The Big Fat Guide to Student Finance 2017

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By in Student Finance. Updated .

Student Finance got your head in a spin? Let us put you straight! We'll show you where the money is and – crucially – how to get your hands on it.
student finance guide

Getting to grips with Student Finance might sound as appealing as Katie Hopkins on a crisis hotline, but it boils down to this: going to university is pricey – but there's lots of cash out there to help you.

Unfortunately, not only is some of that cash really well hidden, the rules about who gets what keeps changing. Even keeping track of fee rises is enough to make you cross-eyed. That's where we come in.

Why bother reading this guide?

student_protest_dublin_budget31Save the Student has been following the student loan changes for years, petitioned against higher fees, created the first ever student loan calculator for the new fees and commented in countless newspapers from the very beginning of the recent shake ups.

By no means do we support charging uni fees but we believe it is vital that the myths are debunked and students are aware of the facts.

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

Checking out the info on this page will mean you'll be less confused about undergraduate uni costs, more confident about getting the funds you need, and have a better idea how much the whole shebang's going to set you back. Read on.

If you're a student from outside of England, also take a look at our guides for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, EU countries or international students.

student finance ebookPrefer an eBook? Go ahead and download The Essential Student Guide to Finance – it's free, and has loads more juicy bits beyond the Student Loan!

Student Finance in a nutshell

Grey squirrel with nut
Student finance is never a simple topic to cover (well, except when uni 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, here's a quick summary:

  1. The maximum universities can charge for tuition fees in 2016 (and since 2012) is £9,000. That’s a three-fold increase on 2011
  2. Full-time students starting in 2016 can apply for a max maintenance loan of £8,200 depending on household income (more for those in London)
  3. The maintenance loan is not enough to live on for most students so you could need extra income or to learn to live on less
  4. The average university graduate will be saddled with a student debt of around £48,000
  5. You do not pay a penny until you graduate and earn £21,000 per annum. Repayments are then 9% of anything above this.
  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. Maintenance Grants are still available for current students that started uni before 2016 (as they receive a smaller loan)
  10. Other grants and funding are available for new starters in 2016 for those with disabilities or dependants, or from low-income backgrounds
  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).

Keep reading to get a clearer understanding of what the charges – and the finance on offer – means for you.

How much does university cost?

Tuition fees

Shocked muppet (Beaker)Credit: imgflipThe most that UK universities can charge for tuition in 2016 is a hefty £9,000 a year. If that sounds a lot, it is – especially when you consider that in 2011, the most they could charge was £3,375 (jump back a few more years, and tuition was free…). However, unless you've got a souped-up DeLorean, £9k is where we're at.

That said, there's a bit of variation. Each country in the UK sets its own maximum. Not all universities charge the full Monty (though most do). International/postgrad courses, and private institutions, also have different fees.

Are fees going up?

Probably. Some universities have already started advertising fees of £9,250 for courses starting in 2017, although it's not clear yet who will be allowed to charge the new maximum – it partly depends on government policy and teaching standards.

Either way, in the biggest swizz since Michael Caine grabbed a Mini Cooper, a map of Italy and Benny Hill, the planned fees rise could affect students whose course started in earlier years. We're still waiting to find out the details but, in the meantime, stay tuned to our updates and keep an eye on this page!

Differences across the UK

Here's maximum that public universities can charge in undergrad fees, depending on where you live when you apply:

Students fromStudying in EnglandStudying in ScotlandStudying in WalesStudying in N Ireland
Northern Ireland£9k£9k£9k£3,925
EU countries£9kFree£9k£3,925

BUT, if you're entitled to Student Finance:

  • In Wales, there are fee grants for Welsh/EU students which effectively cap tuition costs at £3,900 (the Welsh Government pays the rest).
  • In Scotland, you can get free tuition at Scottish unis. Study elsewhere and you can be charged full whack (but with access to Student Loans to pay for it).
  • In N Ireland, you can be charged up to £3,925 (unless you study elsewhere in the UK).
  • In England, you kinda get the thin edge of the wedge: it's up to £9k wherever you study, and you can't claim EU status over here!
  • EU students can get the same deal as locals, including free or discounted tuition.

What do tuition fees pay for?

Tuition, obviously. They also contribute to uni facilities and provisions. Some of it goes towards financial support for students struggling to get by, or from low-income families.

At the end of the day, you're paying for it: find out where it goes, how it's spent, what it doesn't include and, crucially, what returns you'll get on it, whether that's a better-stocked library or a better chance of getting a job when you graduate.

Three empty shopping trolleysCredit: Polycart – Flickr

Should you shop around for lower tuition fees?

Most universities charge what all the others in their country charge so, unfortunately, it's not like you can ditch Waitrose for Lidl! Living costs such as rent, food and transport – the things you have to pay for up-front – may be a better way to judge what's affordable for you (use our Student Money Survey to see how costs vary around the country).

Where fees matter more is if you opt to pay more than you could, such as if you get free tuition or grants in your home country that you'd lose by studying somewhere else.

