The Big Fat Guide to Student Finance 2014

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.

Nutshell

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 2014 is £9,000. That’s a three-fold increase on 2011.
  2. Full-time students can apply for a maintenance loan of £5,500 (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 2014?

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 £3,465.

Scotland – Scottish students can still study for free in 2014. 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 £3,465 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.

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 2014?

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

UniversityPlanned Tuition Fees 2012 (£)
Aberdeen9,000
Aberystwyth9,000
Anglia Ruskin8,300
Aston9,000
Bangor9,000
Bath9,000
Bath Spa9,000
Bedfordshire9,000
Birkbeck6,000-9,000
Birmingham9,000
Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln7,500
Blackburn College (University Centre)7,000
Bolton6,300-8,400
Bournemouth8,200-9,000
Bradford9,000
Brighton9,000
Brighton and Sussex Medical School9,000
Bristol9,000
Brunel University9,000
Bucks New6,000-8000
Cambridge9,000
Canterbury Christ Church8,500
Cardiff9,000
Chester9,000
Chichester8,500
City University, London9,000
College of Law9,000
Coventry4,600-9,000
Cumbria8,400
De Montfort9,000
Derby6,995-7995
Durham9,000
East Anglia9,000
East London9,000
Edge Hill9,000
Edinburgh9,000
Essex9,000
Exeter9,000
Falmouth 9,000
Glamorgan9,000
Glasgow Caledonian7,000
Glasgow School of Art6,750-9,000
Gloucestershire8,250
Glyndwr University5,850-7,750
Goldsmiths9,000
Harper Adams University College9,000
Heriot-Watt9,000
Hertfordshire7,400-8,500
Huddersfield7,950
Hull9,000
Imperial College9,000
Keele9,000
Kent9,000
King's College London9,000
Kingston8,500
Lancaster9,000
Leeds9,000
Leeds Met8,500
Leeds Trinity8,000
Leicester9,000
Lincoln9,000
Liverpool9,000
Liverpool John Moores9,000
London Met4,500-9,000
London School of Economics8,500
London South Bank5,950-8,450
Loughborough9,000
Manchester9,000
Manchester Metropolitan8,000-9,000
Middlesex9,000
Newcastle9,000
Newman University College8,500
Newport9,000
Northumbria8,500
Norwich University College8,500
Nottingham9,000
Nottingham Trent8,500
Open University5,500
Oxford9,000
Oxford Brookes9,000
Plymouth 9,000
Portsmouth8,500
Queen Mary, University of London 9,000
Reading9,000
Roehampton7,500-8,250
Royal Agricultural College9,000
Royal Holloway9,000
Royal Veterinary College7,500-9,000
Salford8,000-9,000
Sheffield9,000
Sheffield Hallam8,500
SOAS9,000
Southampton9,000
Southampton Solent7,800
St. Andrews9,000
St. Mary's University College8,000
St. Georges9,000
Staffordshire University7,500-8,500
Sunderland8,500
Surrey9,000
Sussex9,000
Swansea9,000
Swansea Metropolitan8,500
Teesside8,500
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
Warwick9,000
Wastminster9,000
Winchester8,500
Wolverhampton8,500
Worcester8,100
Writtle College8,000
York9,000
York St. John8,500

Notes about the figures:

  • These are the proposed fees for all universities in 2014 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 £3,465 paid by the Welsh Assembly.
  • Figures correct as of Jan 2014. 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 £5,500 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 £7,675 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£4375
Living away from home and studying outside of London£5500
Living away from home and studying in London£7675
Spending a year of your course abroad£6535

If your combined household income is below £42,611 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 2014 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 £42,611 a year and you receive no grants, scholarships or extra funding.

What funding is available for students in 2014?

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 2014, 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 £42,611 a year. The maximum available is currently £3,354 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 £3,354 as a non repayable grant but also have your maintenance loan cut to £3,823 (total £7,177 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£3,862£3,387£7,249
£30,000£4,335£2,441£6,776
£35,000£4,808£1494£6,302
£40,000£5,282£547£5,829
< £42,620£5,530£50£5,580
£45,000£5,343£0£5,343
£50,000£4,843£0£4,843
£55,000£4,343£0£4,343
£60,000£3,843£0£3,843
£62,125£3,630£0£3,630

The National Scholarship Programme

If your family’s household income is below £25,000 a year then you will be eligible for the National Scholarship Programme for 2014.

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 www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance.

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
£21,000£0£0
£25,000£30£360
£35,000£105£1,260
£45,000£180£2,160
£55,000£255£3,060
£65,000£405£4,860

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 2014 & 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 2014.

    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!

  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



125 Responses to “The Big Fat Guide to Student Finance 2014”

  1. Frachesca

    07. Aug, 2012

    I am a uk resident, but i have studied abroad, can i still get the student finace. plz reply soon! thank you

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      09. Aug, 2012

      Hi Franchesca,

      I believe that as long as you are a registered UK resident with an offer from a UK university you can still get the student finance. I myself have a dual nationality and was able to apply for and get student finance.

      Hope that helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Mike

    04. Sep, 2012

    What happens if I have a part time tuition loan and then move abroad during my studies?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      04. Sep, 2012

      Hi Mike,

      Will you still be studying part time when you move abroad or will you be deferring your studies for a year?

      Reply to this comment
  3. Margaret McPherson

    12. Sep, 2012

    Is my daughter eligible for a maintenance loan/grant? She is from Scotland but will be studying and living at Teesside University for a year doing her Masters Degree from September this year? This appears to be an option for English students, but I cannot find anything anywhere regarding Scottish students studying in England

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      12. Sep, 2012

      I am not sure if she is eligible for a loan as she will be studying a masters degree (although I would double check with Scottish Student Awards Agency).

      She may be able to get some form of bursary or grant and you can check this at the StudentCashpoint website.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Kate

    08. Jan, 2013

    My sister would like to pay my daughter’s university tuition fees up front, as a gift. My daughter will take out a loan for her maintenance costs and with our household income, she would normally be eligible for a maintenance grant. Do you think the privately paid tuition fees will count as my daughter’s income and be added to our household income so that she will be unable to receive a maintenance grant? I can’t find information about fees paid as gifts on the student finance website, so would be grateful for your advice. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      08. Jan, 2013

      Hi Kate,

      Unfortunately I am not 100% sure about the terms for donated fees. However, I would like to offer some advice if I may.

