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Student Finance

Student grants, bursaries and scholarships

£1,000s of funding is missed out on each year by students who don’t even know that they’re eligible for it. Find out whether you could be due any extra financial support…

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If your only plan for paying for uni involves a Student Loan and an impending sense of doom, you're missing out!

There's a treasure trove of free money lodged in grants, scholarships and bursaries, but many students either don't know about them, don't think they're eligible, or just don't bother applying.

Don't let that be you! Here's your starter for finding the funds you get to keep. 🙂

Most of the schemes on this page are for undergrad students. See our guide to postgraduate funding for more ways to get paid!

Types of student funding

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Credit: TriStar Pictures

Forget hunting down the back of the sofa – when it comes to student funding that doesn't need to be paid back, these are the areas to look for:

  • Grants Available to anyone who satisfies the criteria, such as the means-tested (tested on your household income) Maintenance Grant, known as the Bursary in Scotland. Some charities, councils and businesses also stump up funds, with delightfully specific criteria – as these weird student grants prove.
  • Bursaries Cash with narrower criteria (e.g. for students from lower-income backgrounds, care leavers, or those on specific courses) or earmarked for specific expenses, such as childcare. Bursaries are sometimes awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, so you'll need to get in before the pot's empty.
  • Scholarships Funds aimed at attracting (or supporting) high achievers. Don't think they're just about being book smart, though – your country, gender, course or even your eSports skills could all net you fee waivers or free cash.
  • Sponsorships/apprenticeships – Lucrative but harder to find, degrees sponsored by a company can net you a salary and pay your fees. The trade-off is that it takes longer to get a degree (as you'll be working at the same time).

Whether they're grants, bursaries, awards or endowments, they all do similar things. Just go by whether they suit your circumstances, not what they're called!

Hardship funds are slightly different. This is emergency cash from your uni that you can only apply for once you're in a bit of trouble. It's worth knowing about (just in case), but it's not money you can (or should) plan for.

Student Finance

piggy bank

Here's what's up for grabs in official undergraduate funding. You can apply for these along with other Student Finance.

We've outlined some of the core criteria for each type of funding, but if you like the sound of what's on offer, click through and check the details for yourself.

At the bare minimum, you should expect funding to have some kind of nationality and residence criteria (some funds are just for students already settled in the UK), plus limits on how much (if any) university-level study you've already done.

Once you've nailed that lot, any cash you get is paid directly into your bank account – so it's up to you to make it last!

Maintenance Grant

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Credit: BBC

Full-time students from Northern Ireland can apply for a Maintenance Grant to help with living costs and, unlike the Maintenance Loan, it doesn't have to be paid back.

While that's a win, remember any grant you get means less loan (you can't max-out both cash pots unless you're entitled to the Special Support Grant).

In Wales, the Maintenance Grant is also called the Welsh Government Learning Grant, which is not the same as the Welsh Government Learning Grant (FE), which is for students in further education.

In England, Maintenance Grants are only for continuing students who started their course before August 2016 – anyone who became a student after that date is ineligible. Take a look at our Big Fat Guide to Student Finance to see how it affects you.

Maintenance Grant eligibility criteria

You could be eligible for a Maintenance Grant in Wales or Northern Ireland if you meet all three of the following criteria:

  • You live in the UK (or meet other residency requirements)
  • You are a full-time student studying for a recognised qualification
  • Your household income entitles you to a slice of the funding pie.

How much money can you get?

The higher your household income, the less grant you'll get. Here's how it stacks up:

CountryMax. grantHousehold income for full grantHousehold income for partial grant
Northern Ireland£3,475up to £19,203£19,204 – £41,065
Wales£10,124up to £18,370£18,371 and above

Special Support Grant (SSG)

If you're on housing or income support, are a single parent or have a disability, you may be able to swap the Maintenance Grant for a Special Support Grant (in Wales you don't need to swap – some students can get both!).

You'll get the same payout but, unlike Maintenance Grants, it won't reduce the amount of loan you can apply for. An SSG won't affect your benefits, either.

Special Support Grant eligibility criteria

You could be eligible for the SSG if you're a full-time student from Wales or Northern Ireland (or a continuing student from England who started their course prior to August 2016) with special circumstances, for instance:

  • You're a single parent
  • You're a parent and your partner is also at university
  • You have a disability
  • You claim, or are eligible for, income support or housing benefit.

How much money can you get?

The Special Support Grant matches whatever the Maintenance Grant would pay you.

Bursary (Scotland)

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In Scotland, maintenance money that doesn't have to be paid back comes in the form of a bursary.

How much you can get depends on your household income, as well as whether you're a 'Young student' or an 'Independent student' – take a look at our guide to funding in Scotland if you're not sure which you are.

SAAS Bursary eligibility criteria

You could be entitled to a SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland) Bursary if you meet all three of the following criteria:

  • You normally live in Scotland
  • You are a full-time student studying a recognised qualification at a UK university
  • Your household income entitles you to a slice of the funding pie.