Students from England have the biggest incentive to shop around. While you can be charged up to £9k wherever you study, some universities – especially elsewhere in the UK – charge significantly less. Abertay Dundee, for instance, charges students from the rest of the UK a maximum of £7,500.

Smaller colleges are also an option: some offer the same degrees for less than their big-name rivals. Staying local (living at home and studying in your neighbourhood) can also net you substantial savings on living costs. Don't forget that UK students can study at some universities in Europe, as well as in the Republic of Ireland, for free: check our guide to studying abroad for the big picture.

The big tot-up is how you stand with the idea of graduating in debt, and whether you'd rather pay more up-front, or push back as many costs as you can. Take a look at our Loans lowdown before you decide.

The bottom line is that, fees or not, getting a degree is pricey. Studying at a uni (or location) you have no love or respect for just because it's cheaper will still be cash burner. Don't forget your subject passions or the uni's teaching credentials/facilities, and how both can help you get your cash back through a decent income later on!

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

Course costs

At up to £9k a pop, you'd think tuition fees would see you fully paid up. They don't. You'll have to confirm extra course costs for yourself, but generally you're looking at things like books, stationery, lab kit or art materials, field trips, printing, photocopying and presentation.

Once you've costed that lot up, you'll need to allow for them in your budget to make sure you've got enough cash to get by.

Living costs

Baked beansCredit: imgflip
This is what no one tells you before you go: living costs are the biggest drain on student pockets. While tuition costs can be pushed back until you graduate, you'll still have immediate costs to bankroll: accommodation, bills, transport, socialising, laundry and, if you're into that kind of thing, food.

Now, there's no need to panic: some of those can be covered by the Maintenance Loan or any bursaries and grants you're entitled to. Chances are, though, you'll need a bit of back-up from savings, your folks, a part-time job or smart money-making ideas.

As with course extras, get an idea of all your costs and stick them in a budget planner so you'll know how much you need to get by before you land on campus.

How to pay for university

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The Tuition Fee Loan

Most first-time undergraduates on an approved course are likely to be eligible for Student Finance in some flavour.

The Tuition Loan, which covers your fees, is the big one. The money's paid directly to the university, and you don't have to repay it until you leave your course and are earning enough (more about that below).

Your first port of call – for this, the Maintenance Loan or any grants going – should be your country's Student Finance body:

Student Finance England

Student Awards Agency Scotland

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance Northern Ireland

You can get a maximum of £9,000 per year towards your tuition depending on the cost of your course. Most prospective students should be fine but it's worth checking the eligibility criteria for taking out the loan.

Those on part-time courses can also apply for tuition fee loans.

The Maintenance Loan

Tiny turtle - show me the moneyCredit: imgflip

The sole purpose of this loan is to cover your day-to-day living costs. Differently to the tuition fee loan, it's paid directly to you.

You don't have to take out a Maintenance Loan but, if you don't have a mountain of cash to fall back on, it's an option. Everyone eligible to apply can get some of the Loan, but getting the full bucket of fries is ‘income contingent': the less household income you have, the more you can apply for (up to a maximum).

Here's how much full-time students can apply for in England:

Where you live & studyMax. Maintenance Loan 2016 startersMax. Maintenance Loan 2012-2016 Starters
Live at home£6,904£4,565
Live away from home£8,200£5,750
Live away from home (London)£10,702£8,009
Live away from home (abroad)£9,391£6,820

Don't forget that these are just the maximum amounts you could apply for. What you actually get will vary: the numbers are different for the rest of the UK, with household income ultimately dictating what you're entitled to ask for.

As a rough guide, in England you'll need household income of £25,000 or less to get maximum maintenance. Above £25k, money's awarded on a sliding scale.

The table below is an indication of what you could get if you are starting uni this year and living away from home (outside London).

Household IncomeMaintenance Loan

If your parents earn above £25,000/year they are expected to help you out (more on that below).

Top tip: maintenance funds are doled out in instalments throughout the year, so it's up to you to make it last. Don't be tempted to bust it all in Fresher's week, or it could be a long term of eating cut-price noodles!

You might also find maintenance money doesn't arrive before you get to uni – make sure you've got some other cash to hand to keep you going.

Untaxed income, such as ISA interest and some benefits, don't have to be declared when applying for Student Finance. Including them unnecessarily could mean you get less funding. See our top tax facts for info, and pass it on!

What extra funding is available in 2016?

Maintenance grants

In England, students starting uni in 2016 and after can no longer get a Maintenance or Special Support Grant. This has been a bit of a bombshell. Some students worry that means they can't afford to go to (or stay at) uni – but what's the story?

Grants are student finance you don't repay. The Government has stopped this free cash, and now expects new starters to take on bigger loans to, essentially, pay their own way. The total amount of maintenance money on offer hasn't changed much. However, you're likely to leave uni with more to pay back.

That doesn't have to mean uni is any less affordable. As with the Tuition Loan, you'll only start repaying when you earn enough: get the Loans lowdown to see where you stand.