      Paying the loan upfront is a mistake. It would be better overall for your sister to invest the money (at least in a savings account) for your daughter for her to use while she is at university and when she leaves).

      It is slightly complicated to explain but… I saw you mentioned that your daughter will be taking out a loan. The interest of this loan will be much higher than borrowing from the government.

      Even though the student loan is debt it is the most affordable ways to borrow money that you will ever get in your life. The interest is set at 3% plus RPI and although a savings account won’t match this, after graduation it goes down depending on what your daughter will be earning.

      The instance where it can pay off is if your daughter is an extremely high earner after leaving university (and I hope she is) but it’s a risk.

      I hope that this is of some help and will lead you to look into it further. Apologies that I could not answer your initial question.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Kate

    08. Jan, 2013

    Many thanks for the very helpful advice, Jake. Sorry, I didn’t make it clear that it would be a student maintenance loan that my daughter would take out, not a bank loan. I’ll discuss what you’ve suggested with the family. Thanks again for your help.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Goncalves

    09. Jan, 2013

    My University has let me study for a term while I waited for Student Finance to come through. I have just heard that I will not be getting my student finance. I wonder if you happen to know whether I have any commitment to pay my University for the fees for the term I studied – I have nothing – and if so whether there are any organisations that might be able to help me financially?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      09. Jan, 2013

      Hi Goncalves,

      Can I ask why you were not eligible for student finance? This will help me to tell if there is other funding available to you.

      Thanks,

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
      • Goncalves

        10. Jan, 2013

        Hi Jake,
        I am a Brazilian national, but my mother married a Portguese so I qualify for student finance as the son of a migrant worker. But I didn’t get the loan because I could not provide all the paperwork needed from my step father. Also I am 21 if that makes any difference. At the moment I am more concerned as to whether I might have to find thousands of pounds to pay for the fees for last term – I had no idea if the student finance did not come through I might be liable. Do you know if I am liable, and if I am, how I might be able to pay this off?
        Thanks

        Reply to this comment
        • Jake Butler

          10. Jan, 2013

          Hi Goncalves,

          I believe that you may be liable to pay the fees.

          If possible I would try to get all of the paperwork from your father and attempt to contact the university and the student finance office about your situation.

          Obviously with your case being a very individual one I would not be able to give you a full answer.

          I would talk to the student advice service at your university about what action you should take as they will be able to lay down all of the options for you.

          Jake.

          Reply to this comment
  7. mumsymerdy

    19. Jan, 2013

    Hi Jake
    Our daughter is a UK citizen by birth, studied her primary school until 4th form in Northern Ireland, she moved to HK in 2010 as her father works in the country. Now, daughter intends to study in the UK for her uni, but in September 2013, she will be exactly 3 years living outside the UK.

    What will she be, a home fee or International student? Will she be able to apply for student loan, maintenance / grant?

    We are very anxious of her residency status, we still keep the house in N. Ireland, and technically still have a local address, but the fact that she studied the last 3 years of her form years outside the UK, will that affect her student finance application?

    Please help shed some lights, would really appreciate it.

    Many thanks
    Mumsy

    Reply to this comment
  8. mumsymerdy

    19. Jan, 2013

    Hi Jake

    My daughter is a British citizen by birth, studied until her 4th year in Form school in Northern Ireland before moving to HK in 2010, that will make her 3 years living away in September 2013. She intends to study her degree in UK university.

    Our question is, will she still be classified as a home fee or international student? Will she be able to apply for a student loan and/or maintenance / grants?

    We still have our house in N. Ireland and technically still keep a local address, but will living abroad affect her chances in applying student finance?

    I hope you can shed some light on our worries.

    Thanking you.

    Mumsymerdy

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      20. Jan, 2013

      Hi Mumymerdy,

      Unfortunately after extensive research I could not give you a 100% answer.

      You would be best to call up student finance and ask then about the situation as it is quite a rare one.

      I’m really sorry that we could not help fully with this.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Nicola Reed

    23. Jan, 2013

    Hi there.

    Does anyone know what happens with a change in home address with regards to maintenance loan?

    I was previously staying with my dad, when away from uni, and got the minimal maintenance loan. But after recent events am going to stay with my mum, who earns less. Had I put her down as my place of residence to begin with I would have received a higher maintenance loan.

    My dad is now reluctant to financially support me, so is there any way to change the status on student finance, and would there be a change in how much I am entitled to?

    Thanks,

    Nicola.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      23. Jan, 2013

      Hi Nicola,

      If your status changes at any time during the year then you need to contact student finance.

      You can update your details here is you applied online http://www.slc.co.uk/contact/update-your-details.aspx

      I am not 100% certain whether there would be a change to your entitlement this year, you would have to check with the Student Loans Company.

      I hope this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Annie

    03. Feb, 2013

    Hi. My situation is a little complicated. I’m 21, married but living with my parents. We recently separated, but i have no proof of that. Will I still be eligible for Maintenance Grand/Loan? !

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      03. Feb, 2013

      Hi Annie,

      I’m unsure as it’s obviously a quite niche situation. It would be best to try and contact student finance as they will be able to advise you best.

      I hope that it all goes ok for you.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Linda A

    05. Feb, 2013

    Hi Jake

    I got married two years ago and my husband’s wage is being taken into account for my 18 year old daughter. I am on a very low wage and our outgoings ie rent, CSA to his ex wife that doesn’t get taken into account. We are left with barely anything at the end of the month. As I am now full time in work her student loan will be slashed, she will not be able to afford to live as my husband and I can not make up the short fall. As her biological father in on Income support why can’t this be used, the system is penalising us. I am seriously wondering if we need to live separately while she is at uni. She is my only child and I have been a lone parent for years. It is so unfair. Can you help?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      05. Feb, 2013

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As you correctly stated, student finance is based on household income and cannot be based on biological parents instead.