How much money can you get?

Here's what's currently up for grabs:

Household incomeYoung studentsIndependent students
£0 to £20,999£2,000£1,000
£21,000 to £23,999£1,125£0
£24,000 to £33,999£500£0

Student Finance top-ups

These piles of cash are for special circumstances, such as course-related travel, health conditions or being financially responsible for others. Apply for them through your Student Finance body!

Travel grants

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Credit: Objective Productions

You may be able to get help with travel expenses if you're studying abroad as part of your course, or have clinical placements in the UK that mean you need to travel a lot.

Who is eligible for travel grants?

You could be entitled to a travel grant if:

  • You meet the UK residence rules
  • You have to travel in the UK for a clinical placement (unless you already get an NHS bursary)
  • You travel abroad to study as part of your course
  • You're in full-time university education.

Students studying abroad

For students studying abroad, you can claim for return trips between your home and the overseas uni, help with medical insurance and visas.

In England and Wales, you can't claim for the first £303 of your costs, while in Northern Ireland you can't claim for the first £309. In England, Wales and NI, travel grants are means-tested.

You must attend an overseas institution for at least half of each academic term. This period of study can be compulsory or optional.

In Scotland, you can only claim travel expenses if studying abroad is a compulsory part of your course and isn't a paid placement. You'll be able to claim the cost of your journey abroad and your medical insurance. The amount you receive will not be contingent with your household income.

You may also be able to make a claim for expenses linked to visas and baggage, but you must contact the SAAS for these before making the claim.

Oh, and you can forget about sipping gin and juice with your first-class train ticket. You'll be expected to use the cheapest form of transport (buses, not taxis), and will need receipts or records to claim expenses (for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland!).

Students completing clinical placements in the UK

Students having to travel within the UK for clinical placements may also be able to claim expenses.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland you can apply for travel costs between your home and the facility in the UK where you're doing your placement.

In Scotland, you can claim for travel expenses amounting to at least £20, and your placement must be taking place at a facility in Scotland.

If you expect your travel costs to be more than £30 each day, you should stay in local accommodation wherever possible, which you can also claim expenses for.

Heads up, though – the SAAS won't reimburse travel costs incurred between your placement accommodation and your placement address, so your temporary accommodation should be as close as possible to your placement!

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)

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If you have a disability, the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) could help you cope with the extra costs of going to uni. There's support for physical and mental health, as well as conditions such as dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Funding doesn't have to be repaid and isn't means-tested – but if you're already getting money for the same conditions (such as financial support from your uni), you may not be able to apply for DSA as well. Check out the rules before you apply.

DSA eligibility criteria

You could be entitled to the DSA if:

  • You're a UK student eligible for Student Finance
  • You're a full- or part-time student on a recognised course (undergraduate or postgraduate)
  • You have a long-term health condition, mental health issue or learning difficulty.

You'll need to prove that you're eligible by going along to an assessment or providing a doctor's letter (you may also be able to claim for the cost of that, too).

How much money can you get?

The main thing to note is that the allowances are for study-related costs relating to your condition, and not just things that all students need – we're talking specially adapted kit, rather than your pens and pencils.

Payouts vary by country and circumstances, but here's a rough idea of what you can apply for as an undergraduate.

Remember that these are maximum amounts, so you could get less:

Type of studentSpecialist equipment allowance (whole course)Non-medical helper allowance (per year)General allowance (per year)
England (full-time)Up to £5,849Up to £23,258Up to £1,954
England (part-time)Up to £5,849Up to £17,433Up to £1,465
Northern Ireland (full-time)Up to £5,266Up to £20,938Up to £1,759
Northern Ireland (part-time)Up to £5,266Up to £15,703Up to £1,319
Scotland (full-time)Up to £5,160Up to £20,520Up to £1,725
Scotland (part-time)Up to £5,160Pro rata*Pro rata*
Wales (full-time)Up to £5,849Up to £23,258Up to £1,954
Wales (part-time)Up to £5,849Up to £17,433Up to £1,465

* Pro rata means that the maximum amount you're entitled to will be a percentage of the maximum amount available to full-time students, based on how intense your part-time course is. If your course is four years and the full-time version is two years, you'd be entitled to 50%.

You may also be able to apply for travel expenses.

Other sources of funding for disabled students

If you have a physical disability, we'd suggest that you check your university's website to see whether they offer scholarships for disabled students (aside from the DSA).

You might also want to check out societies relevant to your industry (ie. if you wanted to study Engineering, you could check what the Royal Academy of Engineering has to offer) and charities which provide support to people with your particular condition, as some offer funding or may be able to advise you on where to look for extra financial support.

Larger private companies may also offer support for students with physical disabilities entering their field. If you have an idea of the industry you'd like to work in, check whether any of the big employers provide funding or have a scheme especially for disabled students.