– The change only affects students funded under the English system

– It only affects new starters from 2016 – if you already get a Grant, it won't be taken away (see below)

– If you want to go to university, there'll still be funding to help you get there.

In the rest of the UK, it's business as usual: there are still Maintenance Grants and Bursaries up for grabs. Check our regional guides for what's going in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you started before 2016 and are currently at uni the table below shows the grants you are eligible to receive.

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

Money from parents

Man with binocularsCredit: unsplash

As things stand, some Student Finance pay-outs take your household income (how much you or your parents earn) into account. If there's a shortfall between how much the State contributes, and how much you really need to live on, you're expected to cough up for some of the difference yourself. More specifically, your parents, guardians or partner are expected to chip in.

In reality, that's not going to work for everyone but, whether the money's on the table or not, it's worth thinking about your options and having The Talk up front:

– Can your folks contribute any cash? Will it be a loan or a freebie? Any conditions on how you spend it?

– If they can't help you financially, how else could they support you? Don't underestimate the power of leftovers!

Feel free to show them this guide if you are struggling to convince them. We also have more on asking your parents for money here.

If cash handouts are a no-go, now's the time to think about how else you're going to keep your budget in the black!

Awards and scholarships

These are the overlooked cash pots of student finance!

Some depend on academic achievement, but there's a huge array of criteria – everything from studying an unusual subject to being sporty, or even where you were born. Some pay-off tuition fees (reducing your overall debt), while others give cash grants or kit, or a choice. We've a list of sources to search for hidden cash right here.

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

The DSA provides extra funding if you have a disability that affects your studies (including long-term physical conditions, mental health, and unseen or learning difficulties). You'll need to provide evidence to be eligible but, if you are, there's cash to pay for specialist equipment, a helper, and other costs.

The allowance is on top of any Student Finance you get, isn't affected by household income, and doesn't have to be paid back. Accepting other disability related grants or support can affect whether you get DSA, so talk it over with your uni or school's advisor first, or head over to your Student Finance body.

Other student grants

Grants and bursariesCredit: imgflip
Don't overlook other grants going, including for course travel costs, in-demand subjects (like teaching), and the NHS bursary. Details are in our Student grants, bursaries and scholarships guide.

Hardship funds

Universities charging the full enchilada in tuition fees have to keep some of the cash aside to help those struggling financially. Some of the money may be ring-fenced for particular circumstances, such as students from low-income backgrounds or with disabilities or dependants.

Whatever the score, if lack of cash is stopping you studying, talk to the uni's welfare team or student money advisor about any emergency grants or loans going. Heads-up: you'll need to take copies of your Student Finance letters and your budget.

Other sources

Black calculator and book
The turn2us grants calculator can help you find charity funds based on a whole heap of criteria – everything from your religion, nationality or gender to health conditions, personal issues and family situation.

While banks aren't the first place to turn if you're looking for a cuddle, learning how to use your student account properly – and when to use benefits like an interest-free overdraft – can help you get your hands on extra cash when you need it.

Your own cash

There's no denying that anything you can chuck in the pot can only help you out.

That could be squirreling away a few quid every time you come into cash, or finding ways to make money. Give it a whirl!

The lowdown on Student Loan Repayments

How is the Student Loan repaid?

Man in booth, loan punCredit: imgflip

9% of anything you earn over £21,000 per year

You'll only start repaying your Student Loan once you've left your course and are earning more than the repayment threshold (£21,000 in England or Wales, £17,775 a year in Northern Ireland and Scotland).

Note: for those that started uni before 2012 you will start repaying when you earn over £17,775/year.

You'll pay 9% of anything you earn above that amount. If you don't earn more than the threshold, you won't pay anything.

Here's what your monthly repayments could look like (remember these are just guide figures!):

Yearly salaryMonthy repayments (England/Wales)Monthy repayments (Scotland/NI)

The money's automatically docked from your wages before you get paid and, because repayments track your weekly or monthly income, if your salary goes down (or stops), you won't pay until you're back over the threshold. Unless you're self-employed, it all happens magically without you needing to do anything or remember to make payments.

After 30 years, any remaining loan is wiped

(it's 25 years in NI, 35 years in Scotland). So, if you don't go into a big bucks career, you may not earn enough to pay back the full Loan – and there's nothing anyone can do about that.

Note: for those that started uni before 2012 your debt is wiped 25 years after graduating.

On the other hand, the more you earn, the more you'll pay back. It's worth bearing in mind as by the time your salary pumps up to decent levels, you might want to do other things with it (such as paying for a mortgage or buying a new car)!

If you want to find out how fast you're likely to hit the salary threshold, check the average starting pay for your degree. To get an idea whether you'll pay off the whole Loan (or how long it could take you), plug that number into our Student Loan repayment calculator.

Loans smallprint you really need to know

Hands signing contract

You pay tax on your initial salary

What's that? Double whammy, you say? Unfortunately, Student Loan repayments don't entitle you to any tax breaks. That means you'll pay income tax on your salary before the Loan repayment comes off.