      If you do earn over the threshold and still cannot afford to support your daughter then there are a number of options that she can take a look at in order to continue her studies without having to struggle financially.

      There are a number of grants and bursaries that she can search and apply for.

      Also, a large number of students these days have part time jobs in order to help them through university.

      I’m aware that the cost of living is rising and based on surveys, we know that the student loan barely covers enough students’ rent let alone food etc.

      I hope this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Northernlass

    18. Feb, 2013

    Hi. My nephew lives with his parents, but works full time and pays rent for his room, buys his own food etc. and has done for a year. He is completely financialy independent from his parents. Will his parents income still be taken into account when he applies for a maintenance grant/loan.?
    Thankyou

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      18. Feb, 2013

      Hi,

      This is a very niche situation. As far as I am aware, because your nephew is living with his parents their wages will be counted towards the household income.

      However, it may be possible that if your nephew was able to prove to student finance that they are entirely independent of their parents and highlight rent payments as well as bills, food and other living costs they would be able to use their income solely for assessment.

      In this case I feel it would be best if your nephew contacts Student Finance directly to find out more.

      I hope that this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Emilia

    28. Feb, 2013

    Hi

    I am 18 and I am starting my university in September 2013 and I don’t know if am gone be able to get maintenance loan as I am Polish however I have been living in England for 6 years now and I have done all my GCSE’s and A-levels in school as 6th Form full time student and I have applied through UCAS for unis and got my offers but will I still be able to get maintenance loan plus both of my parents are working in England and I am going to study in London?
    Thanks

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      01. Mar, 2013

      Hi Emilia,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As you have been a UK resident for more than 3 years before the start of your course you will be eligible to claim for a student loan and grant as far as I’m aware.

      If you need extra help then it may be a good idea to get in touch with Student Finance England.

      I hope that helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  14. Antony

    03. Mar, 2013

    Hi

    Ive filled in the details for my daughters loan application, she starts uni at manchester in 2013/14, however, the uni is charging 9K but on the application is states she’s only eligible for £3.5K, what am i missing, I was under the impression she could get all the fees through a loan.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      03. Mar, 2013

      Hi Antony,

      She should be able to claim for the full amount of £9k each year.

      Could I just ask a couple of questions to try and clear this up…

      Is your daughter a resident of England planning to study at an English University?

      Will your daughter be studying a full time undergraduate degree?

      Are you talking about the tuition fee loan or the maintenance loan/grant?

      Thanks.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  15. rafael leffa

    06. Mar, 2013

    Ok my question is probably complicated a lil. I am a UK student and am planning to move abroad to china soon as i finish my degree i hear that you still pay student finance whatever you do over 21000gbp. however salaries here are relatively low to the extent of 100gbp a month being a average salary. how will they track down my salary? and untaxable other forms of income?

    thank you

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      06. Mar, 2013

      Hi Rafael,

      This is a tricky one.

      After extensive research, we have found that this is what HMRC say:

      “If a borrower secures employment abroad and is paid abroad, Student Loans Company will ask for the name of the employer and evidence of the salary. Student Loans Company will calculate a repayment schedule based on 9% of the earnings over £15,000. The borrower will make repayments based on this calculation direct to the Student Loans Company using Direct Debit, Standing Order, cheque or debit card. The schedule will be reviewed after 12 months.

      Each country’s threshold is determined according to its national average income. Where it is not possible to calculate a country’s position of index, the applicable threshold and fixed instalment shall be those for band A. If a borrower fails to provide evidence of his income out with the UK, he will be required to repay a fixed monthly amount.”

      I hope that helps you out in some way.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  16. patsy

    07. Mar, 2013

    My daughter has four home status offers and one international status offer. If she takes the international offer which has higher fees can she still apply for the 9000 pound a year loan? We cannot afford to pay otherwise and this offer is for Cambridge! she is a uk citizen.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      07. Mar, 2013

      Hi Patsy,

      If a UK citizen decides to study abroad then the UK tuition fee loan cannot cover it I’m afraid.

      You could look for alternative funding for studying abroad.

      Hope this helps,

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  17. Bobby Akin

    28. Mar, 2013

    Hi Jake,
    The student finance said I am not elligible because the discretionary leave To Remain was not give after a refused asylum claim or refuge. I am a relevant family member of a UK citizen because my mother married a british, although they are separated now due to domestic violence.the universisty has assessed me as a home student, will the student finance decision change this? Also how can I appeal the student finance decision.
    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      04. Apr, 2013

      Hi Bobby,

      I am not sure if the university and student finance have the same rulings on what is classed as a home student.

      In this instance it sounds as if you will have to ring student finance to ask if this classification from the university will change their opinion of you and whether you should be able to appeal the initial decision.

      Give them a call on 0845 300 5090

      If this does not get you anywhere then it may be worth contacting your student advice centre at your university.

      Hope this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  18. Claire

    29. Mar, 2013

    Hi, Do you know if i would be entitled to help to pay for tuition fees if i have previously studied?

    I am Scottish and live in Scotland. I have a HND and a Degree, I finished studying and graduated in 2005. I had loans and had my tuition fees paid for me by SAAS for the HND and Degree so the last time i applied for funding was 2004-2005.

    I have got into a completely different course at HNC level. I would be looking to apply to have my fees paid and a loan for the period 2013-2014.

    Everything i have read basically says because i have had this paid before and already have the degree that i am not entitled to help as the course is a lower lever (HNC).

    I am just wondering if you know if there is a loop hole in this as it was many years ago I studied?

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      04. Apr, 2013

      Hi Claire,

      Unfortunately there is no way around this as you have already received funding.

      In this instance it would be best to look for any bursaries or scholarships for your course of situation.

      There is some more information on where to look for this funding here: http://www.savethestudent.org/student-finance/student-bursary-scholarship-sources.html

      The only other solution is to look for a commercial loan but I am aware that this is not the most attractive option due to high interest and repayments!

