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Student Finance's guide to financial support for higher education students.

Note: The information on this page relates to new full-time undergraduate students starting university in September 2011. The government is in the process of renovating the student finance system for students starting university from September 2012 onward. We will of course update this page as the finalised details emerge, however, in the meantime follow the web links at the bottom of this article for further information.



If you're thinking of going to university, you'll have two main expenses to pay, your living costs and your tuition fees.


Living Costs

Living costs include expenses such as rent, food, clothes, socialising, books and anything else you spend whilst at university. If you want to stay out of trouble, making sure you manage your budget effectively is key, read our article on managing your money for more tips on budgeting and for further information on living costs, .


Tuition Fees

If you're starting university in September 2011 you could face tuition fees of up to £3,375 a year, however the government will lend you the money to pay for this via your student loan. Whilst this may sound like a lot of money to borrow, when you consider that university graduates earn on average £100,000 more over the course of their lifetime than someone who left school with only A levels, it soon starts to look like a worthwhile investment in your future.


Financial Support

Student Loan for Fees

You can borrow up to £3,375 per year to cover the cost of your tuition fees. This money is paid straight to the university of your choice and is available to all eligible students (it is not based on household income). You'll need to start repaying your student load once you've graduated and are earning over £15,000 per year.


Student Loan for Maintenance

All eligible students are also entitled to a student loan for maintenance, this can be up to £4,950 per year (more if you're going to university in London), although the amount you receive will be dependent on your parents earnings. Like the student loan for fees, you'll need to start repaying your student load once you've graduated and are earning over £15,000 per year.


Maintenance Grant

If you're parents earn less than £50,000 per year you may also be eligible for a maintenance grant of up to £2,906 per year, the amount you receive is dependent on your parents earnings. Unlike the student loans, the maintenance grant does not have to be repayed.


Additional Help & Support

Additional financial support is available for students with disabilities and/or dependants.

For further advice and useful web links for students with disabilities please click here.

For further information for students with dependants please click here


Helping Yourself

In addition to their student loans and maintenance grants, many students take a part-time job to help them through university. Working between 12 - 16 hours per week, and even more in the summer holidays, can provide a great boost to your finances as a student.


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