For example, if you earn £45,000 a year, any income tax you owe be collected in the normal way. When your Loan repayment is calculated, though, it's still worked out from that starting £45k figure. You won't pay less income tax, even though you've had to ‘lose' a bit of your salary towards Loan repayments.

Income doesn't just mean salary

Whether you're paying tax or paying back the Student Loan, ‘income' includes any taxable money you get. That includes interest from some savings accounts over £2,000, and certain job perks or State benefits. Worth keeping an eye on as they could unexpectedly tip you over the repayment threshold.

WARNING: The terms aren't set in stone

Shockingly, there's nothing in the Loan agreement guaranteeing that salary thresholds or the 9% figure will be honoured.

In fact, the Government's currently being challenged on plans to freeze the £21,000 salary threshold (which effectively mean you could be paying more in relation to rising costs of living). Keep an eye on the news – or bookmark this page – for updates.

Interest is the sting in the tail

Just like any kind of loan, the Student Loan whacks interest onto everything you borrow.

For students in Scotland and NI, interest is set at RPI (currently 1.6% per year).

In England and Wales, however, interest is charged on top of the rate of inflation. That means you'll be charged between whatever inflation is set at (currently 1.6%) plus up to 3% each year.

Here's how the interest works.

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.

Note: Those students in England that started before 2012 will pay interest at the rate of inflation (currently 1.6%) OR the bank of England base rate plus 1% (currently 1.25%) depending on which one is lower.

Added interest means you'll owe more than you actually borrowed, and could be making repayments for longer. Head over to the Student Loans Company to sniff out the numbers for yourself.

It doesn't affect your credit rating

Your student debt doesn't go on your credit files so it won't affect your ability to borrow in future.

However, it could have a very small effect on mortgage applications. This is simply to do with the fact that a student loan will mean you have less take home pay each month. Therefore it's not the debt but more the repayments that can have an impact (although minimal).

Finally, there's no debt collectors or angry people chasing your money with student loans. If your salary ever dips below the minimum repayment threshold you'll just stop paying altogether.

Moving abroad doesn't save you

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.

Should I pay back the Loan early?

Joker (Batman) - really?Credit: imgflip
You can choose to clear your student debt or make higher repayments at any time – the question is, should you?

While you might be tempted to pay off your Student Loan in full as soon as possible, remember that the rates and terms are better than with commercial loans.

It's also worth thinking about how likely you are to pay off your entire Loan based on your predicted earnings (and remember that anything you haven't cleared after 30-ish years is wiped off). Clearing the Loan early could mean paying when you don't have to, plus, once you've handed the money over, you can't get it back if you need it for anything else.

Think it over before you part with your cash, and only pay-up when you can really afford to.

So, should I get a Student Loan?

Poker handWhile it's good to be cautious about borrowing in general, the Student Loan is a slightly different kettle of fish.

Firstly, it's not like a commercial loan. Yes, it's borrowing, but on more affordable terms than you'll get anywhere else. More importantly, paying it back depends on earning enough later on: in that sense, it works more like a tax than a loan. If you don't earn enough, you won't make repayments – which is pretty much how income tax works. For that reason, it makes sense to get a Student Loan if you're eligible, rather than paying up-front (or paying back the Loan early!).

Most students won't be able to afford university without the Loan, but what you get for your ‘debt' – a degree – is a high value purchase: it can help you earn more throughout your career than non-graduates.

The best advice for the current system is to not get sidetracked by the total you'll end up owing. While that's an important number, keeping an eye on things like your graduate salary and monthly repayments (and how likely you are to repay) can give you the bigger picture of whether the Loan's right for you.

5 tips for slashing student debt

Lightbulb on lawn

  1. ALWAYS check what other funding you could grab

    Every year, hundreds of students miss out on free money because they don't know the extra cash is there. Whether you meet the low-income criteria or not, there could be funding out there with your name on it, from scholarships and emergency cash to company sponsorship. If you don't ask, you won't get, and if you don't search, you won't find: here's where to look first.

  2. Get a part-time job

    With two-thirds of students upping their income with a job, employment is an obvious go-to for keeping debt in check. Check your uni's rules on part-time work and, most importantly, make sure any gigs you go for fit around your studies.

    Take at look at our Student job section for advice on getting an in, or peruse our Part-time jobs board to see what's going in your area.

  3. Make your own money!

    No jobs in your neighbourhood? No problemo! There are scores of ways to make legit lolly, from freelancing to starting a bona fide student business. Need ideas? We've got 40 quick cash injections right here.

  4. Don't lose out on tax

    If you don't earn more than the ‘personal allowance' each year, you won't have to pay tax on your income, whether from wages or interest you get from the bank. Don't pay if you don't have to or, if like many students, you've been over-charged, get it back!

    The other biggie is that knowing what counts as taxable income – and what doesn't – can help you get the Student Finance you're entitled to. It could even make a difference to how much and when you start coughing up towards your Student Loan.

    Either way, it pays to get to grips with tax: read our top student tax tips to get it done in a jiffy.

