Grants and Loans For Full-Time Undergraduates

Undergraduate students may be able to apply for government student support to cover the costs of their tuition fees and living costs.

The information on this page is for students starting a new full-time undergraduate course in 2016 who are apply for funding from Student Finance England. The information below will help you to understand which type of funding you are eligible for and how to apply.

If you normally reside in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you will need to apply for funding from your relevant funding body:

Impact of Brexit on Student Loans

Following the UK vote to leave the EU, the Student Loans Company (SLC) has confirmed that rules are unchanged for EU nationals, or their family members, who have applied for a place at university in England from this August 2016 to study a course which attracts student support.

Some information on these pages related to nationals from outside the EU, who do not have EU family members, may be subject to further clarification.


There are two types of funding provided by Student Finance England:

Home funding:

  • Tuition Fee Loan
  • Maintenance Loan
  • Supplementary Grants

EU funding:

  • Tuition Fee Loan

Your eligibility for Home or EU funding depends on the following factors:

  • Your nationality or your family's nationality
  • Your residency status or your family’s residency status
  • Your age
  • Your course (Eligible courses include our BA, FdA and Integrated Masters courses. Note that our Graduate Diploma courses are not eligible)
  • If you have previously studied a Higher Education course

The UKCISA website provides a summary of who is eligible and which type of funding they are eligible for. The Student Advice Service can provide further guidance and information if you are unsure about your eligibility.

Previous Study

If you have already studied a course at Higher Education either in the UK or elsewhere, your funding may be affected even if you did not complete your previous course. Please read our information on previous study.

EU nationals, EEA and Swiss workers and their family members who are resident in the UK

The funding eligibility for this category of students can be complex but some of the common scenarios for Home funding are below.

  • EU national who has been resident in the UK for 5 years prior to 1 September in the year they start their course. (Note that Irish nationals only need to have been resident in the UK for 3 years.)
  • EEA or Swiss national who is a worker and resident in the UK before 1 September in the year they start their course.
  • The family member of such a worker can also be eligible.

If you think you may be eligible for funding in this category, seek advice from the Student Advice Service before you make your application for funding.

Change in residency requirements for EU nationals applying for Home funding

On 1 March 2016 the Government announced there will be an increase in the residency requirement that non-UK EU nationals must meet in order to be eligible for living cost support. The details have still to be made clear, so this is a summary of what we know so far, although this information may change.

Applications received by SFE before 25th March 2016

EU nationals who start their courses in the 2016-17 academic year onwards are required to demonstrate three years’ residency in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man to be eligible for Home funding.

Applications received by SFE on or after 25th March 2016

EU nationals who start their courses in the 2016-17 academic year onwards are required to demonstrate five years’ residency in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man to be eligible for Home funding.

Note that:

  • Students already in receipt of Home funding and continuing on the same course are not affected by these changes.
  • The increased residency requirement does not apply to UK nationals, to whom the existing three year residency rule will continue to apply.
  • EEA migrant workers and their family members are also not affected by this change.

We will add more information to this page as it becomes available.

Tuition Fee Loan

Students eligible for Home or EU funding can apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England to cover all or part of the fees. This money will be paid directly to the University once you have enrolled.

Maintenance Loan

Students eligible for Home funding can apply for a maintenance loan which is paid to students at the beginning of each term to cover their living costs. The amount you receive depends on the following factors:

  • Your household income
  • If you are living with parents or not
  • If you study in London or elsewhere

If you provide household income details, you can be means-tested to receive the maximum amount of loan you are entitled to. If you do not provide household income details, you can only receive a non-means tested maintenance loan which may be lower than what you are entitled to. See the Household Income section for more details.

Eligible for benefits

If you are eligible for benefits because you are disabled, have a health condition or you're a parent of children under 20 years old, you may qualify for a higher maintenance loan. Your benefits will be affected by your Maintenance Loan income, visit the Welfare Benefits page or seek advice from Student Advice Service.