Dependants' and childcare grants

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If you're financially responsible for others, you may be entitled to extra help. Again, where you're from in the UK will affect what's on offer, what it's called and your eligibility.

Because these are funds for very specific circumstances, you'll need to check the terms and conditions carefully – along with whether they affect other funding or state benefits you already get.

Dependants' and childcare grants eligibility criteria

Dependants' and childcare grants are for students:

  • Who are entitled to Student Finance
  • Who are financially responsible for an adult or child who lives with them
  • Whose income – or that of their household or an adult dependant – qualifies them for help.

How much money can you get for childcare?

Here's a breakdown of the childcare grants available across the UK:

CountryFunding available
EnglandUp to 85% of your childcare costs covered, up to £174.22/week for one child, or £298.69 for two or more
Northern IrelandUp to 85% of your childcare costs covered, up to £148.75/week for one child, or £255 for two or more
ScotlandUp to £1,305, amount is decided by your university or college
WalesUp to 85% of your childcare costs covered, up to £174.22/week for one child, or £298.69 for two or more

If you already get state benefits that pay for childcare, you may not get the grant. You also can't claim if you get free childcare (or if you rope in your relatives to do it for you).

In Scotland you apply directly to your college or uni for funds – in the rest of the UK, it's through Student Finance.

How much money can you get from the Parents' Learning Allowance?

Separate from the childcare grants, full-time students with children are often eligible for the Parents' Learning Allowance.

The available amounts are as follows:

CountryFunding available (per year)
EnglandUp to £1,766
Northern IrelandUp to £1,538
Scotland (Lone Parents' Grant)Up to £1,305
WalesUp to £1,766

How much money can you get from the Adult Dependants' Grant?

If you have an adult dependant, you can receive up to the following amounts:

CountryFunding available
EnglandUp to £3,094
Northern IrelandUp to £2,695
ScotlandUp to £2,640
WalesUp to £3,094

Receiving an Adult Dependants' Grant will affect any income-related benefits or credits you receive.

Bursaries and scholarships

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Think of bursaries and scholarships as cash with criteria – you may be able to grab funding to cover your fees (or a hefty chunk of your living costs), but you're going to have to jump through a few hoops to get it.

Schemes are run by universities, colleges, charities, businesses, local government and even private funders, and each one has its own rules for who gets a look-in.

Eligibility for bursaries and scholarships

Whether or not you're entitled to a bursary or scholarship will generally depend on the following factors:

  • Household income
  • Gender
  • Nationality (not just for international students, some unis offer scholarships for UK students too!)
  • Grades
  • Sporting or musical talent
  • The course or subject
  • Special circumstances e.g. you have children or are a care leaver.

How much money can you get?

Anything from a few hundred pounds to several thousand! The money will usually either be paid as a one-off or in yearly wads.

Some universities offer bursaries to students with less than £25,000 in household income – others dole it out to everyone. Either way, it's the mother of all cashback offers, so it's well worth investigating when you apply!

How to apply for bursaries and scholarships

There are loads of places to find funding. Unfortunately, there's no one-stop-shop, so you'll need to hit them all up individually. Luckily for you, we've got a full list of student bursary and scholarship sources.

Course and career funding

NHS bursaries and grants

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If you're studying nursing, dentistry, medicine, or a related healthcare subject, you may be able to get extra money in the form of NHS bursaries, grants and fee waivers. What's on offer depends on the country you're studying in.

NHS bursaries and grants eligibility criteria

  • You meet the residency and nationality rules
  • You're studying an approved healthcare course.

What NHS funding can you get?

Depending on your course, country of residence/study and other eligibility criteria, you could receive some or all of the following:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Non-means tested bursary
  • Means-tested bursary
  • Access to regular Student Finance support if you're ineligible for NHS funding, or to top your bursary
  • Extra support for disabilities, dependants or travel costs.

When you can apply, or which years you get funding can vary, too – for example, some students might only get NHS funding for the last two years of their course.

It's important to note that there are several exceptions to who may or may not be eligible for each type of funding listed above.

For example, in Northern Ireland, nursing and midwifery students aren't able to apply for a Maintenance Loan. On the other hand, in England, only medical and dental students are eligible for a non-means tested bursary.

In summary, each pot of money has its own terms and conditions for who can and can't apply, and we'd urge you to check whether a student on your course, in your part of the UK, is eligible.

NHS Learning Support Fund for Allied Health Professional courses in England and Wales

Students on Allied Health Professional (AHP) courses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their tuition fees paid in full by the NHS.

Medical and dental students in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will have their fees paid for by the NHS from the fifth year of their undergraduate course, or from the second year if they’re on a graduate entry course.