  5. Keep things in balance

    Any money coming in – whether it's loaned or earned – is just one side of the story if you're barreling through it faster than your data allowance in a wifi blackspot. Learn how to make it last, and you'll be on to a winner!

home-aloneCredit: imgflip
Hopefully this guide has given you a clearer idea of what Student Finance means for you, based on facts rather than hype. We've also shown you options beyond Loans and grants, and pointed the way to cash that can help you get to – and stay at – university. Make the most of what's out there!

Got questions? Ask away below: we promise to give every student a response, or point you in the direction of more info.

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358 Responses to “The Big Fat Guide to Student Finance 2017”

  1. KerryB

    03. Apr, 2017

    Hi Jake.#
    My son started a Maths degree last September and withdrew after the first term, so paid 25%of the total tuition fee. He is starting a 4-year MEng course at a new uni this coming September. Will he receive funding for the 4 years from Student Finance England?

    • Jake Butler

      04. Apr, 2017

      HI Kerry, it’s best to ask student finance about this.

  2. J Martin

    24. Jan, 2017

    Can you tell me if the amount of Maintenance Loan a student gets depends solely on the household income or whether it takes into account savings and investments within the household too?
    Many Thanks

    • Jake Butler

      25. Jan, 2017

      Hi, any interest earned on savings and investments is counted towards the household income.

      • Jeanette

        16. Feb, 2017

        This is really useful as I am in the process of sorting out my sons student finance with him. My husband and I have some savings in our current accounts and we’re worried about having to declare this when applying for the maintenance loan, will this money be taken into account?

        Could you point me in the direction of an official page that explains this please? Thanks

        • Jake Butler

          17. Feb, 2017

          Hi Jeanette, if the forms asks you to declare your savings then you will need to. As far as I know it’s the interest on the savings that will be taken into account as earnings.

  3. James

    20. Jan, 2017

    I retained my right of residence after my divorce with my ex husband who is an EEA. Would i qualify for Student loan so as to pursue university degree such as the tuition and maintenance fee? Kindly advice . Many thanks

    • Jake Butler

      23. Jan, 2017

      Hi James, I’m not sure on this one I’m afraid. My advice would be to check with Student Finance.

  4. Louise Mossop

    13. Jan, 2017

    I graduated from my first degree in July but I am now thinking of doing a second degree in nursing. I got student finance for my first degree and I wondered if I would be eligible for the maintenance loan again through student finance as there is no longer a NHS bursary? I read somewhere that it may be possible for NHS courses but can’t find any information to confirm it.

    • Jake Butler

      13. Jan, 2017

      Hi Louise, as far as I know you cannot do this. But it’s worth contacting student finance directly for clarification.

  5. Lucy

    04. Dec, 2016

    Hi, I am currently in my second year of uni and am due to get married next summer. I will still have a year left of my degree, and will not be living at home with my parents as I do now – will I be able to re-apply for a higher maintenance loan as the household income which me and my husband are expecting to have will be significantly lower than my parent’s household income?

    • Jake Butler

      05. Dec, 2016

      Hi Lucy, I believe that you have to have been independent for 3 years before applying with your own household income. It’s worth checking this with student finance though.

  6. Alex Moore

    15. Nov, 2016

    Hi, When I applied for my student loan I was living at home with my parents. Now I want to move in with other students, can I apply for a top up on my loan to help with accommodation costs?


    • Jake Butler

      17. Jan, 2017

      Hi Alex, the amount you get is based on your parents household income. If you’ve only recently moved out you won’t be able to apply for a loan as an independent I’m afraid.

  7. Jess

    23. Oct, 2016

    Hi, I’m currently studying my first year of HND which i think is technically a HNC. I’m planning on leaving after this year to start onto the first year of a uni course which lasts 4 years; One of which is a placement year. On the uni website it says that HNC students start at first year, and HND start at second year. (A lot of other universities accept HND students into the final year). I’ve heard that HNC is the equivalent of a first year at uni so I’m wondering will student finance still fund me for the first year of uni?

    • Jake Butler

      24. Oct, 2016

      Hi Jess, you may still get limited funding but as far as I’m aware you will not be eligible for funding for the whole 4 years of university study. It differs for each situation though so I’d recommend contacting student finance for clarification on your situation.

  8. Rodger

    06. Oct, 2016

    Does a partner’s income (pension) count towards the household income of a single mum (unemployed) who has a daughter entering her 3rd year at University in terms of the level of the grant awarded?

    • Jake Butler

      07. Oct, 2016

      Hi Rodger, the amount offered is based on the entire household income. Earned and unearned income (eg benefits, pension or investments) for a certain tax year will be assessed.

  9. Marty

    05. Oct, 2016

    Hi, I’ve seen that residual income, which is what your household is means tested on, is calcuated after any pension constributions are made. My question is whether these contributions can be purposefully increased so as to affect the amount of loan granted? Are there any other ways to reduce household residual income?

  10. kirsty pearce

    21. Aug, 2016

    Hi , I am 27 years old and applying for uni for next September. I will be continuing to live at home with my mother and grandmother while I do so. When applying for student finance it asks for my income, I currently work full time but will have to drop to part time once I start university, do I predict the wage I will get then or give them the wage I’m earning now? As this may affect any loans I can get, My mother is on carers allowance for looking after my disabled grandmother so I won’t be able to get financial help from her. As I am 27 do I even need to include my mothers’ income ?