Supplementary Grants

If you are eligible for Home funding, you may also be eligible for supplementary grants if you have dependent children or adults. Seek advice from the Student Advice Service if this applies to you. The website provides more information on the following:

The Disability Service can assist with applications for Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA).

Household income

If you want to be assessed for the maximum amount of maintenance loan or supplementary grants available to you, you must provide your household income from the tax year 2014-15. Download our guide for further information about how household income affects maintenance loans and supplementary grants. 

• 2016-17 Maintenance Loan and Household Income (PDF 56KB)

You can also use the student finance calculator to estimate how much you could receive based on your household income in 2014-15.

Your household income has dropped since 2014-15

If your household income has dropped by 15% or more since 2014-15, you can ask Student finance England to use your estimated household income for the tax year 2016-17 when assessing the amount of maintenance loan you are entitled to. You will still need to provide household income details for 2014-15 in your funding application. You must then submit a paper Current Year Income form for 2016-17 to Student Finance England. This form asks you to estimate what your household income will be over the current tax year. You will need to inform SFE if your actual household income changes from your estimated income to avoid any maintenance loan overpayments. This form is can be downloaded from the Student Finance England form finder.

Whose income details are required, will depend on whether you are considered a Dependent or Independent student.

Dependent students

If you are aged under 25, you are usually considered a dependent student and will need to provide the income details of your parents. If your parents are divorced or separated you will need to provide the income details of the parent you are financially dependent on as well as the income of any relevant partner of your parent.

In certain circumstances, you may be under 25 but considered an independent student who is not required to provide parents’ income details. Care leavers, estranged students, married students, students with children and other self-supporting groups are included. Refer to the Student Finance England how you are assessed guide 2016-17 for the full list of independent student categories.

Independent students

If you are aged 25 or over or fit into other self-supporting categories such as care leavers, estranged students, you are usually considered to be an independent student. This means that parental income will not be taken into account when calculating household income. If you are married, in a civil partnership or aged 25 or over and living with your partner, your partner’s income will be taken into account. Refer to page 30 of Student Finance England's How You Are Assessed 2016-17 guide for the full list of independent student categories.

Care Leavers

Care Leavers must include a letter from their Social Worker to support their student finance application.


You may be eligible to apply as an independent student if you have not had written or verbal contact with your parents for at least 12 months before the start of your course, this time frame may not apply in all cases. You will need to prove that the lack of contact with your parents is permanent.  If you are estranged from your parents you may find the organisation Stand Alone useful. They have produced a student finance guide for estranged students.

Making your application

You do not need to have a confirmed place at university to apply. The deadline for submitting an application is usually nine months after the start of the academic year, but to avoid delayed payments and problems at enrolment you should apply before 27 May 2016. You must reapply for student finance every year when studying. Applications usually open in spring.

Home funding

Most students can apply online if applying for Home funding. First register for an online account with Student Finance England. You will be emailed a customer reference number and can then begin your online application. If you prefer, you can download a PN1 paper application form from the Student Finance forms finder. It will usually take up to 6 weeks for your application to be processed.

If you are applying for funding as an EEA or Swiss Migrant Worker or family member you should apply using a PN1 paper application form instead of applying online.

EU funding 

If you are eligible for EU funding only, you will need to complete an EU16N application form and a Certifier Checklist if you are submitting copies of your identity evidence, rather than the originals.

Repayments and interest

You‘re charged interest from the day your first payment is made until your loan is repaid in full. You’ll start repaying your student loan the April after you leave your course if your income is over £21,000.

Adult dependent grants, childcare grants and the parents learning allowance do not need to be repaid, except in the case of an overpayment. Refer to the repayments page for full details on interest rates and how repayments are made.

Extra help from the University

The University offers a number of scholarships, bursaries and awards to both new and continuing students.

After enrolment, students receiving Home funding may be eligible for additional funding through the Access to Learning Fund.

Financial planning

It is important for prospective students to plan their finances carefully before making any commitments to a course and accommodation. In some cases, funding from Student Finance England may not cover all of a student's accommodation and living expenses – see our example living costs.