The Big Fat Guide to Student Finance 2015

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By in Student Finance. Updated February 2015.

Student finance – it’s all very confusing now isn’t it? Why can’t university just be free and simple like it used to be?student finance guideWell, the reality is that the student finance system in the UK has gone through some huge and very controversial changes since 2012, resulting in higher tuition fees (for most students). But £9,000+ tuition fees is not the only headline! Along with the fee hike, there are new student loan repayment and application conditions which you really need to know about.

Why bother reading this guide?

student_protest_dublin_budget31Save the Student has been following the developments, petitioned against higher fees and commented in countless newspapers from the very beginning with the unveiling of the Browne report in late-2010. So by no means do we support the rise but we believe it is vital that the myths are debunked and students are aware of the facts.

Are the changes as bad as many make out? What do they mean and how might they affect you? Is it even worth going to university anymore?

If you can stick with us and get through this page (we know it’s not the most riveting topic!), you’ll be in the best position to manage your future finances and avoid any surprises.

student finance ebookPrefer an ebook? That’s cool, go ahead and download our free book, The Essential Student Guide to Finance. It’s got loads more juicy bits beyond student finance!

If you are a student from outside of England then please check out student finance reviews for WalesScotlandNorthern IrelandEU countries or international students.


In a nutshell

Student finance is never a simple topic to cover (well, except when university was free!). On this page we’ll touch only on the most important things students need to know. But if you’re struggling to find the will to digest it all right now, I’ll lay down a quick summary:

  1. The maximum universities can charge for tuition fees in 2015 is £9,000. That’s a three-fold increase on 2011.
  2. Full-time students can apply for a maintenance loan of £5,740 (more for those in London)
  3. The average university graduate will be saddled with a student debt of around £43,500
  4. You pay back 9% of everything you earn over £21,000 per annum
  5. Biggest myth: You do not pay a penny for your education until you graduate and earn a decent salary!
  6. After 30 years any outstanding student debt is written off
  7. Interest is charged at the rate of inflation +3% pa whilst you are at university, which continues at 0-3% pa thereafter (depending on your salary)
  8. Your student loan repayments are deducted from your paycheck by your employer
  9. Funding and support is available for a good proportion of students, but especially those from lower income families
  10. Many of these changes now apply for part-time students, however they cannot apply for a maintenance loan
  11. There are differences between systems in England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland
  12. Whilst the real cost of university education for some is tripling, some students will also be better off under the new system (see our calculator)

Still with us? Keep reading to get a clearer understanding of what the changes mean for you based on the facts.

How much will university cost in 2015?

Manchester universityAs of September 2012, the maximum a university in the UK is able to charge in tuition fees is a staggering £9,000 per year for a full-time undergraduate. There is, however, some variation in cost between countries (see below).

Prior to 2012, university fees in England stood at £3,375 pa, and pre-1998 university education was free.

Differences for universities across the UK:

England – UK students to pay a maximum of £9,000 pa, except Welsh students who won’t pay more than £3,575.

Scotland – Scottish students can still study for free in 2015. However non-Scottish students will pay the full amount.

Wales – UK students to pay a maximum of £9,000.

Northern Ireland – Northern Irish students pay £3,575 pa. However other UK students will pay the full amount.

EU students can apply for much the same as British nationals. Other international student tuition fees will not be affected by the changes.

Tuition fees and basic living costs can be covered by a student loan, repayable only when earning above £21,000 pa. The government has also brought regulation into place stating that any university looking to charge over £6,000 will have to supply extra financial support to its students from low-income families. However, as we’ll see below, over a third of universities in England plan to implement the maximum £9,000 fees, with many predicting that the average university and course will charge £8,500. Find out what your university will be charging.

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of your degree, then look towards colleges and smaller universities which have cheaper fees to attract more students. For example, Manchester college has stated that they will be charging £5,585 a year for their degree courses. It might also mean they are local to you so you’ll save a few grand by living at home. We’ll cover a few other ways to cut your student debt amount later on.

However, as we’ll see, it’s important to know that a cheaper degree isn’t always the best way to go, even if you are concerned about price. No student will have to pay for their education up-front, and will only start repaying their student loan upon earning a decent salary.

How much would uni could cost you per hour?
Find out with our calculator!

Applying for student finance

For more information on the types of student finance available for UK students see the websites below.

England: Student Finance England

Scotland: Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Wales: Student Finance Wales

Northern Ireland: Student Finance Northern Ireland

You can also follow our quick guide on Applying for student finance, which also has the application deadline dates for this year.

How much is my university charging in 2015?