    • Jake Butler

      22. Aug, 2016

      Hi Kirsty, thanks for getting in touch. You should be able to apply as independent as you are over 25. I believe they usually ask what you will be earning from the start of your course and as you plan to leave your job it should technically be 0 (although it’s worth double checking with student finance what you should do in that instance).

  11. Michelle Middleton

    19. Aug, 2016

    Hi, I graduated from my first degree 11 years ago and have been paying back my student loan. This September I am going back to university to become a mental health nurse, I have applied for a maintence loan but haven’t heard anything back yet. My question is, because I’ve already been and completed a university degree will I be eligible for a maintence loan? I know it’s means tested and I have worked out what I could get based on my husbands wage.

    • Jake Butler

      19. Aug, 2016

      Hi Michelle, unfortunately you are not eligible for any funding if you have already completed a degree. The only funding you can get after completing an undergraduate degree is the new postgraduate loan.

  12. amanda belk

    17. Aug, 2016

    I am a single mum on income support and housing benefit, I am starting my course in sept 16th I have a maintence loan will by benefts be affected

  13. Kerry

    14. Aug, 2016

    I have the Advanced Learner Loan but I have been told by SFE that I cannot get the Maintenance Loan, is this correct I cannot have it?

    • Jake Butler

      20. Oct, 2016

      Hi Kerry, I would ask for the reason you’re not eligible so that you have a clearer explanation of why you can’t receive the maintenance loan.

  14. Rebecca

    11. Aug, 2016

    Hello, I am currently working full time but when I go to Uni in 2017 I will no longer have a full time job and will not be earning, do I have to declare my earnings on Student Finance or would I just put my parents because I will have no income when I go. Otherwise, if I have to include it it decreases my loan but for my single guardian who only earns £15,000.00 at the moment and will be retired when I go to Uni, the household income will be considerably low. I am just worried my earnings will have a negative effect on me.

    Thank You 🙂

    • Jake Butler

      12. Aug, 2016

      Hi Rebecca, it sounds like you should apply using your parents’ income as your household income. If you want clarification on this I’d suggest getting in touch with student finance over the phone.

  15. Mika

    26. Jul, 2016

    Hi there,
    I am from outside the UK but in the EU and I have sent a completed form for a student loan. They have sent me back a letter saying that they couldn’t verify the degree.
    Basically the University messed up and didn’t put the course on the database which is then verified as a valid course.
    Subsequently, I had to fill in a form for ‘Change of Circumstances’ and resubmit the form.
    I still haven’t heard back from the Student Loan, and it’s been 3 weeks, what can I do in this case?
    Thank you for your help

    • Jake Butler

      26. Jul, 2016

      Hi Mika, I would suggest calling them up to ask for an update on this.

  16. Estelle

    13. Jul, 2016

    Planning to do a MA as a mature student. The section about paying back your tuition fees loan mentions ‘That includes interest from some savings accounts over £2,000’. Which accounts do they mean?

    Thank you

    • Jake Butler

      20. Oct, 2016

      It is based on any taxable savings profits that you make over £2,000. These will be counted alongside your household income.

      • Estelle

        13. Jan, 2017

        I thought that PGT loan repayments are calculated on personal income not household. My income is only from interest and it is lower than the personal tax allowance but higher than £2000. Does this count?

        Thank you

        • Jake Butler

          13. Jan, 2017

          Hi Estelle, have you already received your postgraduate loan? The government didn’t start offering them until this year.

  17. Louie

    23. Jun, 2016

    I am a single parent studying sociology full time in September 2016. I have a mortgage and divorce. Do I have to prove my earrings in the previous tax year from 2014-2015, i have evidence. Is likely I would get the full maintenance loan and the instalments are they likely to occur in October February may

    Many thanks


    • Jake Butler

      28. Jun, 2016

      Yes, you will have to provide all proof of earnings for the previous tax year. However, if your household income has dropped by 25%+ then you may be able to apply with a change of income form.

      The installments are paid at the beginning of each term.

  18. Sophie

    15. Jun, 2016

    Hi I will be starting uni in February 2017 on an NHS funded course. I am 21 and work full time. This will change when I go to uni as its a very full on course so won’t have much time for even a part time job. I know my tuition fees are covered by NHS but not sure where I stand on loans, I live in a private rented flat with my partner and when I start uni it will have been for a year and before that I lived alone for 13 months – before that I was living at my mums but I was paying her rent and covering some of the bill costs as I was over 18 and she was being charged more council tax ect because of that. I am not sure if I would be classed as dependant or not but seeing as I have been paying my own rent and bills for at least 3 years I don’t think I would be dependant but I don’t exactly have proof I was paying rent to my mum? For the first 6 months of the 2 years

    • Jake Butler

      16. Jun, 2016

      Hi, Student Finance may look at your case as unique but unfortunately it’s unlikely. You may have already checked this out but see the criteria on page 30 (

      If you do not fit into any of these then it’s likely that you will have to use your parents’ household income on your application.


