Full-time students and tuition fee loans
Tuition fee loans are the motivational inclusions for full-time students, who seek education or undergraduate course in the UK. Students can get a tuition fee loan to complete their education, where the overall content is provided by Student Finance England. This loan is meant for covering the overall fees of the university and colleges, where the student is enrolled for their course.
The key points to remember
Financial issues are one of the key obstacles that bar a student from getting higher education in the UK. Many students find it quite difficult to manage their money for paying the regular university and college fee. They do have skills but the lack of money often turns them to compromise. We avail the Student Finance that covers their tuition fees. Thus, there is no need to pay for tuition fees up-front. The Tuition Fee Loan will pay your fees with some predefined terms and conditions. In this way, here are a few notable points where the entire student finance revolves
- The first and foremost important point is to know how much your college or university charges as tuition fees. You need to have an exact idea of the charges before applying for this loan.
- The public university or college and the privately-funded ones may have different criteria for their tuition fees. Additionally, internal measures may also differ. This selection is going to play an essential role in your education and loan both.
- You can get depend on the date when you started your course or when you will start the course. This will be proved helpful for you to apply for the loan procedure.
- If you are studying at an eligible college or university, tuition fee loans can go up to £9,250.
- If you are studying an accelerated degree course, the tuition fee loan can go up to £11,100.
- These are the details about tuition fee loans that are available for the students here. If you doubt your course and its validity for loans, you need to have an insightful discussion with your college or university.
Don’t let anything hold your wings to fly; tuition fee loan is all here to give you air!
What If I started the course before 1st September 2021?
If you have started for any of the courses before 1st September 2021, your Tuition Fee Loan may go up to £3,465.
Do the nationality and residency status matter?
A student is eligible to apply for tuition fee loan if:
- The student lives in England.
- The student has been living in the UK, EU or EEA for at least three years before the first day of the course.
Lived outside the UK, EU, or EEA?
You can still get student finance if you’ve lived outside of the UK, EU, or EEA during the three years before the start of your course if you had a temporary break in residency.
To prove this was only a temporary break in residency, you can send:
- your visa showing that your time abroad was temporary
- temporary work contracts for you or your parents
- evidence that you maintained a connection with the UK, for example bank statements showing your UK address, mortgage statements, or utility bills
If you’ve lived outside the UK, EU, or EEA on a temporary basis, you must have returned to the UK by the start of your course to be eligible for student finance.
If a student is an EU national or a relative of any EU national, tuition fee loan is applicable if:
- The student has been living in the UK for at least five years before the first day of the course.
- The student is living in England on the first day of the first academic year of the course. In an order to apply for the tuition fee loan, the students are advised to submit some proof for their addresses, where they have lived for the last five years. We accept the original copy of the proof to ensure validity. Here is the list of evidence; a student may select a few of them to submit
- Council tax bills
- Tax calculations
- Tax returns
- Bank statement
- Utility bills
- Wage slip
- Child Tax Credit letters
- Child Benefit letters – If a student was under 18 years of the age at the start of the five years before the starting of the course, we do accept the below documents too
- School reports
- Child benefit letter or Child tax credit award letter that contains the student’s name and other details.
- A signed or stamped letter of school’s headed paper along with the exact dates of attendance for confirmation.
Non-UK and non-EU nationals
The Non-UK and non-EU national students are also eligible for tuition fee loans if:
To prove this was only a temporary break in residency, you can send:
- The student is living in England from the first day of the first day of the course.
- The student has lived in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the academic course.
- The student has settled status like there is no idea how long he or she can stay in the UK. One may refer to this as an Indefinite Leave to Remain or Indefinite Leave to Enter.
The student is also able to apply for the student finance if:
- A refugee or a relative of one
- The child of Swiss national
- The child of a Turkish worker
- Under Humanitarian Protection or a relative of one
- A stateless person
- Under the age of 18 years, and has lived in the UK for at least seven years.
- Crossed the age of 18 years, and has lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or half of the life)
- Granted leave under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2006 or a child of someone who granted leave (student needs to be lived in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the academic course to earn the eligibility for Section 67)
Living outside the UK, EU, and EEA? Here you go
Even if the student lived outside the UK, EU, and EEA, he or she can still apply for the tuition fee loan. The students are advised to return to the UK before the start of the course. This will build their eligibility for the tuition fee loan. If the student has taken a break in residency during the three years before the start of the academic course, the student needs to prove it as a temporary break by with a few required documents’ submission
- Student’s Visa to show the temporary period in abroad
- Parents’ temporary work contracts
- Evidence of the UK connection in that period like bank statements, mortgage statements or utility bills
Is there any age guideline to apply for student finance?