Use the search field in the table below to find any UK university’s maximum fees:

UniversityPlanned Tuition Fees 2012 (£)
Anglia Ruskin8,300
Bath Spa9,000
Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln7,500
Blackburn College (University Centre)7,000
Brighton and Sussex Medical School9,000
Brunel University9,000
Bucks New6,000-8000
Canterbury Christ Church8,500
City University, London9,000
College of Law9,000
De Montfort9,000
East Anglia9,000
East London9,000
Edge Hill9,000
Falmouth 9,000
Glasgow Caledonian7,000
Glasgow School of Art6,750-9,000
Glyndwr University5,850-7,750
Harper Adams University College9,000
Imperial College9,000
King's College London9,000
Leeds Met8,500
Leeds Trinity8,000
Liverpool John Moores9,000
London Met4,500-9,000
London School of Economics8,500
London South Bank5,950-8,450
Manchester Metropolitan8,000-9,000
Newman University College8,500
Norwich University College8,500
Nottingham Trent8,500
Open University5,500
Oxford Brookes9,000
Plymouth 9,000
Queen Mary, University of London 9,000
Royal Agricultural College9,000
Royal Holloway9,000
Royal Veterinary College7,500-9,000
Sheffield Hallam8,500
Southampton Solent7,800
St. Andrews9,000
St. Mary's University College8,000
St. Georges9,000
Staffordshire University7,500-8,500
Swansea Metropolitan8,500
Trinity St. David9,000
University of the Arts London9,000
University Campus Suffolk7,500-8,000
University College London9,000
University College Plymouth Marjon7,800
University of East Anglia9,000
University of Central Lancashire9,000
University of East London9,000
University of the West of England9,000
University of West London7,500-8,200
Writtle College8,000
York St. John8,500

Notes about the figures:

  • These are the proposed fees for all universities in 2015 within the UK.
  • Universities in Wales, Scotland & N. Ireland will also raise their fees, though this may not always affect their national students.
  • Welsh students who study outside of the UK will have anything above £3,575 paid by the Welsh Assembly.
  • Figures correct as of Jan 2015. All figures are correct for a student looking to study a full 3 year undergraduate degree.
  • Fees shown are a maximum. Some courses may offer lower fees.

See which universities will be charging £9,000 for more info.

Don’t forget the maintenance loan!

The maintenance loan is often forgotten when discussing the rise in tuition fees. It’s entirely optional, though the majority of full-time students in the UK will have a maintenance loan of £5,740 a year (part-time students are not able to apply).

This is not a loan from the university but from your local funding body, and its sole purpose is to cover your living costs. It is normally received in 3 installments during the year. A maintenance loan is borrowed money that is added to your student loan, and you’ll  have to pay it back at the same rate as your tuition fees.

If you were to add this amount to the average cost of the tuition fee loan over a degree of 3 years, you are looking at an alarming student debt of £43,500*!

baked beans
Some students living in London can apply for a maintenance loan of up to £8,009 a year, adding on another £7,000 over 3 years. So take into account where you want to study, as it can have a long-term financial impact on your total student debt.

The amount you are eligible for depends on a number of factors, including your combined household income and place of study (inside or outside of London).

Below is a table of the maximum you can apply for:

Where you live & StudyMaintenance Loan
Living at home£4565
Living away from home and studying outside of London£5740
Living away from home and studying in London£8009
Spending a year of your course abroad£6820

If your combined household income is below £42,620 then you will be able to subsidise your maintenance loan with a maintenance grant. For more information on this see the section on what funding is available below.

* These figures are based on the 2015 maintenance and student loan figures given by DirectGov. These figures only apply if you are a full-time student, your family has a household income above £42,620 a year and you receive no grants, scholarships or extra funding.

What funding is available for students in 2015?

money on printingAs the cost of university fees in 2012 rose, so did the need for more students to seek additional funding (aside from a student loan) to study their chosen degree. This could come in the form of bursaries, scholarships or grants.

Any university looking to charge over £6,000 will legally have to offer more funding, especially to students from lower-income families.

Below is a quick overview of the most important sources of student funding available in 2015, including a few things to watch out for. For a full review of funding, see student grants, bursaries and scholarships.

Maintenance grants

Students are eligible for a grant if their family earns below £42,620 a year. The maximum available is currently £3,387 pa, which is non-repayable. However, it’s important to note that for every £1 you get as a maintenance grant, your maintenance loan is reduced by 50p.

If your family earns below £25,000 a year then you will receive £3,387 as a non repayable grant but also have your maintenance loan cut to £4,047 (total £7,434 if you are living away from home outside of London).

See the table below for an idea of what your total funding could be (living away from home outside of London).

Household IncomeMaintenance LoanMaintenance GrantFull Amount
< £25,000£4,047£3,387£7,434
< £42,620£5,519£50£5,569

The National Scholarship Programme

Note: We are still awaiting confirmation on whether the NSP will be available in 2015.