  19. Wilki66

    10. May, 2016

    Hi. My daughter had her student finance approved. At that point she hadn’t decided on her firm uni choice (the form said this could be amended & it wasn’t necessary at that point & could be changed). She has now made her firm choice which is a different Uni. She has updated her Student Finance & received an email confirming the new Uni but her maintenance loan had decreased by £600. Why would this happen? I thought this was based on income not the Uni? Could this be an error? Thanks in advance of a response

    • NA

      10. Aug, 2016

      I have had something similar happen to me. I have made a complaint to SEF and am awaiting a response. Keep you posted.

    • Jake Butler

      11. May, 2016

      Hi, I am not sure why this may have happened. I’d suggest contacting the university about this. There is a difference between loan amounts for studying in/out of london but I’m not aware of the same for anywhere else.

  20. Jenny

    05. May, 2016

    My son has applied for enhanced maintenance Loan but my household income is more than 70k. I do have another dependent son still in full time education. He is 16. Is it worth me submitting my financial details? I suspect not but my son is encouraging me to – just in case he is entitled to more than the £3821

    • Jake Butler

      05. May, 2016

      Hi Jenny, thanks for your comment. As you are lucky enough to have a household income well above the threshold for being eligible for support your son unfortunately won’t get anything extra than the £3821. You could still apply to be means tested but there would be very little benefit.

      For your son to receive a similar loan amount to students across the board the gvt “suggests” that you should be contributing £4,000+ a year yourself.

  21. Helen

    02. May, 2016

    My daughter is in the process of applying for a maintenance loan her father has worked (6 week abroad 2 weeks home )abroad for a year why do they want to know his address he’s back in uk for good in a fortnight. They rest of the family stopped in the uk, why do they need this info, I have the self assessment firms for 2014/2015 as they require.

    • Jake Butler

      02. May, 2016

      Hi Sian, it’s most likely just standard procedure or so that they can run some sort of checks. Shouldn’t be too much of an issue to hand over the address if there is nothing to hide.

  22. Tony

    25. Apr, 2016

    Hi, a bit of guidance please regarding Parents’ income…
    I’m a parent who was made redundant last year and retired early. So my income has fallen substantially this year and hence my daughter would qualify for a living allowance loan.
    Trouble is, the Gov website is asking for the previous year’s income (when I was in full employment) and which would disqualify any application.
    What happens in this situation?

  23. James

    25. Apr, 2016

    Hi, I am studying a foundation degree called Computer Games Development. I have almost finished my second and final year. I am planning to study at Univeristy of Kent for an honours degree in Computer Science, I have already accepted their offer but now I am being told I might not get the financial support as I am starting from the first year?

    Should I still get some tuition loan? Not too worried about the maintenance, bit surprised that I wasn’t told until the very last minute.

    • Jake Butler

      26. Apr, 2016

      After studying a foundation degree you can only get student finance to cover a top up unfortunately. Unfortunately I don’t think you will be eligible for any funding. There’s more info on it here >

      • Jake Butler

        03. May, 2016

        Hi James, I would assume topping up would just be completing the final year.

        Students are allowed 4 years of student finance but I am unsure as to whether this would apply to your situation. Well worth clarifying with them.

        I am unsure as to what the limited funding means in this case too.

      • James

        27. Apr, 2016


        Thanks for the reply, I am trying to get my chosen University to let me start on the second year. I assume that is what is meant by ‘topping-up’?

        What does it mean by limited funding? I’d only get the tuition loan and not the maintenance loan?

  24. jacqui

    24. Apr, 2016

    HI can you help both my husband and i are self employed is the maintenance loan based on net or gross salary as this is all new to me and trying to find out what the maximum loan will be thank you.

    • Jake Butler

      25. Apr, 2016

      Hi Jacqui, it’s based on your gross salary.

  25. Lewis

    14. Apr, 2016

    Hi there,

    I have just received my 2016 application back and received £4,039! My accommodation is £5,500 alone!

    I was expecting more as my mums base salary is £36,100, but her commission and bonus took her up to £60,000 in the 2014/15 tax year. This commission and bonus is not guaranteed, so I thought it was unfair for them to take this in to account.

    This is where I really got stumped, my mum has just been made redundant and she is currently unemployed, I applied for student finance after she was made redundant. On top of her redundancy package, she got commission and a bonus again, which took her earnings to around £78,000 for the 2015/16 tax year. However, this redundancy pay is for us to live off until she finds a new job, and she is a single parent.

    Now she is unemployed and signed on at the job centre, I feel that it is unfair for them to judge my maintenance loan on her previous earnings which she will not likely be able to earn again any time soon.

    Is there any way round this or do I have a legitimate base to appeal from?


    • Jake Butler

      18. Apr, 2016

      Hi Lewis, if your mum’s yearly income has dropped significantly you might want to check here:

      It suggests that you can get in touch to let them know of your new situation.

