, and you can enter your passport details here on ucas.com when you fill in your application or after you have submitted it.
If you have any worries about starting your university course, just make sure you’re prepared.
- Make a schedule and arrange any childcare you need.
- Ask for help if there are any skills you need to update.
- Take time to settle in and talk to other students and support staff.
- Students not supported by their family (estranged)