If your family’s household income is below £25,000 a year then you will be eligible for the National Scholarship Programme.

The amount you get from the programme will not affect your student loan amount (unlike the maintenance grant). If you are eligible then you will be entitled to a maximum of £1,000 plus accommodation, or fee waivers.

Universities differ in what they offer, you can find out what each prospective university offers here.

Awards and scholarships

These are a bit different to student grants in that they are awarded for outstanding academic achievements rather than being purely income assessed. A surprising amount of students are unaware that they are able to receive funding for a whole range of things, including their birthplace!

Disability student allowances

There are three kinds of DSAs, covering equipment and general care, which help cover the cost of studying due to a disability. They are not income assessed and apply for all ages.

Students can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances when they apply for other student finance. For further details see

Other types of student grants

There are some other grants available such as the special support grant, travel grant, teaching grant and the NHS bursary. For more information see Student grants, bursaries and scholarships.

How much of my student loan will I pay back?

Claim supermarket money backThere are a number of factors which will determine how you repay your student loan (both tuition and maintenance loans).

With the changes in the British student loan system, you are likely to owe much more than before 2012, however you do not necessarily have to pay the whole loan back.

Moreover, you will only start repaying your loan once you hit a higher salary of £21,000 (previously £15k). So what you will have to ultimately repay largely depends on the salary you achieve as well as the length of time you have a student loan.

Most graduates will hit the £21k threshold within a few years, but you can check the average starting salary for each degree.

Once you’ve got a reasonable value for your average salary, use our accurate student loan repayment calculator to work out exact repayment figures and dates.

Typical student loan repayments for various salaries:

SalaryMonthly RepaymentYearly Repayment

To fully understand how much you will pay back and over how long, we need to take a closer look at the details.

Pay 9% of anything you earn over £21,000 pa

Graduates will leave university with an average student debt of £40,000+. Under the old student finance system, graduates are required to repay 9% of all earnings over £16,365 per annum (in 2015 & rising each year with inflation). Under the new system graduates will repay 9% of anything above £21,000 pa.

Any student debt you have remaining after 30 years upon graduating will be written off, however this is an additional 5 more years on the previous 25 year cut-off.

So in theory, you will repay less on your student loan every month under the new system.

Also, you should have noticed that you still end up paying back the same amount every week whether your yearly tuition  fees were £7,000 or £9,000. It will just take you more time to repay them if they are £9,000. Therefore it’s important to remember that despite your total student debt being higher, your repayments are just as affordable under the new system.

You pay tax on your initial salary

Unfortunately, paying back your student loan does not entitle you to any income tax breaks. You will be taxed on your income before the loan repayment comes off.

For example, if you earn £45,000 a year then you will pay income tax on that amount before having to repay £2,160 of that towards your student loan. Basically, tax and student loan payment are separate things calculated from the same salary figure.

WARNING: The government can change the repayment conditions at any time!

Some top economists have spotted that there is nothing in the student loan agreement guaranteeing that the 9% or £21,000 figures are fixed indefinitely once you graduate . Just something to watch out for which is rarely reported.

Interest will be charged on top of inflation

With the old student loans system the interest on repayments is set at the current rate of inflation (RPI). In theory, your wage should grow at the rate of inflation over time and therefore it is essentially 0% interest (commercially speaking, though it’s a bit murky).

Unfortunately, with the new student loan system, interest will be charged on top of inflation. Essentially the Student Loans Company (SLC) will be making a tidy profit off lending to students. Below is a quick guide on how this added interest will affect new students.

Whilst at university: You will pay the rate of inflation (RPI) plus another 3%. This will be the same until April in the year following your graduation. Even before graduating, students taking a loan with the SLC will have racked up a hefty amount of interest in addition to the higher fees.

After graduating: If you earn under £21,000 then your interest rate will be set at inflation (RPI), as with the old system. For every additional £1k you will be charged an extra 0.15% pa on your loan. Once you earn above £41,000 you will incur the additional 3% annual interest rate.

(A big) However, despite all of this, graduates will actually make repayments of  £540 less every year compared to the old system. The catch is that the total debt will be much higher and therefore you will be paying off your student loan for a longer period.

3 more brief points:

  1. Savings count:
    If you have savings or alternative investments of over £2,000 then any interest you make on your savings will be counted towards your income. For example, if you earn £19,000 a year you will have to make over £2,000 that year in savings interest in order to break the student finance threshold. To give you an idea (£67,000 at an interest of around 3% will equate to £2,000).
  2. Self-employed:
    If you are self-employed then you will have to file your self-assessment each year. You will need to take into account your salary for the year and pay 9% on anything over £21,000.
  3. Moving abroad:
    There is a strong rumour spread across universities that says if you move abroad for a certain amount of years then your student debt is written off. I’m afraid this is not the case and you still have to pay back anything you earn over £21,000.