Usually you can only get student finance for your first degree or higher-education qualification, even if you studied a long time ago or if the course was abroad. You might get funding for a second degree if you study an exception course such as Nursing, Midwifery or Teaching.
As a general rule, a Tuition Fee Loan is available for the full length of your first course, plus one extra year if needed, for example, if:
- you change your course, or
- you have to re-sit a year, or
- you leave your course but start another
The number of years for which you are eligible for funding is calculated as:
Length of current course + one year – years of previous study
You will use up one year of funding when you register, regardless of how long you attend the course.
If you haven’t got enough years of funding left to cover your course, you’ll have to cover some of the cost yourself. You’ll usually still be able to get a Maintenance Loan in any self-funded years of study. You may also be able to get a bursary from your university.
You might be able to get an extra year of tuition fee support if you need to repeat a year due to compelling personal reasons, such as bereavement or illness.
Find out more about whether you can get an additional year of tuition fee support and how to apply for this.
Your uni and course
The course you plan to study must be at an eligible uni or college in the UK, and one of the following:
- first degree, e.g. BA, BSc, or BEd
- foundation degree
- Certificate of Higher Education
- Higher National Certificate (HNC)
- Higher National Diploma (HND)
- Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
- Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
- integrated master’s
- Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
From 1 August 2018, students studying a postgraduate healthcare course will also be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan.
If you’re not sure whether your course qualifies for student finance, you should check with your uni or college.
You might also be eligible if you’re:
- a spouse or civil partner living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
- a child, step-child, or adoptive child living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
- a dependent parent living with either a child who is a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas, or the child’s spouse or civil partner who is a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
From 1 August 2018, students studying a distance learning course will also be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan if they’re:
- a member of the UK Armed Forces who usually lives in England, but is serving in Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland
- a relative living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving in Wales, Scotland, or Northerin Ireland
How much you can get depends on when you started your course, where you live, and your household income.
If your course started before 1 August 2016, the amount of Maintenance Loan you can get will be reduced by 50p for every £1 of Maintenance Grant you get.
Long Course Loan
If your course lasts longer than 30 weeks and three days, you might be able to get a Long Course Loan as well as your Maintenance Loan.
How much you can get depends on your household income, and where you’re living while studying. You’ll be able to get a Long Course Loan if you’re getting the extra Maintenance Loan that’s based on your household income.
You don’t need to complete a separate application – Student Finance England will work out whether you can get a Long Course Loan when you apply for your main student finance.
They’ll pay your Long Course Loan to you at the same time they pay your Maintenance Loan.
This table shows the maximum weekly amount you can get:
Where you’re living while studying
Maximum amount per additional week
Living with parents
Living outside of London, away from home
Living in London, away from home
Special Support Grant
The Special Support Grant replaces the Maintenance Grant in certain circumstances. Student Finance England works out entitlement to the Special Support Grant in the same way as the Maintenance Grant.
If you started your course between 1 September 2021 and 31 July 2016, the full grant available is:
- £3,593 for the 2018/19 academic year
- £3,694 for the 2019/20 academic year
You may get a Special Support Grant if any of the following apply while you’re on your course:
- You’re a single parent, or single foster parent, of a child or young person under 20 who is in full-time education below higher education level, or on an approved training course.
- You have a partner who is also a full-time student, and one or both of you is responsible for a child or young person under 20 who is in full-time education below higher education level, or on an approved training course.
- You have a disability and qualify for the Disability Living Allowance, Disability Premium, or Severe Disability Premium.
- You qualify for Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment.
- You’re deaf and qualify for a Disabled Students’ Allowance
- You have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks.
- You have a disability and qualify for income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
- You’re waiting to go back to a course, having taken agreed time out from that course due to an illness or caring responsibility that has now ended.
- You’re aged over 60.
If you’re claiming an income-related benefit, Jobcentre Plus and your local authority’s benefit section won’t take account of the Special Support Grant when working out your income.