On top of this, from September 2020, non-repayable NHS bursaries will be available to new and continuing students in England and Wales (Student Finance Northern Ireland is yet to lay out its framework) studying any of the following subjects:

  • Dietetics
  • Dental hygiene/dental therapy (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing (adult, child, mental health, learning disability, joint nursing/social work)
  • Occupational therapy
  • Operating department practitioner (level 5 and 6 courses)
  • Orthoptics
  • Orthotics and prosthetics
  • Paramedicine
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry/chiropody
  • Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)
  • Speech and language therapy.

Students on the courses mentioned above will receive grants worth £5,000 per academic year to cover living costs and other expenses associated with their studies. These will not need to be repaid.

Students may also be eligible for the following grants which are awarded per academic year and can be combined:

  • A Parental Support grant worth up to £1,000 (to replace the Child Dependants Allowance)
  • A grant worth up to £1,000 for new students studying in regions of English that struggle to recruit healthcare professionals
  • A grant worth up to £1,000 for new students on one of the following courses: mental health nursing, learning disability nursing, radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic), prosthetics and orthotics, orthoptics and podiatry.

This means that, subject to eligibility, students studying AHP specialisms could benefit from up to £8,000 a year in non-repayable grants and will be receiving at least £5,000 per year of study on top of their tuition fee waiver.

Students studying any of these subjects part-time are also eligible for funding pro-rata (proportional to their studies).

NHS Learning Support Fund for pre-registration courses

On top of the new bursary package, students from anywhere in the UK who are starting a pre-registration AHP course (listed above) on or after 1 August 2017 may also be eligible to apply for the NHS's Learning Support Fund if they are studying at a university in England.

This provides additional financial aid in the form of a grant for:

  • Students with at least one dependent child known as the Child Dependants Allowance worth £1,000 per academic year
  • Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses for practice placement travel and/or temporary accommodation costs
  • Students experiencing financial hardship known as the Exceptional Support Fund worth up to £3,000 per academic year.

Students wishing to apply for one or more of the grants that the Learning Support Fund comprises must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Studying an eligible course at a university in England
  • Eligible for tuition fee and maintenance support from the SLC, either through Student Finance England, Student Finance Northern Ireland, SAAS or Student Finance Northern Ireland
  • Actively in study, whether academic or practice learning.

Students attending a part-time course that started between 1st August 2017 to 31st July 2018 who are eligible for an NHS bursary can apply for the Exceptional Support Fund element of the Learning Support Fund but not the Child Dependant's Grant and cannot claim Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses.

Students who started a course before 1st August 2017 who've since changed their study pattern and are returning to a different programme, study year or have made any other change to their degree, will need to approach their university to find out which grants they're eligible for.

Allied Healthcare Professional courses in Scotland

If you're a Scottish student studying an AHP course as your first undergraduate degree in Scotland, you're eligible to apply for the normal Scottish undergraduate funding package (ie. no tuition fees plus a non-repayable bursary for living costs).

If you're a Scottish graduate and you've already received UK or EU funding for your first degree or equivalent course, you'll be eligible to apply for the normal undergraduate funding package for the first two years of an AHP course undertaken in Scotland.

The SAAS will restrict the funding for any other years of the AHP course to a SAAS Student Loan and living-costs grants only. Students undertaking an AHP course as a second degree in the rest of the UK will be eligible to apply for a Student Loan and living cost grants only.

On top of the bursary, Scottish AHP students can apply for the following grants if their circumstances allow it:

  • Dependants' Grant: An income-assessed grant worth up to £2,640 for students who have an adult or child who depends on them financially.
  • Lone Parent's Grant: An income-assessed grant worth up to £1,305 a year for students bringing up children on their own.
  • Care Experienced Accommodation Grant: A grant for students who have been in the care of a UK local authority to provide support help towards accommodation costs worth up to £105 a week.
  • Childcare Funds: Grants to help students with the cost of registered childcare (which are very limited so we'd advise you to apply early for this).
  • Disabled Student's Allowance: A grant for students with a physical or mental disability who may require extra support to complete their studies.
  • Travel Expenses: Possibility to claim back expenses for some extra travel and accommodation costs that are outside the remit of normal daily travel expenses between the home and university while students are on practical placements.

Nursing and midwifery students can also apply for the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (NMSB). This bursary is not income assessed.

The bursary rates are:

Course yearAmount
4£7,500 (reduced by 25%)

Students from the rest of the UK who started an AHP course in Scotland during the academic year 2017/18 or later should get in touch with the Student Finance body in their home country to apply for funding for their tuition fees and living costs.

Students from outside Scotland who started their degree during the academic year 2016/17 or earlier should apply to the SAAS for support regarding their tuition fees and living costs and should also continue applying to their home funding body for loan support.

Where to apply for funding

England: NHS Business Services Authority

Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Direct

Scotland: Student Awards Agency Scotland

Wales: Student Award Services

Find out more about NHS bursaries in our in-depth guide.