      If that does not work for you then there is little else you can do as your mum’s earnings in both previous tax years is substantially above the minimum required for any type of funding.

      A lot of students are in a similar position to yourself and the best thing I can advise is to try your hardest to track down a part time job and/or look for other forms of funding.

      I hope that helps.

  26. Leah

    02. Mar, 2016

    I have just submitted my application for student finance for 2016 entry.
    My mom passed away in 2012 and I haven’t been in contact with my father for 15 years. I live with my aunt for the time being until I move to uni.
    Student finance didn’t ask me for any evidence (e.g. mom’s death certificate/proof of estrangement with father)
    Does this mean they will get back to me or have I messed up my application 🙁

    • Jake Butler

      03. Mar, 2016

      Hi Leah, did you apply to be means tested? If so they should have asked for some sort of proof of household income.

  27. Marie

    01. Mar, 2016

    My daughter is planning on going to uni this year. I’ve just moved in with my partner & pay him rent. Its his house & he pays the mortgage & the bills – I pay for the food for the house. Will his earnings be included in the household income although he doesn’t & will not support my daughter – that seems unfair, we’d be better off living separately?

    • Paul

      01. Mar, 2016

      Hi, My step daughter is going to uni this September and is about to apply for student loans etc. However, under the new means tested system she wouldn’t get enough to cover her living costs as she would only be eligible for half the maintenance loan. Would they take into consideration that we also have two toddlers at nursery and hence VERY high nursery bills?

      • Jake Butler

        02. Mar, 2016

        Hi Paul, unfortunately this is the case for most students. Our yearly student money survey shows that the loan is simply not enough to cover living costs. It’s best to turn to other forms of finance such as a part-time job. Unfortunately they do not take into account how many children you have.

    • Jake Butler

      01. Mar, 2016

      Hi Marie, of course. If your daughter wanted to apply as independent she would need to prove she has been paying rent, buys her own food etc. I would assume that if you were looking to apply with just you as household income you would have to prove that you receive absolutely no benefit financially from your partner which may be unlikely as he pays for bills and mortgage. Not saying I agree with the system but this is how it works.

  28. Laurie

    20. Feb, 2016

    My son is due to go to uni in September and (because his father died when he was very young) has trust fund savings of @£70k, plus an annual income of about £8k. Do we declare the 2015/16 interest from his lump sum plus his £8k income when we apply for his student finance and is this likely to affect his maintenance loan (my income is below £32k)? Also do we include child benefit when declaring my income as obviously this will stop when he goes to uni?


    • Jake Butler

      22. Feb, 2016

      Hi Laurie, as this is a very unique situation I am not sure on what the best course of action would be. I would recommend calling student finance to see what they would suggest.

  29. Adelaide

    26. Jan, 2016

    Hi! Would I be eligible for maintenance grant or maintenance loan if I am an EU citizen and self-employed in the UK ? (I haven’t lived in the UK for three years, before starting the course).

  30. zoe

    07. Jan, 2016

    I am working abroad as a placement student during my 3rd year of uni. I was told by several uni departments that I would still receive my full grant and loan allowance. This is true for my course mates who are with SFE but I’m with student finance wales and they said they will not give me my grant as I am earning money abroad but on previous occasions student finance has told me the money was there for me as soon as I sent in evidence. My course mates have received about 8K and I have received 3K. I’m sure this can’t be right ????

    • Jake Butler

      07. Jan, 2016

      Hi Zoe, SFE and student finance wales have different terms I’m afraid so this may be correct. I would suggest contacting Student Finance Wales in order to clarify everything.

      • Jen

        28. Jan, 2016

        Hi Adelaide,

        You could apply as an EEA Migrant Worker but will have to meet criteria and evidence requirements.


  31. Pete

    30. Dec, 2015

    Hi. My son is looking to go to Uni in 2016 and the money that he receives is dependant upon household income. Our combined income is around £55k but we have our 4 other children, one of whom is at a football academy 40 miles away and he goes six times per week. We are unable to support my son in uni and feel that now he has turned 18, he is not our dependant, so why does it take household income into account? Why can all not be on a level playing field and receive the same amount? Can I appeal this?

    • Jake Butler

      31. Dec, 2015

      Hi Pete, unfortunately you cannot appeal this. If you cannot make and sacrifices to support your son through university then he will most likely have to look for other forms of funding and money such as a part-time job. More and more students are having to take this route these days.

  32. Harriet

    23. Dec, 2015

    Hello, I started university this year and have been entitled to a grant, next September and also the year after whilst I’m still studying will I still be entitled to a grant or is the new system starting and changing this for existing students? Will I be entitled to a grant throughout my whole 3 years of studying?Thanks

    • Jake Butler

      23. Dec, 2015

      Existing students will not be affected by the changes 🙂

  33. 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.

  34. 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??

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

    • Paul Grieve

      28. Sep, 2015

      Hi Jake
      Thanks for your comment.

    • Jake Butler

      28. Sep, 2015

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

  40. 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?

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. Tom

    12. Sep, 2015

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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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.

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