How to apply
When you apply for student finance, you’ll need to agree to Student Finance England’s terms and conditions.
The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance as soon as the application service opens.
Set up a student finance account
When you register, you’ll be given a unique Customer Reference Number, and will need to create a password and secret answer. You should keep these safe, as you’ll need them to sign in to your account to check the progress of your application, and reapply for student finance next year.
Fill in and submit your application
The first time you apply, you’ll be asked for proof of identity. You can easily do this by providing your valid UK passport details. If you don’t have a UK passport, you may have to send evidence
If you want to apply for student finance that depends on your household income, Student Finance England will ask your parents or partner for their National Insurance number, and their personal income details.
Send any evidence you’re asked for
Student Finance England may contact you, or your parents/partner, to ask for evidence to support your application. If you’ve had no contact with your parents for over a year, you might be able to apply as an ‘independent student’.
To reapply for student finance, sign in to your student finance account, and apply online as soon as the application service opens.
If you’re applying for the first time, you can do this online at www.gov.uk/studentfinance.
How it’s paid
You need to register at your uni or college before Student Finance England can make your first payment.
You’ll usually do this in the first week of your course, and you may have to take along your student finance entitlement letter.
Student Finance England pays any Maintenance Loan and/or Maintenance Grant you can get directly into your bank account, in three instalments, usually at the start of each term.
You can find your expected payment dates in your online account, but some banks take longer to clear funds. If your money isn’t in your account in three working days, you should contact your bank – they should be able to let you know when your money will arrive.
How much do I repay?
The important thing to remember is that the amount you’ll repay will be based on how much you earn, not how much you borrow.
You’ll repay 9% of your income above the repayment threshold – earn less and you won’t repay.
Once you leave your course, you’ll only repay when your income is above the repayment threshold. The current UK threshold is £25,725 a year, £2,143 a month, or £494 a week.
For example, if you earn £2,250 a month before tax, you’ll repay £9 a month. This is because £2,250 is £107 above the monthly threshold of £2,143, and 9% of £107 is £9.
Look at the table for some more examples of how much you could repay.
Yearly income before tax
Monthly income before tax
you repay will change too. But don’t worry – this happens automatically
If you stop working, or start to earn below the repayment threshold, your repayments will stop until you earn over the threshold.
You’ll make a repayment if you go over the weekly or monthly threshold at any point during the year, for example, if you get a bonus or work overtime. You can request a refund at the end of the tax year if your total income was below the annual repayment threshold.
If you leave your course early
You’ll still have to repay your loan, but the repayment process might be different.
How and when do I repay?
Full-time courses – you’ll be due to start repaying the April after you finish or leave your course, but only if you’re earning over the repayment threshold. For example, if you graduate in June 2019, you’ll be due to start repaying in April 2020, if you’re earning enough.
Part-time courses – you’ll be due to start repaying the April four years after the start of your course, or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first, but only if you’re earning over the repayment threshold.
Any outstanding loan balance will be cancelled 30 years after you’re due to start repaying – even if you haven’t repaid any of it.How you’ll repay depends on what you choose to do after your course:
If you start work, your employer will automatically take 9% of your income above the threshold from your salary, along with tax and National Insurance.
If you’re self-employed, you’ll make repayments at the same time as you pay tax through self-assessment.
If you move overseas, you’ll repay directly to the Student Loans Company, instead of having it taken automatically from your pay. The repayment threshold could be different from the UK, which means the amount you repay could be different. Find out more about repaying from overseas.
What about interest?
Interest is charged from the day the Student Loans Company makes your first payment to you or your uni or college, until your loan is repaid in full or cancelled.
The interest rate is based on the Retail Price Index or RPI, which measures changes to the cost of living in the UK. The interest rate is updated once a year in September, using the RPI from March of that year.
It’s important to remember that the amount of interest you’re charged doesn’t affect the amount you’ll repay each month.
How much interest you’re charged depends on your circumstances:
When you’re at uni or college – while you’re studying, up until the April after you leave your course, the interest charged will be RPI plus 3%.
When you’ve left your course – from the April after you’ve left your course, interest will be based on your income, up to a maximum of RPI plus 3%.
If you don’t keep your details up-to-date – you’ll be charged RPI plus 3%, whatever your income, until the Student Loans Company has all the information they need.