How will I repay my student loan?

Simple. Your minimum student loan repayment comes out of your basic salary once you hit the £21k salary threshold. Unless you are self-employed, it is your employer’s responsibility that the right deductions are made.

When should I repay my student loan?

question_markYou can choose to clear your student debt or make higher repayments at any time, however it’s not always a good idea if you can’t afford to in the long term.

Whilst you may be tempted to pay off your student loan in full to avoid added charges, it’s important to remember that even at 3%, the rate is far cheaper than normal commercial loans. Only pay it off when you are financially comfortable and are not likely to need the money in the future.

There’s also been some suggestion that the Government may bring into force a piece of regulation that either doesn’t allow early repayments or penalises you for doing so. We’re not 100% on this, but we’ll look into this later.

5 tips for slashing student debt

So you know the broad types of funding which are available to help cut the cost of attending university. Now it’s worth absorbing a few nuggets of advice to help you save you time when applying, and ensure you’re making an informed choice.

  1. Always search to see if you are eligible for any funding

    Every year hundreds of students miss out on free money from a whole variety of sources simply because they are unaware these money pots exist for them. Even if you believe that you don’t fit the low-income criteria, there are still opportunities to secure funding through scholarships and even company sponsorship.

    If you don’t search, you won’t find. If you don’t ask, you won’t get! As tuition fees treble, there’s no better time to seek out external funding.

    I won’t go into much detail here on how exactly to find funding as we’ve got a page dedicated to Student Bursary and Scholarship sources.

  2. Choose a bursary over waived fees

    Universities now have an obligation to offer students from a lower-income background financial support, either in the form of a bursary or tuition fee waiver. If you get the option then choose the bursary, here’s why:

    As we’ve seen above, graduates pay back the same every year, whether their degree cost £6,000 or £9,000 a year. Some students will never have to pay back the entirety of their student loans, so in this case a fee waiver would mean that you miss out on a student loan.

    More to the point, student loans as of 2012 don’t start becoming repayable until you’re over the £21k. So our advice would be to take the bursary upfront and then take the fees on as your student debt.

  3. Get a part-time job

    This may not be traditional student funding (in terms of money for doing nothing more), however a student part-time job is a very good way of paying for your education whilst you’re taking it. There are lots of jobs which are be flexible around your studies. With the increase in tuition fees, getting a part-time job will be essential for a growing number of students in 2015.

    Read up on our Student job section for advice on getting a job, and have a search through our listed  Part-time student jobs to see what jobs are going in your area.

  4. Ask your parents for some money

    Yes, it’s a little cheeky, but if your parents are in a position to financially support you through some part of your university then it can be a big helping hand in allowing you to concentrate on your studies. Just reassure them you’ll do a good job at looking after them when they need you in the future! More on that here.

  5. Make your own money!

    A student job isn’t for everyone, and there are lots of other ways you can make relatively easy money whilst studying. Lucky for you, we’ve shared lots of them with you in our Quick Cash Injections guide.

Remember! Your loan or funding is just one side of your student budget. Learn our best ways to save money as a student and you’re overall student debt will be slashed!

You can now find out exactly how much university will cost you with our easy student finance calculator.

You made it! Hopefully this guide to the new fees system has given you a clear idea of what it means for you, based on facts not hype. Of course there’s a whole heap of information out there which we wouldn’t want to bore you with, but use this as a launch-pad to send you in the right direction.

If you are looking to apply for student finance, then you might want to read how to apply for student finance.

You’ll no doubt have some questions, so please do ask away below and we promise to give every student a response.

Leave a comment

284 Responses to “The Big Fat Guide to Student Finance 2015”

  1. Jaaon saville

    30. Nov, 2015

    Hi …
    My daughter started uni in sept. 2015…
    She has received the 5.000 grant for living expenses.
    And also the 9.000 for tuition fees …
    Unfortunately. .. she wants to drop out as it’s not for her….
    Can anyone please advise what is the best thing for her to do regarding the 9.000 and the 5.000 now a total of 14k ….
    Because she is quitting uni life. Will she still have to pay back.all these loans . And also as the uni has only.been paid the first installment of 3.000 can she now cancelled the loan as she is.leaving ….
    Any advise would be helpfull.

    • Jake Butler

      01. Dec, 2015

      Hi, it’s worth contacting student finance about this to find out what the situation is. They usually calculate how much money should have been used from the grant up until this point and will then ask for the remainder to be paid back to them. This is the same with the maintenance loan.