Social work bursaries (SWB)

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Update: Not all of the relevant information has been released for the 2020/21 academic year. Most of this information is based off 2019/20, we will keep you updated as soon as we know more.

For students starting social degrees, incentives are patchy, with some schemes not available in all parts of the UK. In Scotland for example, bursaries are only available for postgraduate students.

Either way, any bursaries available will be capped to a limited number of students each year.

Where they are available, students will also receive an allowance to cover expenses incurred by work-based learning (eg. travel).

Social work bursaries eligibility criteria

You could be entitled to a social work bursary if:

  • You meet residency rules in the country providing the funding
  • You're on an approved course
  • Aren't already getting similar funding for social work training (not including Student Finance).

How much money can you get?

CountryFull-time students Part-time students
EnglandUp to £5,262.50/year (including travel allowance)*Pro rata
Northern Ireland£4,000/year (plus travel allowance)£750 per module (including travel allowance)
Wales£2,500/year (plus travel allowance)*Pro rata (plus travel allowance)

* Pro-rata means that the maximum amount you're entitled to will be a percentage of the maximum amount available to full-time students, based on how intense your part-time course is. If your course is four years and the full-time version is two years, you'd be entitled to 50%.

Where to apply for funding

In England, funding is handled by NHS Business Services Authority.

In Northern Ireland, you'll need to go through Student Finance Northern Ireland.

In Wales, head to Social Care Wales.

Teaching grants and bursaries

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Credit: BBC

Update: Not all of the relevant information has been released for the 2020/21 academic year. Most of this information is based off 2019/20, we will keep you updated as soon as we know more.

If you're applying to study a teacher training degree, you get access to the same Student Finance (grants, bursaries and loans) as everyone else.

You might also be able to nibble on extra funding in the form of teaching grants and bursaries – but, unfortunately, they're much harder for undergraduates to get a piece of.

Teaching grants and bursaries eligibility criteria

You could be eligible for a teaching grant or bursary if:

  • You're studying an initial teacher training degree course (such as a BEd, BSc or BA) or PGCE
  • You meet the subject and/or residence criteria.

How much money can you get?

It varies by country and subject demand ('golden handshake' incentives can be quite lucrative if there aren't enough teachers in a particular field).

There are far more funding opportunities (and for a wider range of subjects) once you get into postgrad teaching (especially if you secure a first at undergrad level!).

Where to apply for funding

England: Department for Education

NI: Northern Ireland Services Direct

Scotland: Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Wales: Welsh Government

Hardship funds

empty wallet
If you find yourself struggling to get by once you start your course, there's one last option for finance to see you through: hardship funds from your uni.

What the scheme is called (e.g. Access to Learning Fund), how much is in the pot and how it's paid will vary by institution but, as the name implies, the money's there to help seriously skint students.

Hardship funds eligibility criteria

You could qualify for a hardship fund if:

  • You're a full-time student (including postgrads)
  • You can prove you've managed your finances responsibly.

How much can you get?

Payouts will vary, and it'll be the uni that decides who gets what. Any money you get will be to cover costs not covered by other forms of funding (i.e. if you're entitled to Student Finance, you'll need to have applied for it already).

Hardship funds don't just come in the form of a grant – you may be offered a loan instead. Don't be put off by that, though – if you've fudged-up your finances, support from your uni beats credit card or payday loan debt hands-down.

How to apply

Look out for the fund as it will be called something like "Access to Learning Fund" in many English unis.

Otherwise, go to your university's student services office. Be prepared for the student support team to scrutinise your bank statements, your spending and your budget (make one now and you'll be sorted when the time comes!).

8 golden rules for free funding


  1. Apply early, especially if funding is limited. Allowing extra time to pimp up the paperwork means you're more likely to get the cash when you need it.
  2. If you don't get in early, don't assume you've missed the boat – you can apply for Student Finance up to nine months after your course starts. Check out the deadlines here.
  3. Check, check and triple check if handouts affect other funding or counts towards household income.
  4. Sniff out any strings involved. Does it have to be repaid? What happens if you leave your course early? Can you spend it on whatever you like?
  5. Get educated about what counts as income. It could mean not missing out on funds unnecessarily (it could save you on loan repayments later on, too).
  6. Cash management is king. Learn how to save it, stretch it and work it like a boss.
  7. Exhaust the funding options on this page before borrowing from commercial lenders. If you still need extra cash, a 0% student overdraft should be your next stop.
  8. Don't give up! Finding something you're eligible for can take serious dedication. If you're drawing a blank, don't forget there are other ways to turn a buck. Use 'em.
International student? There are loads of scholarships and funding up for grabs for you too.

Tip: always check what the terms and conditions of your funding are if you decide to drop out of uni if you're not convinced uni's the right choice or you.


Belle Hello I have hear that you can get a grant if you study at uni in your hometown? (cornwall) is this correct?

