Not sure how to pay for uni, or how you’ll cope during your studies? Don’t worry, there’s a wide range of support available for all sorts of circumstances.
Student finance explained | Student Finance England
Sort out your student finance in three easy steps. Video provided by Student Finance England. Note that financial support varies across the UK.
What financial support are you eligible for?
In terms of finance, UCAS only manages the application fee, but we’ll explain all the uni costs here.
Full-time undergraduate 2022 to 2023 applications are expected to open from March 2022, 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.
Find out more from Student Finance England
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 tuition fees, regardless of where you choose to study in the UK. This will be paid directly to your university or college by Student Finance Wales. Full-time undergraduate student finance applications for the 2022 to 2023 academic year are expected to open from March 2022, and you don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.
The Welsh government has some useful information about the financial support available on its website.
Apply to Student Finance Wales
All eligible students will receive £1,000 a year for accommodation and living costs. Students may also be eligible for an additional means-tested maintenance grant. The total amount will be based on household income, with the highest level of support going to those most in need.
Students who do not receive a full grant will also be able to apply for a maintenance loan from Student Finance Wales. This is repayable and the amount depends on where you will be living. You can apply from February, and you don’t need to have a confirmed offer of a place at uni to start the process.
Read more about the help you can get with living costs from Student Finance Wales.
The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol offers additional funding if you study subjects through the medium of Welsh.
Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol has more info – contact them on 01267 610 400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Travel 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.
There are extra grants available to help support you through your studies, depending on your personal circumstances. There's help available for students who have children, adult dependants, or a disability.
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.
Apply to Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS)
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.
- Scottish-domiciled 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.
Apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland
– 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.
Scholarships, bursaries, and grants
You may be able to access extra sources of financial support – find out more about scholarships, bursaries, and grants
Course providers can offer support in many ways.
As well as financial help, you may also be able to get study support (for example, if you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, or if you need to brush up on some academic skills), or help to manage your studies around other priorities (such as caring responsibilities), or even to help with personal circumstances (e.g. if you are going to uni without the support of your parents).
Additionally, if you are worried about the social aspects of university, getting accommodation, or would like help to manage your mental health and wellbeing, there are lots of options available.
Universities and colleges are inclusive environments, with support available to help you study. Make sure you speak to your course provider as early as possible so they can arrange support or make any adjustments you need to make a successful transition to your studies.
Don’t forget, when you apply for student finance, you will also be able to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). Find out more about DSAs.
Students with care experience
Refugees and asylum seekers
If you're a refugee or asylum seeker applying to higher education, there's support available to help you with finance and your studies.
It's a good idea to contact universities or colleges before you apply, to discuss what support they can offer you. This will depend on your circumstances, and you will need to let them know your refugee status.
Find out more
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 parents (estranged)
If you are studying without the support of your parents due to a breakdown in your relationship (also known as being estranged), you may be eligible to apply for student finance as an independent student. Many universities also offer other forms of support, so it’s well worth doing your research before you apply.
Find out more
If you have caring responsibilities
If you are responsible for providing unpaid care to a family member, partner or friend, you may be able to receive extra support during your studies. This could include financial help, such as a bursary, support with managing your workload and deadlines, or even help with your own health and wellbeing.
Find out more
Help with mental health and wellbeing
There are lots of different ways in which universities support students with their mental health and wellbeing. Whether you’re struggling to adapt to a new situation, managing an existing mental health condition, or would just like to know how to maintain good mental health and wellbeing, it’s important to know what’s available.
Student Space is a new online hub from Student Minds. Here you can find support for mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a range of information, access to dedicated support services (phone or text), details of the support available at your university, and tools to help you manage the challenges of student life.
Visit the Student Space website.
Find out more
Other personal circumstances
Whatever you need support for, it’s always a good idea to speak to your course provider directly to see how they can help you – you might be surprised by what’s available
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International and EU students
Find student accommodation
The buzz of campus halls, student housing in town, or your own private living space? Discover which accommodation is right for you.