      Hope this helps in some way.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  19. Hans Gabriel

    01. Apr, 2013

    Hi Jake,

    I’m a spouse of a British Citizen and I’m planning to do my PGCE this year. I brought out the plan with my wife when I got an offer to one of the Universities in England but she’s hesitant for me to go into teaching course. If I apply for a student loan and maintenance grant at Student Finance and if my wife will not support my application, will I be eligible to do so?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      08. Apr, 2013

      Hi Hans,

      Unfortunately as this is quite a niche situation I would not be able to provide a solution.

      I would recommend contacting the student finance company directly and asking them for a solution.

      You can call them on 0845 300 5090.

      I wish you the best of luck.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  20. kgoy

    09. Apr, 2013

    hi,my son is looking to go to university in 2014.i work part time and my husband is self employed.his work has no set pattern and often has no work or very little for long periods of time.when assessed on household income will they take my husbands gross pay or his net profit?Also as we receive tax credits will this be counted as our income?
    many thanks

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      10. Apr, 2013

      Hi,

      The student finance company will take into account Net Profit for self-employed parents.

      Tax credits are also not taken into account when working out the maintenance grant amount.

      I hope this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  21. kgoy

    10. Apr, 2013

    Thankyou Jake,that makes things seem possible now.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Billy

    15. Apr, 2013

    Hello,
    I am a new student applying to university this year. I have checked and I am able to apply for a maintenance loan/grant. now my question is I have to include my income on the total household income but when I go to university I will not have the job so do I still need to add this to my total household income?
    I look forward to a response

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      16. Apr, 2013

      Hi Billy,

      You will only have to include your parents’ earnings unless you are estranged from them.

      I hope that this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  23. Maz

    16. Apr, 2013

    Hi Jake? My son starts uni in Sep 2013 but spent 4 months of the mandatory 3 yr pre-uni period studying abroad at a private boarding school (sep to dec 2010).
    He is British, fully dependent on me (mother). I have lived & worked in the UK continuously since 1996. Is he eligible for student finance? Please advise, stressed mum.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      16. Apr, 2013

      Hi Maz,

      Your son should be able to claim the full maintenance and tuition fee loan. The SLC states “A student is ‘ordinarily resident’ in England if it’s where they normally live, even if they live abroad on a temporary basis.”

      As your son has been and is a resident of the UK he should be able to claim for finance.

      I hope this helps and I wish your son the best of luck at uni.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  24. Maz

    16. Apr, 2013

    Thanks indeed!

    Reply to this comment
  25. ray

    16. Apr, 2013

    I am 25 live with my dad I am totally independent I have no financial support from him, so if I apply for a maintenance grant will I have to put his income?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      17. Apr, 2013

      Hi Ray,

      If you’re set to be over 25 on the 1st September at the year you start your course then you will be classed as independent as far as I am aware.

      Otherwise, you will have to show proof to the Student Loans Company to prove that you are completely financially independent.

      It would be best if your nephew contacts Student Finance directly to find out more.

      I hope that this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  26. Deborah Harwood

    30. Apr, 2013

    Hi, my daughter is hoping to go to Salford in sept 13 and has applied for her funding. She has had a letter stating that she is entitled to £3573.00 which according to your chart above is the allowance for incomes of £62,125. This has got me puzzled as her father and I between us earn less than £40,000. I was hoping that you could shed some light onto this for me and inform me my best course of action, if any.
    Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      01. May, 2013

      Hi Deborah,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Did your daughter apply to be means tested when she supplied the student loan application?

      If the household income is below £40,000 then she should be entitled to a grant of £540 & a loan of £5,230.

      Thanks,

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
      • Deborah Harwood

        01. May, 2013

        Hi Jake,

        We are not sure if she applied to be means teasted when she applied online,but I did have to send off a copy of my P60 although they didn’t ask for my husbands. Do you think we should contact them to see if she can get her full entitlement as she will find it very difficult to survive on the amount she has been allocated?

        Thank you,

        Deborah

        Reply to this comment
        • Jake Butler

          02. May, 2013

          Hi Deborah,

          I would definitely suggest giving student finance a call to see what they say.

          I agree that it is hard to survive without the entitlement.

          Please let us know how you get on.

          Jake.

          Reply to this comment
          • Deborah Harwood

            02. May, 2013

            Hi Jake,

            Thanks for all your help with my question. As it happens a letter arrived for Josie this morning from student finance detailing that she will now recieve £6258. Is seeme that my problem has sorted itself.

            Thanks once again.

            Deborah.

          • Jake Butler

            03. May, 2013

            Hi Deborah,

            That’s awesome news!

            I hope that Josie has a great time at university and that our site can help her save money!

            Jake.

  27. Courtney

    01. May, 2013

    Hi, we have the money to pay for the 9K tuition upfront (at a great sacrifice) for my daughter beginning uni next year but according to what I read this does not make financial sense. She plans on doing grad school, probably in the States afterwards. I am wondering if we will be able to help her eliminate the loan after graduating, and saving what we have to help her in grad school further down the line. Many thanks for your input. C

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      01. May, 2013

      Hi Courtney,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      99% of the time we would always advise that you don’t pay any university fees upfront.

      If she is planning to take up a grad course in the States after graduating then there will most likely be no form of funding in place for this (at least not to cover the whole course).

      In my opinion it would be best to save/invest the money that you have saved in order to have it available once she has graduated.

      The reasons why I suggest this are:
      - a student loan is charged at a lower interest rate than any other commercial loan that you can get in your life. If you or your daughter were ever forced into borrowing money after you had already paid off the whole tuition fee then you would regret not saving the money (if you understand what I mean).
      - Unlike a commercial loan, you won’t never have to pay back a penny of your student loan until you are earning over £21,000 a year. Even then the repayment is reasonable. Also, no matter how much you have paid, the debt is cancelled after 30 years of graduation.

      I hope that this helps in some way.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  28. Elaine

    08. May, 2013

    Hi
    Wonder if you could explain something. We have just completed my daughter’s student finance application. She is hoping to study at Royal Holloway in Sept 2013, which qualifies her for the London allowance. On some websites it say the maximum she would be entitled to is up to £7000, based on our household income of £50,000, however the reality appears that she will only get £4989, as she won’t be eligible for any of the 35% that is income dependant? How do they work it out, and why say you can get more if you can’t??
    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      08. May, 2013

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As your household income is over £42,600 unfortunately your daughter is not eligible for any grant. However, she will get a maintenance loan.