Jake Butler Hi Belle, we don't actually offer grants or bursaries ourselves. You'll need to check the bursary source guide to see how you can hunt them down.

theguvnor Hello STS Can you please tell me if you know of any grants or such for twins attending university in parallel? Many thanks

Jake Butler Unfortunately I'm not aware of any grants. However, you do get a small decrease in the household income which boosts the maintenance loan slightly.

Matt My son has just finished his A 'levels(he's 18) and wants to do a 1 year course costing around £1400. Do we have to pay that or is there a way of funding it?

Jake Butler Hi Matt, it depends what the course is but it sounds like you may have to fund it yourself.

Kasim Sajjad Hi, my name is Kasim, I was wondering whether I could apply for the Maintenance grant. At home, there is only my mum, who looks after my younger brother and sister. However, because I am going to university, she may be unable to help me out with finances due to the lack of income she receives. The money would really help me out with accommodation finances because that is probably the most stressful thing for me. I would really appreciate it if this was possible because the additional support would really give me a piece of mind.

Save the Student Hi Kasim, all UK and EU students are eligible for money to support their living expenses at uni. The amount of Maintenance Loan you’ll receive is determined by your household income – so the lower your household income, the more money you’ll get to cover your accommodation and other living expenses. Our big fat guide to student finance has all the details on this! https://www.savethestudent....

Unfortunately, this money now comes in the form of a loan rather than a grant, meaning you will have to pay it back in future, but repayments are very manageable and in line with your future salary. If you’re worried about student loan repayment, we’ve got more info here: https://www.savethestudent....

Jeffrey Hi I was wondering what if I want to do A levels but I didn’t get the requirements for GCSE to do the A levels I wanted (due to extenuating circumstances like severe anxiety and depression, obsessive compulsive disorder which were due to financial issues) I’m 19 now and unemployed and I’m tired of depending on my parents and dealing with my brother who has classic autism who’s going to take care of him but unfortunately me I want to become an engineer But the A levels I need are chemistry physics and biology and maths and I realised I have to do them at an exam centre which I can’t afford (I’d have to starve myself to retain such money) I’d need about no more than £1200 to pay the exam centre since I’ve already learnt the material I need to know and doing countless past papers and was hoping to do the exams in 2019 June- but I feel like if I don’t get the money soon I’ll get more anxious depressed and fall back to old habits and I’d feel like I learnt everything for no reason. People call me lazy for not trying but they don’t understand how much people like me have to suffer to even get education.

Kirsty Hi There, I wonder if someone could offer me some advice. I have been working really hard to obtain the entry requirements needed to get onto a (rare) full time veterinary nursing diploma course at the central college of animal studies in Ipswich. The course is rare because it's the only one I am aware of which offers you a full time study program. Most are part time but require you to have a work placement and so therefore you are essentially doing an apprenticeship. Finding a work placement is very difficult and in the 2 years I have been trying, I have been unsuccessful. I thought the full time course would offer me the opportunity to obtain the qualification I want without needing a work placement however, the course fee's are £6000 per year. I am a single parent, benefits are currently my only income as I went back into education to improve on some GCSE grades especially to enroll on this course. I am advised that the course is not government funded and has to be privately funded. They offer the option to pay monthly but at repayments of £500 it's simply unaffordable. Can anyone shed any light on whether or not I might be able to get any help with paying these course fee's? I don't expect a handout, even if it were a loan which I could pay back over a longer term than the 3 year course. Sadly most lenders won't lend to someone on benefits so just wondering if there are any other options consider the money is required only for course fee's? I don't need any other help with maintenance or childcare etc. If anyone can offer any help or advice I would be so grateful. Thanks in advance. Kirsty

Alexandra Muñoz Sala Hello I wonder if there are any bursaries to which I am eligible being an EU student. I study costume for performance at UAL and the only info we received was access to Learning Funds but that's for home students. Should I look for such options here in UK at all or should I advance an enquire about it back in Spain?

Jake Butler Hi Alexandra, it's best to ask the financial advisers at UAL for any advice on this.

Darren Hi. I worked as a full time healthcare Support Worker for NHS Scotland for 5+ years and I successfully obatained my HNC 2015/16, this also allowed me to enter Year 2 in uni for my nursing degree. As I am an NHS HNC student my fees are paid by SAAS and my bursary is paid from the Scottish Government Health Directorate. While doing my HNC I was still in full time employment with NHS and still receiving a full time wage. When starting year 2 I was required to give up full time employment and live off my bursary which was half what I was earning. I applied for discretionary funds at uni to help with rent however they required a copy of my funding ward. As my bursary is paid separately I don't have 1. I contacted SAAS and explained the situation. They told me I was required to apply for funding for my year 2 as I hadn't applied but I explained I was already funded. They told me too apply anyway so I did. On the 11/03/17 I checked my bank account and SAAS have paid into my account back dated SAAS bursary from sept 16 til date!