  2. Ana

    23. Nov, 2015

    Hi Jake

    I just started Uni in September 2015. SFE declined my application for for Tuition fee due to previous qualification. I had a previous study in Asia ( not in the UK/EU) and was self funded by my parents 15 years ago. SFE told me that I am not entitled to unless I can prove to them that the course I am currently studying is not equivalent to or is higher than my previous qualification. I managed to get a conversion or its equivalent in the UK from the NARIC. NARIC converted my previous qualification to BTEC/ HND foundation degree level 4. and I am currently studying level 6 course ( BA Hons). I nearly finished the first semester and I still fighting for tuition fee loan.

    SFE granted my application for maintenance allowance but not the tuition fee. I have made an appeal

    At the moment, the University is chasing payment for this course as I have incurred cost since September to present. an amount which I could not even afford to pay. I left my permanent job to go to University.

    I am now in a big mess.. I do not understand why the policy on previous study has to apply to student who had a previous study from the other country where it is not even recognise as a degree in the UK.

    Has anyone experiencing the same problem with SFE??

  3. Lucie

    29. Oct, 2015

    My daughter started at Birmingham Uni in September. She was awarded a full maintenance grant as I am a single parent earning less than £12000 pa. she has just received an email from university of Birmingham saying she owes them £9000 and needs to pay it all by 11th November or they are going to take action out against her. Obviously this is very distressing and worrying. Why would this email have been sent to her? What can we do about it?

    • Jake Butler

      29. Oct, 2015

      Hi Lucie, this sounds like they are asking for the tuition fee loan although it’s odd that they have asked for it. The maintenance loan/grant is for covering day to day living costs and the tuition fee loan (£9000 a year) is for covering the course and uni costs. Usually student finance give everyone a tuition fee loan which is paid straight to the university. It might be worth chasing up the university and student finance about this.

  4. Adrian

    06. Oct, 2015

    I am self-employed as a sole trader, having employed my wife as a secretary. My annual gross income is £ 35000. Off it I paid my wife gross salary of £7650.
    Our combined gross income only technically is £ 42650. Therefore, our son has been refused maintenance grant for his year 2 at University, in spite of the fact that I paid my wife from my only real gross income of £ 35000.
    Should we appeal against that decision since our real gross household income is only £ 35000?

    • Jake Butler

      08. Oct, 2015

      Hi Adrian, unfortunately it seems as if this is a very unique case. As the student finance system is quite rigid I would say it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to appeal this but it might be worth trying.

  5. Julie

    05. Oct, 2015

    Can you please help clarify something for me. My son will be starting Uni hopefully next year. When applying for student finance, I understand we have to declare our income from the previous year. What happens if your income at the time of application bears no resemblance to your from the previous year, i.e. being made redundant and having no income?

    • Jake Butler

      06. Oct, 2015

      Hi Julie, if your circumstances change during the year you should contact student finance and they will most likely ask you to fill out some change of income forms so that they can reassess your son’s grants and loans.

  6. Nick

    02. Oct, 2015

    My partner who is American Italian born in USA holds an EU passport bearing place of birth as USA.

    She is moving to the U.K but would like to attend college for A levels though this will mean she is not meeting the 3yr EU level of residency.

    I am registered disabled and am British. I can not help financially right now. Is there any help she can get ?

    Thank you

  7. Paul Grieve

    22. Sep, 2015

    My daughter is going to Uni next year.We have saved money for her since she was young.Please can you tell me if these savings are taken into account when she applies for fee loan a Maintain loan or is it just the intrest.
    Is it just income they look at.

    • Jake Butler

      28. Sep, 2015

      The savings should not be taken into account. Just the interest.

    • Paul Grieve

      28. Sep, 2015

      Hi Jake
      Thanks for your comment.

  8. K Siarey

    20. Sep, 2015

    Hi, my son started at Uni last week. He has informed me that apart from him everybody’s money has been paid into their accounts. What does he need to do next. Can’t think of what step he has missed after receiving the entitlement letter from student finance with the dates when the money should be paid into his account.

    • Jake Butler

      28. Sep, 2015

      Try and contact student finance to ask what has happened. Did he apply late?

  9. Peep

    19. Sep, 2015

    I wanted to know that if I want to pay back my loan in full after I’ve graduated so in a lump sump with no interest would I be able to do so?

    • Jake Butler

      28. Sep, 2015

      It is possible to do so but we’d heavily advise against it.

  10. Amanda

    17. Sep, 2015


    Am I still eligible to claim my maintenance loan and grant if the university I am attending are covering my tuition fees?

    • Jake Butler

      18. Sep, 2015

      It depends on what the situation is with your university paying your fees. It would be best to ask them.