      The loan amount is worked out for household incomes over £42,600 too. The more that you earn over £42,600 the less your daughter will be eligible for in support.

      I hope that this makes sense & helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  29. moses

    08. May, 2013

    when im applying for my student finance the tuition estimate fee is coming up as £0.00, however there is a an estimation for mantainace loan and it wont let me put household income. is this okay

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      09. May, 2013

      Hi Moses,

      I would suggest getting in touch with student finance to sort out this issue as I am unsure what is going on here.

      Thanks,

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  30. Annette L

    14. May, 2013

    My daughter is starting uni in September in London and will be living with my sister and coming home at weekends. Although she could commute from home this will be more convenient and help her save money on train fares etc. When applying for the maintenance loan will she need to provide ‘proof’ as in a tenancy agreement or similar that she is living away from home. My sister won’t be charging her any rent but she would like to apply for the maximum amount.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      15. May, 2013

      Hi Annette,

      Obviously you have stumbled across a bit of a grey area here. Technically the maintenance loan is intended to cover rent among other things so I assume this is why they ask for proof of a tenancy agreement.

      I would suggest contacting the student finance company to ask what to do or what can be classed as proof.

      I hope that helps in some way.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  31. Annette L

    15. May, 2013

    Thank you Jake for your reply.

    I assume from your answer that it is normal procedure to prove she is living away from home and doubt a letter from my sister will suffice! I will have to contact them.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      15. May, 2013

      Hi Annette,

      I would assume that is the case although can’t be 100% sure as they might deny her the full amount due to her not paying rent (although can’t see why this would be the case).

      Best of luck in handling this and I hope your daughter has an awesome time at uni.

      Thanks,

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  32. Emma

    17. May, 2013

    Hi Jake, I am currently in Uni @ Liverpool and applied for student finance last summer when both my mum & step dad were working. On the application I didn’t base it on household income as they both together earned over the amount to get a reasonable maintenance loan. Then before starting Uni in September my step-dad was made redundant in August. Student Finance let me know I would be eligible for the lowest loan (£3575). This gave me only £1179 a term, with my accommodation at £1560 I struggled all year. I have been trying to change my application all year to base it on my mums income (£33,000) which was the year of 2012.

    Can you just confirm that I am owed money from this year? Student finance have said they’re looking into it but haven’t been much help for about 6 months. I think I am owed around £1,000 but would just like to check as I might have got this totally wrong.

    Also would I still be able to apply for a grant for this year that I have been at uni because I was not made aware that I would be able to get this funding. Thanks

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      20. May, 2013

      Hi Emma,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      This is a very tricky one to get to the bottom of and unfortunately I am not aware of the terms when trying to backdate owed payments from Student Finance.

      I believe that the payment you receive is based on earning for the tax year (as opposed to the calendar or university year).

      There is more information here: https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance/household-income

      You should be able to apply for a maintenance grant for the new university year when you resubmit your student finance form (which you should be doing around this time as the deadline is fast approaching).

      I hope that this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  33. szi korak

    07. Jun, 2013

    hi jake. I’m asking u a very difficult question. I am a non-eea national and has been living with my german father for only 1 year. My father is working in UK for three years. I have applied as a child of eea migrant worker. I’m not sure about my residency requirement. I have contacted sfe European Team many times before applying. They told me ” you are eligible” but I haven’t read anything showing leniency about 3 year residency in UK or EEA.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      07. Jun, 2013

      Hi Szi,

      This is indeed a very tricky one to answer, thanks for keeping me sharp on a Friday morning…

      I would say in thisinstance that if the SFE Europe Team say you are eligible then you should be.

      I would make sure that you keep a record of them saying “you are eligible” so that you can bring it up at a later date if any problems were to arise.

      In the meantime we have some more information on it here > http://www.savethestudent.org/international-students/a-guide-to-uk-tuition-fees-for-eu-students.html

      I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck as university.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  34. cathy

    10. Jun, 2013

    My daughter has applied for student finance inoder for her to get the maintenance grant we have to fill in forms about our income they want p60s from the year 2011 to 2012 for the this coming year at uni 2013 to 2014 I don’t understand this . Why don’t they want p60 from the year April 2012 to April 2013 which gives a true reflection of what I’m earning now ? Hope you can help .

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      11. Jun, 2013

      Hi Cathy,

      I have answered this question in the Facebook comments.

      Thanks

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  35. Katie

    11. Jun, 2013

    Hi Jake,

    I’m in my final year and have just applied for my student finance, but my maintenance loan is much lower than the figures I received for my first and second years. I’m not even sure it will cover my rent! Can you explain why this is and do you have any advice on what to do?

    Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      11. Jun, 2013

      Hi Katie,

      Unfortunately the student loans have always been dished out like this under the current system.

      It is because in the previous 2 years the maintenance loan accounts for summer too. In your final year they “assume” that you will be able to pick up a job straight after leaving university.

      If you really need financial help then I would suggest the Job Seekers Allowance until you are able to find a job.

      I hope this has helped.

      Jake :)

      Reply to this comment
  36. Nicoletta

    07. Jul, 2013

    Hi Jake

    I’m an Eu resident and I’ve applied for a student loan my question is what documents or evidence do I needto get the loan??? and there’s any possibility to get a maintenance loan???
    Thanks..

    Reply to this comment
  37. J.M.P.

    13. Jul, 2013

    Hi,
    we live in England and our elder child has just finished 1st year at Uni has a loan with SF England. We might be moving to Wales early in 2014, and our younger child will hopefully be starting Uni in Sept 2014 in England. Would the 2nd child apply through SF Wales? I have looked into this and think that because as parents we are already assessed by SF England we have to stay with them even if we move to Wales. As Wales are more generous with their support for students than England are this could make a difference to our children. what do you think?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      15. Jul, 2013

      Hi Jude,

      Thanks from getting in touch.

      From what I can see, cases like this are judged on a case by case basis by student finance Wales.