Am I entitled to this funding as well as the funding I'm receiving from my HNC bursary or should I retuned this funding?


Jake Butler Hi Darren, I am not sure whether you are entitled to this money or not. My suggestion would be not to spend a penny of it just yet. Get in touch with SAAS over the phone to find out if you are eligible or not.

Lilly Hi, my daughter has been offered admission to a UK university as an overseas student (under international tuition fee structure as we are non-eu/UK national) starting Sept 2017. However, our family circumstance may change as we will be moving to the UK in July 2017 under a tier 2 /work visa with her as a dependent. My question: will she qualify to pay the home tuition fees instead of international fees? Thank you so much for any advice you can lend me.

Jake Butler Hi Lilly, the eligibility criteria for a home student includes being in the UK for 3+ years before the start of your course among other things.

Emily Hi there,

I was wondering if anyone would be able to provide me with some advice/guidance. I have applied (and been accepted) to do a PGCE primary course starting September 2017. I have just found out that the gov no longer offers any bursaries for holders of a 2:1. As far as I am aware I am also not eligible for any student loan as I hold a masters degree and so hold degree higher than the one I am trying to get funding for. I am basically unable to get any student loan/ bursary to support me. I was wondering if you knew of any other options or anything else I could do? As it stands at the moment I may be unable to accept a place on the course as I have no way of paying. Any advice you have would be much appreciated.


Jake Butler Hi Emily, I'm really sorry to hear that you are in this situation. Unfortunately I don't know of any other options you could take. My best suggestion would be to do some in depth research into whether any charities or organisations would be able to support you in any way.

Chantelle I started uni in Sept 2004 studying Criminology and Sociology. Unfortunately I dropped out by Christmas of the same year. I then applied to a different uni for the following year (2005) to study social work. I again dropped out the following year (2006) Both times I dropped out was not because I found the work difficult, but due to mental health, which I did not tell anyone about until I received a diagnosis in 2008 and began taking medication, which has helped me manage my mental illness considerably. Each time at uni I received a student loan, which I began to pay back when I started a job that paid over £15,000 a year. I have since left that job (2013). When I reapplied to uni in 2005, I was told by the student loan company that they would pay my uni fees again, even though I dropped out the previous year at a different uni, but if I dropped out again, they would not be able to help me in the future. I have probably already answered my own question lol but would really appreciate any advice on this particular topic, as I now feel that I am ready to go back to uni and complete the entire three years. Sorry for the long ramble folks.

rhia Hello Jake Butler I would like some advice if possible please? I am taking a year out of university and returning next year, i am waiting to be seen by people who can authorise this, in the mean time i have been diagnosed with dyslexia and am waiting for a response from them with instructions of how to get the support and tools for my dyslexia. Do you know if i could get the help from them still even though i am having a year off? as i would like to get the equipment and use it whilst i am off so by the time i return i will already know how it works and actually be able to work to the best of my ability. I will definitely be returning but am worried as i have had a year at university already and struggled and only recently been diagnosed with a learning disability and now for personal reasons will have to leave for a year. any help or information would be much appreciated. Thank You

Jake Butler Hi Rhia, this would be down to their discretion so it's worth letting them know your situation and seeing what they say.

Melissa I am looking at applying to start an undergraduate degree and have been trying to look into whether i would be eligible for student loans. I have been out of the UK for 3 and a half of the past 5 years, travelling in different places. Would I still be classed as a UK resident as I haven't actually 'lived' anywhere else during my time away?

Jake Butler Hi Melissa, this is a tricky one and could depend on your registered address. If you've just been holidaying or visiting the other countries then you could still be classed as your main home being in the UK for the past 3 years. However, if you've been living abroad for longer periods of time it might be tricky. It's always worth double checking with student finance.

Sandra Hello, I was just trying to look in to help with fees for my daughter to study at vetinary university, are there scholarships for those who are getting good grades at college etc..

Charm Hattersley My 27 year old son has Aspergers and has just been offered a place on a part time photography course at college. The course is £560 pounds and he has no income of his own. He doesn't receive any benefits and is financially dependent on us. Are there any bursaries or funding that might help him?

Vicky Hello, is there any grants/loans for extra financial help for new university students studying at The Open University in October? I'm finding it very hard to find extra support help for people like me who have chosen to study at home, work but don't always have the funding to support the stuff I need for studying?

Harriet Hi,

Im starting a PGCE in September and have applied and been granted a maintenance loan of £8999. I'm also entitled to a bursary between £15-20,000 because of my subject and grade. Will my maintenance loan affect my bursary?

Dimitris Hello, I have recently gotten an offer for a course, and student loan of 5300 for the year. I am worried this won't be enough to cover my rent. As I am currently on housing benefit and I am working part time.

Would I be able to claim the special support grant?

Jake Butler Hi Dimitris, please see all the info about the special support grant on this page. There's more info on eligibility up there.