  11. Rose

    16. Sep, 2015

    I have had to send in a paper form regarding dependent grants, the first one I sent in led to them taking away my maintenance grant, and after sending a second they still have not re included it, although I was entitled in my first 2 years and we have a low household income. I am concerned as my course comes with a full time placement working week and I have a young daughter with very little energy to get a job which would not cover the money I have currently lost. They have told me I filled the form in wrong but I have copies to prove I have provided correct information which shows I am still entitled… How can i fix this as if it does not get sorted soon I will have to leave uni in order to get a full time paying job, as it is my last year this is something I definitely do not want to do! Any advice please?

    • Jake Butler

      17. Sep, 2015

      Hi Rose, I’m very sorry to hear of your situation. It sounds like student finance have treated you extremely poorly! I would recommend first getting in touch with your universities student finance or support centre. If they are of no help then please turn to your local citizens advice bureau.

  12. Adele

    15. Sep, 2015

    hi Jake,

    My daughter has started a school direct primary course based at the primary school through the University of Cumbria . She is filling out the student finance and it states she will get a maintenance loan of about £2900., there was no mention of a maintenance grant , my daughter has worked for the last 3 years but has lived at home, Will she be entitled to a maintenance grant as our household income is less than £30,000

    • Jake Butler

      17. Sep, 2015

      Hi Adele, it sound like your daughter should be able to receive a maintenance grant! When she fills out the student finance form she must make sure that it is a means tested application. You will have to send in information about your household income but it’s worth it for the grant.

  13. Tom

    12. Sep, 2015

    This is great and all, but when do I get my maintenance loan?

  14. Sithy

    12. Sep, 2015

    I am going to Uni in September , I want to get married but my partner is also a student. Will it affect my grant and my student loan? Also, we will not be in the same place. Does the age matter?

    • Jake Butler

      26. Oct, 2015

      Hi Sithy, whether you are married or not, both of your incomes will be taken into account under your household income.

  15. Iram

    11. Sep, 2015

    Hi there.
    I ve been living alone and dont get along with my parent anymore for almost 2 years now. I applied for maintenance grant n loan last year. They asked me to provide a letter from a doctor or lawyer to state that i dont live at home and dont get along with them. No lawyer or doctor knows me personally so no one helped. This year they r saying the same thing. They give me loan last year but no maintenance allownce. This year its the same thing. How can i go about it and if its possible to claim my last year maintenance allownce. I only work part time and have secured huge debts for my expenses (rent. Food and bills). Any help will be really appreciated. Thanx

    • Jake Butler

      17. Sep, 2015

      Hi Iram, very sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately this is the way that the system works. I would suggest that you try to find a doctor that will provide a letter for you. Alternatively you may have to find and pay a lawyer. I hope this helps and you can sort out your situation.

  16. tom

    11. Sep, 2015

    hi, i am was supposed to be going to exeter this septemeber but because of my grades i did not get accepted. i now hold a place at the university of queen mary through clearing. but i forgot to change my application on slc, and im one week away from uni, what do i do must i pay them the 9000 up from im so worried?!

    • Jake Butler

      17. Sep, 2015

      Hi Tom, can you still change over student finance? My recommendation would be to talk to Queen Marys about your situation (try to find the student services centre) a they should be able to advise you on how to deal with this.

  17. Kirsty

    10. Sep, 2015

    Hiya, my 1st choice was Durham and that is where my student finance is still going to BUT Im going to Teesside as I didnt get the grades needed. I start in September but no paymemts are scheduled until End of October??

    • Jake Butler

      09. Nov, 2015

      Hi Kirsty, I hope this was resolved. I would always suggest contacting both unis as well as student finance for advice on this.

  18. Lauren

    10. Sep, 2015

    Hi. Due to a well paid job my dad had last year I am only receiving a £3, 700 maintenance grant. After I’ve paid my accommodation I will have £0 of my maintenance grant and need to top up accommodation by £600. However, my dad no longer has this job and is currently in and out of employment, he may even be made redundant in the next few weeks. I’m wondering who I need to contact or what I need to do to find out if I am entitled to more student finance now that my household income will be siginificantly lower? It’s really not very clear on the student finance website.

  19. Sam

    02. Sep, 2015

    I got to Wales uni in 16 days and till not heard back from student finance . Do I have to pay for fee and accommodation at front as I am worried I won’t have enough and my mother can’t help me as she is disabled and on a low income . They have my Birth certificate And cover letter but still not heard anything , should I be worried that I can’t go ?

    • Jake Butler

      08. Sep, 2015

      Hi Sam, I would contact both student finance and your university about this as they should be able to advise you on what to do.

  20. Cherry

    01. Sep, 2015

    Hi there,

    I started my degree in 2013 but dropped out after only doing the first term due to personal issues.
    I am looking to start again in 2016, but will I still be entitled to student finance?
    It will be same degree but different university.