      Student Finance Wales say that students who are ‘normally or ordinarily’ resident in Wales should apply through them. However, the fact that your first child went through Student Finance England may cause a problem (although in my opinion it shouldn’t).

      I would suggest contacting Student Finance Wales directly for them to clarify.

      Hope that helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  38. J.M.P.

    15. Jul, 2013

    Dear Jake,
    Thanks for your advice, I will contact Student Finance Wales. Thanks for the website too – very useful!
    Best wishes
    Jude

    Reply to this comment
  39. Dan

    19. Jul, 2013

    Hi, dear friend
    My son who is British citizen due to some family problem had to move with me to other country, although he used to come and visit his father in summer, but unfortunatly he never wanted to take any responsibility apart from jsut to see him in summer. Well obvisly he couldnt live on his own so he had no choice rather than to come with me. Now as he grown up, he would like to settle in UK and study and build his life. I as a single mohter cannot afford for his Uni, Do you know if he can get any loan or grant? Does he count as a home or international student? what other help would be available for this kind of student?

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  40. Jennifer McParland

    29. Jul, 2013

    I have just paid almost £4000 for my son’s university accommodation in Dundee. He is from Northern Ireland and has to pay full fees. He qualifies for the minimum amount of maintenance loan based on household income. I presume that that means we are expected to make up the shortfall, but this is quite a financial strain. Can we at least claim some sort of tax relief on this? The whole system seems to be set up to mean that middle income parents get to pay lots of ” up front fees” despite all the claims.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      30. Jul, 2013

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks so much for getting in touch.

      This is always a tricky one for parents and students alike as the maintenance loan alone is not nearly enough to cover day to day living costs, as I’m sure you are aware.

      In this instance students are expected to make up the shortfall through a number of ways including parental support, a part-time job or other forms of finance such as the student account 0% overdraft.

      As you are earning above the threshold the government “suggests” that you should have enough to support your child throughout uni.

      As far as I’m aware there is no tax relief available unfortunately.

      I do agree that middle income families are most affected by this and in fact in some instances students are even affected by their parents’ poor money management which is not fair.

      I’m sorry that I could not offer a more positive answer.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  41. kel

    29. Jul, 2013

    Hi
    I was jus wandering do you have any idea how long it takes for student finance to assess an application, I have received a letter to say they have received my application and are assessing it I would just like to know how long it will take from now. Kelly

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      30. Jul, 2013

      Hi Kelly,

      I believe that it takes around 6 weeks to process the application to SFE.

      However, if you apply late it can take longer as far as I’m aware.

      If you find that it is taking too long then I would recommend giving them a call (using saynoto0870 of course) to find out what has happened to your application.

      I hope this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  42. kel

    30. Jul, 2013

    Thank u

    Reply to this comment
  43. Stella

    05. Aug, 2013

    Hi Jake,
    I have recently recieved a letter from Student Finance England saying that I have been disqualified for it. The reason stated was that I had only been living in the UK for 2 years prior before university (I lived abroad for 4 years before coming back to 6th form). However, I am a UK national and my parents have a main house in the UK and have been paying taxes for the 4 years we have been gone. If worse comes to worse, I will have to take a gap year.
    I just wondered if there was any way if I could get the loan I need.
    Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      06. Aug, 2013

      Hi Stella,

      Your situation is obviously quite a rare one.

      I am not 100% sure of the solution but as far as SFE are concerned you have not lived in the country for the past 3 years and therefore cannot claim a student loan.

      However, you may be able to appeal because of the fact that your parents have been paying UK taxes (although I’m not sure on this).

      I would suggest calling Student Finance England to see if they can resolve this for you and if not then a Gap-year would be a good option.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  44. Anna

    19. Aug, 2013

    First of all congratulations on the work you do and well done !

    My question is the following : my son failed his foundation year at Uni during which he obtained a student loan, maintenance loan and grant . If he does decide to go back to Uni in the future will he be able to re apply or not ?

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      20. Aug, 2013

      Hi Anna, I’m not actually 100% sure on this one as student finance are a bit confusing in their terms when covering situations like this.

      I would suggest giving them a call to see what they recommend.

      There is some more info on it here in the meantime: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies

      Hope that helps.

      Reply to this comment
  45. Turtle6

    16. Sep, 2013

    Hi Jake

    My daughter has dual UK/Italian nationality. She has lived and has been educated solely in the UK. She has an offer from a Welsh university and we have been advised that she can apply for the Welsh tuition fee grant and loan under the EU application process. Could you advise how this would affect her application for a maintenance loan ? Is she still entitled to receive this and how would she apply?

    Thanks

    turtle6

    Reply to this comment
  46. Turtle6

    19. Sep, 2013

    Thank you Jake.

    Reply to this comment
  47. Ryan

    21. Sep, 2013

    Hello Jake,

    I live with my Mother and Stepfather, he was made redundant last October and he has put all his savings into a business and all the money he is generating from the business is going back into it.

    What I do not understand is that he was in full time work last year and now although his circumstances have changed drastically they’re still asking for his 2012/2013 P45 which shows he has earned much more than what he’s actually on.

    My mother is only on £15,000 and my stepfather is living off his redundancy money as everything he earns from the business is going back into it, however Student finance Wales see my overall household income as £35,000 because of what my stepfather was on last year until he was made redundant, which i find really unfair as i could possibly be eligible to get a maximum grant but I’m no where near that.

    Key note – I was also wondering how my stepfather is expected to support for me if I am not his son. I know lots of people with divorced mothers who have kept their partners as boyfriends who live elsewhere so they can support their children better and the father of the student who is on a six figure salary isn’t included so conclusively that particular student gets a maximum grant and loan when his father can easily support him – which I find extremely unfair given my situation.

    Thanks in advance and I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Ryan.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      23. Sep, 2013

      Hi Ryan,

      Your situation is obviously a unique one but I have done some research and have some info on it.

      As your stepfather is running a business I believe that the salary he is taking from this (if any) will count towards the household income.

      The student finance site says “If your household income is expected to drop by 15% or more, you can ask for income details for the current tax year to be assessed instead. To do this, send a ‘CYI – current tax year income form’.” So, if this is the case I would suggest looking into this.