Lydia Akinwunmi Hi Jake, I am a 53 years old single woman, who is starting a Master degree in September, 2016, funded by the new Postgraduate loan which covers my tuition, with no living expenses and cost for travel and books. I have tried crowdfunding however, with very little responses. What guidance can you give me on maintenance fund?


Jake Butler Hi Lydia, the majority of postgraduate students tend to do part time work alongside their studies in order to get by with living costs.

david morris Hi, I am 56 and I have applied to do a certificate in safe guarding. The course cost £2,400. I would like to know where I can get a grant and or any kind of help to pay for this course if if its half the amount. thank you.

Jake Butler Hi David, as this is not a university based course I can't be sure on the funding. It sounds unlikely that there will be anything on offer for you but I would suggest contacting the course provider. Hope that helps, Jake.

Liz Hi My husband who has indefinite leave to remain in UK is applying for a BAcourse full time. I'm a British citizen.we live in private rented accommodation in London. He'll give up work to study.i am earning a low wage of 10400 a year. It seems he is not entitled to Housing Benifet and our rent is a London rent. Can you tell us how we can get help to pay rent and if he is entitled to some of the funding that requires that you be a UK citizen as he has ILR status and not yet applied for UK citizen ship although he is entitled to it.?(he hasn't applied yet due to the cost) Thank you for your time

Jake Butler Hi Liz, I think it's worth him double checking the eligibility status for student loans here:

It's worth noting that most aren't able to apply for housing or any other benefits if they take out the student loan but on your household income (if he's eligible) he should receive the full amount.

Raz Hi I have applied for a HE DIPLOMA COURSE and will be studying part-time, distant learning. I have applied for student finance although this is where I am confused and would be grateful if you can clear it up for me? Is the student finance I applied for ONLY covering costs of the courses? Can I or am I eligible for money towards living/equipment (a grant) ? Many thanks in advance.

Jake Butler Hi Raz, unfortunately part-time students aren't currently eligible for a loan to help with living costs.

Kerrie Can anybody advise if there is extra funds available to somebody whose parents did NOT go to university? I have heard through a friend there could be but I can't find any information on it..thanks

Jake Butler This kind of grant is/was extremely rare and would be university or case specific. I know the majority don't offer it but it's worth doing some research to see if your university/course offers this grant.

sara Hi there. I am a a single mom of a child under the age of 5. I will be starting a full time degree this September 2016. I am going to apply for NSH bursery, I know i will be entitle to at least my tuitions fees and some dependant allowance and parental learning allowance although that is not enough to cover all the expenses. Is there any other help I can get that combined with NHS bursary?

Jake Butler You should also be able to claim the government maintenance loan and tuition loan.

Matt Hi,

I will be starting a 3 year degree in September 2016. I am 25 and live in my own home and have done for the past 6 years. I will be claiming NHS bursary, maintenance grant and maintenance loan when I start. This doesn't equate to much in terms of bills and travel expenses as well as daily living costs. I was hoping to get a part time job to help supplement these costs and was just wondering if there is a maximum amount of hours i can work or a maximum amount i can earn before it effects these grants and loans?


Jake Butler Hi Matt, the maintenance grant is being scrapped this year I'm afraid. However, you will still be eligible for some funding. The amount you get depends on your household income. If you earn below £25,000/year then you should be eligible for the maximum. More info here: http://www.savethestudent.o...

lola Hi,

I am EU National who lives in the UK but i haven't lived in the UK for up to 3 years and am going to be starting a Adult nursing course by Sept. I am a single parent of one who is on income support, i was wondering if i would be eligible for the Special Support Grant and any other grant to help ,e and my child?

Jake Butler As an EU national it says you must have been living in the UK for 5 years in order to apply as a UK citizen would. Aside from that it looks like you have to have been in the UK for 3+ years to apply for most funding:

If in doubt I would suggest calling student finance england for some clarification.

Jake Butler As an EU national it says you must have been living in the UK for 5 years in order to apply as a UK citizen would. Aside from that it looks like you have to have been in the UK for 3+ years to apply for most funding:

If in doubt I would suggest calling student finance england for some clarification.

Magda Hi, I am EU Nationals,and I will finish my HND on June this year. I would like to apply for the student finance loans and grants. I accepted a place at Uni (third year - top up) start from Sept 2016. I am able to prove that I have been living in the UK last 5 years. Am I eligible to get a maintenance loan and support for a living cost? Thank you!

Jake Butler As far as I'm aware you should be able to apply for the funding. I would contact student finance to make sure though.

Magda Thank you for your response.

Tessa George Hi, I am starting uni at Sep. I am from a single parent family and my mu earns less than 25,000 a year. are there any bursaries for kids from single parent families as i have a brother and a little sister at home who all live with my mums salary . are there any ohter bursaries i can be entitled to other than this.

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