    Thank you

    • Jake Butler

      09. Nov, 2015

      Hi Cherry, students are generally allowed to apply for student finance if they have only requested it for a max of 1 year before. You should definitely be able to apply again.

  21. Jen NIght

    28. Aug, 2015

    Hi i did a part time OU Diploma in 2010 i have been accepted on to a HNC course can i get student Finance it was 2 part time year

    • Jake Butler

      28. Aug, 2015

      Hi Jen, I don’t believe you will be able to get funding I’m afraid but it’s worth double checking with student finance.

  22. Steve G

    26. Aug, 2015

    Hi Jake

    Great piece – thanks.

    Daughter has just received her entitlement, which is £3,731. This doesn’t even cover her balls for the first year (app £5,000).
    When we filled in the criteria, our income was less than 42,500 or very close, with two other small siblings. Does this amount sound accurate, or can we look into it by ringing someone??

    • Jake Butler

      28. Aug, 2015

      Hi Steve, unfortunately the majority of students receive much less in funding than their rent. More and more these days are having to find part-time work to cover other costs. Even though your income was just below the threshold the government still “suggest” that you should contribute some funds (I am not saying I agree with this at all). As an example if your household income is around £40,000 we have calculated that you should help with £1,407/year.

      • Steve G

        28. Aug, 2015

        Yep, pretty much what it comes out at! Really appreciate your reply and excellent help/analysis on this thread

  23. Chris Priestley

    16. Aug, 2015

    The government is scrapping the maintenance grant in favour of a loan but will students who start before it is scrapped – i.e. this academic year – continue to get the grant or will it change to a loan in the second year?

    • Jake Butler

      16. Aug, 2015

      Students on the grant at the moment will continue to receive the same funding throughout uni.

  24. Sarah

    27. Jul, 2015

    I currently support an application for Student Finance for my daughter in her second year (aged 19) and my son (aged 24) in his first year, I am a single parent earning less than 12k, consequently my son and daughter have been awarded maximum grant and loan. I am contemplating moving in with my partner in the next year, would this change affect the award for 2015/16 that has been granted and would my son who will be 25 before the start of his second year be able to apply for a grant in his own right or still be classed as dependent

    • Jake Butler

      28. Jul, 2015

      Hi Sarah, it’s likely that your partner’s salary will also be taken into account for the new year when assessing the student finance for your son and daughter in 2015/16. Although it’s down to you to notify student finance of any changes during the year….

      If your son wanted to apply to be independent it is tricky but can be done. He may have to send in bank statements etc as proof that he is supporting himself 100%.

  25. Jess

    11. Jul, 2015

    Hi, I’ve just completed a 2 year foundation degree in biomedical science with Greenwich Uni and am now going to transfer to their 3rd year full degree which I think is called a “top up”. Student finance have said I’m not entitled to any maintenance loan. Would you be able to tell me why as I was never told this when originally applying and it has taken 6 weeks of providing evidence from my parents income to be told I’m not eligible anyway?

    • Jake Butler

      16. Jul, 2015

      Hi Jess, unfortunately student finance says that because you have studied for a foundations degree that this is classed as already studying which means you are not eligible for extra finance.

  26. James Seale

    29. Jun, 2015


    I now have a part time job, working 15 hours per week. Will or should this impact on my grant? Thanks.

    • Jake Butler

      02. Jul, 2015

      A part-time job shouldn’t be taken into account.

  27. Sally

    26. Jun, 2015

    Hi Jake

    When calculating student loan repayments is it just my income and how much i earn thats taken into consideration, or because im married is my husbands earnings taken into consideration as well

    • Jake Butler

      29. Jun, 2015

      It should be just your own earnings!

  28. Ionela

    18. Jun, 2015

    Hi I’m from Europe and I have been living in Cardiff (Wales) for about 4 years and I still have one year to wait and then I can apply for British citizen passport . Can you please tell me once I will have that passport can I apply for maintance loan where only Uk people can apply? Thanks!

    • Jake Butler

      22. Jun, 2015

      I believe so yes. Worth double checking with Student Finance Wales though.

  29. Mark Pickering

    08. Jun, 2015

    Can you tell me if anything has to be done in years 2 or 3, or does the initial application roll on each year for the duration of the course?

    • Jake Butler

      09. Jun, 2015

      You have to re-apply for finance but this can be done online and is pretty quick if your circumstances haven’t changed.

      • Mark Pickering

        09. Jun, 2015

        Thanks Jake,

        My eldest son is in his second year now at Nottingham and it appears this all happened automatically.


  30. Jess

    05. Jun, 2015

    Hi Jake, I live in my parents house with my child (I’m 24) I pay rent and work part time. Will they take this into account or will I still be classed as ‘living at home with parents’?