      I completely agree that the loophole you pointed out is not fair however if your stepfather is contributing to the household income then I’m afraid that he will be included on your application. The only way to avoid this would be to prove to student finance that he does not contribute any money to you at all.

      I hope this makes a few things a bit clearer and I wish you the best of luck in your application.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  48. Maisie

    23. Sep, 2013

    Jake – please can you advise whether my daughter should take out the maintenance loan? She is eligible for maximum govt student bursary and also a university bursary, meaning she does not actually need the loan to live on. (Parental earnings are below £16 k). But I have heard it is worth taking the loan and investing it as this makes good financial sense if she needs to borrow later in life.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      24. Sep, 2013

      Hi Maisie, that’s a great question and I applaud you for doing the research!

      To put it simply, it’s entirely down to you and/or your daughter.

      The maintenance loan could come in handy but it’s worth being aware that the interest will be 3% + RPI (~1.5%) = 4.5% whilst your daughter studies. Then after graduating the interest will range from ~1.5% to ~4.5% depending on your daughter’s salary. But then again, she may never have to pay any of it back (although I would hope that she does get a salary above the £21,00 repayment threshold).

      The truth is that your daughter will never be able to borrow money at that rate and with those terms again in her life. So, it’s about making a decision of whether she may need to borrow that money in future.

      I would suggest taking the maintenance loan and then putting it straight in an ISA or high interest savings account for her in the future. Could come in handy when needing a mortgage deposit or buying a car etc.

      I hope this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  49. Shashank Sharma

    30. Sep, 2013

    Hey Jake,
    I am an Indian national applying for 2014 courses, and am the son of the migrant worker in the U.K. I normally live in the U.K and have been living here since 2011 , am I eligible for student finance ?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      30. Sep, 2013

      Hi Shashank,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You usually have to have lived in the UK for 3 or more years before starting your course but as you are the son of a migrant worker and your residence is now in the UK you may be eligible for student finance.

      I would suggest double checking with Student Finance England as they should be able to let you know if you are eligible or not.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  50. Florilyn Buckingham

    08. Oct, 2013

    Hi Jake,
    My daughter starts university this sept..and she is studying in london college of arts..
    She receive the letter from sfe that she is entitled to a maintenance loan of 4988.. which not even the maximum loan she can get…

    I am the one who is financially support her and even got a loan for her to start her university..my husband which is only her step dad doesnt contribute with het uni..

    My husband is a self employed and his income varies..My question is can my daughter apply formaintenance which is the maximum rate..

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      10. Oct, 2013

      Hi Florilyn,

      Congratulations to your daughter for getting into university.

      The loan amount is based on household income as opposed to the support. The reason for this is that your husband contributes towards the house which in theory means that you have more to support your daughter (even if he isn’t contributing directly).

      Did your daughter apply for her loan with income assessment? If not I would suggest taking this route as it means student finance can assess how much she is owed.

      As far as I’m aware, as your husband is self employed he will need to give the details of his income from the previous tax year.

      I hope this helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
      • Florilyn Buckingham

        10. Oct, 2013

        Hi Jake

        Thank you for the reply..yes my daughter applief for student loan and they said it’s still being assess…once again thank you for the help.

        florilyn

        Reply to this comment
  51. Sophie

    12. Oct, 2013

    I am studying the BSc Medical Imaging Course (diagnostic radiography) . I failed my first year, and am now repeating first year again. However, NHS won’t fund my course for this year, but will pay for the second and third year. I have contacted Student Loans Company, and they said because my course is tied to the NHS, I am not entitled to getting a tuition fee loan. I have also contacted Barclay’s about the Career/Professional Development loan, which is really difficult to obtain. Also, my parents are not able to fund me. I was wondering what I can do in the difficult situation I am in, as I really want to stay on this course, but do not have enough money to pay for my tuition fees for this year. Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      14. Oct, 2013

      Hi Sophie,

      It does sound like you are in quite a niche situation. From the information you’ve supplied it sounds like it won’t be possible for you to gain any funding from the government or other similar sources.

      I would highly recommend talking to your parents about how much they could support you if at all. It’s not ideal but you may have to look into a standard bank loan in order to fund this year of study!

      Hope that helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  52. MARTA

    05. Nov, 2013

    Hi, I hope you can help. I am resident in UK (England) and want to study for an undergraduate degree part -time with the OU. What will happen if I move abroad to another EU country during my studies. Will I be able to get “top -up” on my student loan after moving to live abroad?

    And continue my study there.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      06. Nov, 2013

      Hi Marta,

      I’m afraid that I’m not sure of the rulings here.

      I would assume that you would still receive your student loan despite moving abroad.

      However, I would guess that you’d still have to attend exams, lectures & seminars in the UK which would be a little tricky.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  53. MARTA

    07. Nov, 2013

    Hi Jake,

    Thank you for answering. It is Open University, so distance learning and they take care of everything when you study abroad.

    The thing is I get conflicting information and is not clear at all in advisory literature from Student Finance, as well. You only know that you have to be resident “before” and “on the first day of the academic year of a course”. If Student Finance would not honour subsequent re-applications because I have moved broad after that I feel it would be misleading and people make serious commitments relying on this info.
    I am going to try and dig a little deeper into this issue. I realy would like to study, but I need this flexibility at the moment as well, so I really hope that your understanding which is the same as mine is correct.

    Best wishes, Marta.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      07. Nov, 2013

      Hi Marta,

      I think the best course of action would be to simply call Student Finance and talk to a representative.

      Do not put down the phone until you have a definite answer.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  54. Inga

    09. Nov, 2013

    Good time of the day, Jake!
    Thank you for a useful site.

    I have a double citizenship (Russia and Estonia), have finished russian school and for family circumstances live in Russia now.
    The question is: Am i eligible for a student loan? Because I heard something like ‘you must be living in EU for last 3 years’..
    I am confused.

    Reply to this comment
  55. osman

    01. Jan, 2014

    Hi jake
    I am a UK citizen but I lived all my life abroad
    M I eligible for student finance?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      06. Jan, 2014

      Hi Osman,

      I would suggest double checking with student finance but from my own knowledge you can only apply for UK finance if you have been living in the UK for at least 3 years prior to attending university.

      Hope that helps.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  56. nelly

    10. Jan, 2014

    my course is due to start in september and i will be roughly three years by october 14th, the thing is i am british citizen but lived abroad all my life but came back in 2011 october . i just got an unconditional offer and i am dreaming of uni ever since. do i qualify for nhs bursary or assistance of any kind. no one seems to be of help in the students finance department concerning this issue. i dont see why i wont be eligible, its just some days difference into 3 years
    nelly

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      12. Jan, 2014

      Hi Nelly,

      Unfortunately it sounds like you will just miss out on gaining student finance by about a month.

      The terms state that you must have been living in the UK for at least 3 years before the start date of your course.

      Student Finance England should be able to help you further if you give them a ring but as far as I can see you will not be eligible for some types of funding in this academic year.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  57. Jenny Mahmoud

    15. Jan, 2014

    Hi Jake,

    My son is a British Citizen, born in the UK but has been abroad for the past 12 years due to my international teaching job. He is turning 16 and would very much like to study A-Levels and eventually University in the UK. Since I am still on contract for another year I will be unable to join him but he can stay with family members there. I have read all of the comments regarding being in the UK for 3 years prior to going to University but does this also apply to under 18 further education? Also, would it make any difference if he applied to a college or a sixth form within a school?
    I stopped receiving Child Benefit when we first moved away as I notified them that we were leaving and we seem to have lost all of our entitlements. We visit my family in the UK every summer and are registered at my parent’s address. I also have a bank account there.
    It doesn’t seem fair that so many people cheat the system and yet those who are honest are penalised.

    Please advise.
    Jenny

    Reply to this comment
  58. Daisy Hancell

    29. Jan, 2014

    Hello, I attended university this year and left because I didn’t agree with the ethics of the course and I have applied again for next year on a different course. In 2008 I was accepted onto a course and enrolled but as I moved away did not attend any classes and my tuition fees were refunded back to SFE. I emailed them to check I would be eligible for 3 years worth of funding but they said that I would not be entitled to the first year. Is there any way around this? I didn’t attend the first time and have no outstanding tuition fees with the uni or SFE. Daisy

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      29. Jan, 2014

      Hi Daisy,

      Thanks for getting in touch :)

      Did you receive any funding (either in 2008 or this year) that you didn’t pay back to Student Finance?

      If you received funding for your studies this year then this would be the reason that you unfortunately wouldn’t be allowed funding for the first year of the course that you will be starting next year, if that makes sense.

      If this is not the case then I would strongly suggest calling SFE and arguing your case. I believe as a blanket rule that they must discount you for a year’s funding if you’ve already received some.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
      • Daisy Hancell

        29. Jan, 2014

        Hello, thank you for your reply.

        I did receieve funding this year but my tuition fees for 2008 were fully refunded to SFE. If I’m unable to get my first years funding, could I get full funding for a 2 year course?

        Thanks for your help.

        Reply to this comment
        • Jake Butler

          29. Jan, 2014

          Hi Daisy,

          As far as I’m aware, because you received and used funding this year, that is why they will not let you claim for another first yeat.

          I am unsure as to the situation for a 2 year course.

          Jake.

          Reply to this comment
  59. Ian Kilpatrick

    03. Feb, 2014

    Hi Jake,

    My son starts Uni in September. For the year they want our household income my wife received Disability Living Allowance and Carer’s Allowance for him. The DLA is non-taxable so I assume is not included in our income, but the CA is taxable. Do you know if this needs to be included?

    Ian

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      03. Feb, 2014

      Hi Ian,

      Congrats on your son starting uni this year! I envy him.

      As far as I’m aware, you are correct that the carer’s allowance is taken into account whereas the DLA isn’t.

      Hope that clears everything up.

      Jake.

      Reply to this comment
  60. Mark Gunston

    13. Feb, 2014

    Hi Jake,

    I have been offered a place at Uni starting 2014 but will require the loans and grants to pay for it. I am a mature student and have worked abroad on seasonal contracts (skiing and windsurfing) on and off over the past 32 years.
    My current address in UK is a friends house that I use for post and banking though I do not live there. I have not worked in UK over the past 3 years, only abroad, and when I have been in UK between seasons I have stayed at various friends houses and not signed on. I have always earnt less than £10K pa so have not paid tax. Can I still get finance?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      13. Feb, 2014

      Hi Mark,

      This is very tricky and I would advise contacting student finance to ask them whether you’d be able to claim any finance at all.

      There’s more on it here > https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies

      I hope this helps.

      Reply to this comment
      • Mark Gunston

        15. Feb, 2014

        Hi Jake, my offer from Student Finance just came through and I am eligible which is a huge relief. It would seem that as long as you are a UK resident and have an address in UK, it is ok if you have worked abroad for more than 3 months at a time. That makes sense as I have worked with lots of young windsurfing and sailing teachers who have travelled and worked for extended periods abroad before going to Uni.

        Reply to this comment
        • Jake Butler

          16. Feb, 2014

          Hi Mark, that’s great news and thanks for keeping me updated. Means I can help others in similar situations in future. Best of luck at uni!

          Reply to this comment
  61. Caitlin

    20. Feb, 2014

    Hi,
    I applied online for student finance and submitted my application, done and dusted; my mother just needs to support my application.

    The problem is, after making an online account for my mother, it refused to cooperate and basically, things just wouldn’t work with her account. So we are going to send her bit in paper.

    My question is:
    If I have already submitted my application online, and they receive my mother’s support in paper, will it still count? Will they still recognise it? I’m really worried that they might see my online account completed, and assume she will support it online too.

    It may be an irrational worry, but I really need an answer or peace of mind.

    So, if my application has been sent online and her support is in paper, will they still recognise it?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jake Butler

      20. Feb, 2014

      Hi Caitlin,

      I wish I could give you a solid answer but I’m not actually sure on this one.

      I would always suggest doing the whole thing as a paper application or the whole thing online.

      The best thing to do would be to ring student finance and ask them whether they would merge the two or if they’ll fix the online issue.

      Reply to this comment

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