    Thank you :)

    • Jake Butler

      09. Jun, 2015

      I am not 100% sure. They may take yours and your parents’ incomes together as the household income. It’s worth contacting your prospective uni or student finance about this as they should be able to help.

  31. Chantelle

    12. May, 2015

    Hi there,
    I currently hold an offer for veterinary 6 year course. I have applied for student finance but I haven’t been given the maximum maintenance loan, even though my mum is a single parent on housing benefit, and household income of £11000. Is this a mistake on their behalf? I can barely cover my accommodation fees with the maintenance loan and the grant. :( I’m very worried. Thank you

    • Jake Butler

      18. May, 2015

      Hi Chantelle, that’s odd. Did you apply to be income assessed for this? Sound like you should have been given a maintenance grant as well as one of the highest maintenance loans. I would suggest contacting your university student support centre about this.

  32. Melisha

    10. May, 2015

    Hey there,
    I am going University this September. My father lives in Nepal owing a small business and my mum works here. Her earning is £8000 a year.
    I am hopefully going to a Versity whih is outside London and I am planning stay in the University Accomodation. I applied for Student Finance and I got a letter yesterday saying that I will get £9000 for fee and £3700 as Maintainance Loan. The letter didn’t say anything about the Maintainance Grant so I am really worried. I don’t know if there’s another letter coming on the way conforming about Maintainance Grant or I am not getting any!
    I don’t know wether I should ontact them about Maintainance Grant or just wait thinking they will give me sonner or later.
    So Can you help me please? I am really worried!

    • Melisha

      10. May, 2015

      p.s. When I was appling for the Finance I did filled out the forms for Maintainance Grant because I remember answering some questions about the Grant so I don’t know why they are not giving me any Grant! :'(

      • Jake Butler

        11. May, 2015

        I would recommend contacting them about this as I cannot be sure for your personal case.

  33. Ali Glanville

    25. Apr, 2015

    Hi my son has applied for a maintenance loan we both work (parents) earn £47000 jointly but it’s come back he will get £3777 this no where near even covers his accommodation I expected a bit more than this why is it so low?

  34. Ani

    18. Mar, 2015

    I would like to apply for the tuition loan but not the maintenance grant as of yet as I do not have any evidence. Is it possible for me to apply midterm for the grant? Or is it necessary to apply for both together now?
    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Jake Butler

      18. Mar, 2015

      You will need to apply for both together now.

  35. Anisa

    17. Mar, 2015

    I have applied for a tuition fee loan
    however as i don’t have evidence i have just applied for a this loan not the maintenance grant, is it possible mid way through the term at uni to apply for a grant without applying for it now?

    • Jake Butler

      19. Mar, 2015

      No, you must apply for the grant before you start uni.

  36. helen

    14. Mar, 2015

    Me and my partner currently support my son at uni ,I dont work and my partner works in Iraq,hes classed as non resident so doesnt spend enough time in the country to pay tax and i dont know where i stand this yr with SF or what im suppose to do.
    If you can shed any light on this it would be most appreciated.

    Thank you

    • Jake Butler

      16. Mar, 2015

      I’m not 100% sure on this one I’m afraid. I would recommend contacting student finance for clarification. As far as I’m aware your partners earnings may be taken into account.

  37. stuart

    07. Feb, 2015

    my dad might me made redundant in the summer -current household income is c40k- if he earns less in 2015/2016 as a result can I reapply for a higher grant?

    • Jake Butler

      08. Feb, 2015

      You may be able to get more. Student Finance England suggest that you call them if there is a change in household income.

  38. sahr

    03. Feb, 2015

    Hi Jake, if I was to move abroad, how would student finance even know if I have moved without me informing them?

    • Jake Butler

      03. Feb, 2015

      Hi Sahr, they would most likely be able to track you down. It’s similar to moving abroad if you owe tax.

  39. Louise

    29. Jan, 2015

    Under the 2012 scheme, is it possible to see the balance outstanding on your loan whilst you are still studying so that you can see how much interest is being added ? I know the interest rate but seeing the figure would be helpful. Thanks

    • Jake Butler

      01. Dec, 2015

      They should send you regular statements but it might be worth contacting student finance to see if they can let you know the info or if you can see it online.

  40. Nathan

    16. Jan, 2015

    I’m a UK citizen wanting to study with CIPD directly & the course is £4k. I live alone and earn £30k/pa. would I qualify as a student for any grant or loan to help with the course fee? Thanks

    • Jake Butler

      19. Jan, 2015

      Hi Nathan, the CIPD is generally a self funded course which means you will have to cover it. If you are really keen to secure funding I believe your best chance would be through a company that were willing to cover your fees while you work there.

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