Loans and Grants for New Students Starting in 2018
Students starting a full-time undergraduate course in 2018 may be able to apply for government funding to cover the costs of their tuition fees and living costs.
Impact of Brexit on government funding
Following the UK vote to leave the EU, Student Finance England has confirmed that the eligibility criteria for funding remains unchanged for EU nationals, or their family members, who will be starting a course at a university in England in the 2018/19 academic year. Eligiblity criteria for such students will remain the same in each subsequent year of their course.
The information on this page is for students who will be applying for funding from Student Finance England, and will help you to understand the type of funding for which you are eligible and how to apply.
If you normally reside in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please refer to the website of the relevant funding body:
There are two types of funding provided by Student Finance England:
- Tuition Fee Loan
- Maintenance Loan
- Supplementary Grants
- 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. If you will be aged 60 or over on 1 September 2018, please contact the Student Advice Service for individual advice.
- Your course. Eligible courses include all of our BA and Integrated Masters courses. Note that our Graduate Diploma courses are not eligible.
The UKCISA website provides a summary of who is eligible and the type of funding for which they are eligible; categories 1 and 3-10 are for Home funding, whereas category 2 is for EU funding.
The Student Advice Service can provide further guidance and information if you are unsure about your eligibility.
EU nationals, EEA and Swiss workers and their family members who are resident in the UK
The funding eligibility for non-UK nationals in these categories can be complex but some of the common scenarios in which a student would be eligible to apply for Home funding are below.
- EU national who has been resident in the UK for 5 years before 1 September in the year they start their course. Note that Irish nationals are an exception to this and only need to have been resident in the UK for 3 years.
- EEA or Swiss national who is resident in the UK before 1 September in the year they start their course and is a worker. The family member of such a worker can also be eligible. See our factsheet for more information:
- Factsheet: Migrant Workers and Student Finance (PDF 355KB)
If you think you are in these categories, seek advice from the Student Advice Service before you make your application for Home funding.
Previous study can affect funding
If you have already studied a higher education course either in the UK or elsewhere, the number of years of funding to which you are entitled may be reduced, even if you meet the eligibility criteria above. This applies even if you did not complete your previous course or did not receive funding. Please read our information on previous study.
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 their fees. This money will be paid directly to the University after enrolling onto the course.
Students eligible for Home funding can apply for a Maintenance Loan which is paid to students at the beginning of each term to contribute towards their living costs. The amount you receive depends on whether you live with your parent(s) whilst studying and your household income (see Household Income section below).
- If you provide household income details when you apply, you can be means tested. In this case, students with a lower household income can receive a higher Maintenance Loan than students with a higher household income.
- If you do not provide household income details when you apply, you can only receive the non-means tested, minimum amount of Maintenance Loan, which may be less than the amount to which you are entitled.
The factsheet below shows how household income affects the amount of Maintenance Loan:
The student finance calculator can also be used to estimate the amount of Maintenance Loan you could receive.
Benefits and the Maintenance Loan
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. Note that your benefits will be affected by your Maintenance Loan income; see the Welfare Benefits page or seek advice from Student Advice Service.
Students eligible for Home funding may also be eligible to apply for the following supplementary grants.
Students who have dependent children or adults
Seek advice from the Student Advice Service if this applies to you.
Students who are disabled or have a Specific Learning Difficulty
The Disability Service can assist with applications for this.
If you want to receive the maximum amount of Maintenance Loan or supplementary grants available to you, you must provide your household income from the previous full tax year when you apply. This would be April 2016 to March 2017 for the UK, or January to December 2016 if the income is made in a country outside of the UK with a tax year starting in January.
Students with a lower household income can receive a higher Maintenance Loan than students with a higher household income.
The income counted as your household income depends on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student.
If you will be aged under 25 on 1 September prior to starting your course, you are usually considered to be a dependent student and your parents’ income would be counted as your household income. If your parents are divorced, separated or single, you will need to provide the income of the parent on whom you are financially dependent and the income of this parent’s partner, if relevant.
Unearned income of the student would also be taken into account (e.g. interest from savings accounts, dividends from stocks or shares, but not income from a job). In some circumstances, students under 25 may be considered to be an independent student, and as such would not need to provide parents’ income details. See the Independent students section below.
If you will be aged 25 or over on 1 September prior to starting your course, or fit into other self-supporting categories such as care leavers or 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.
Unearned income of the student would also be taken into account (e.g. interest from savings accounts, dividends from stocks or shares, but not income from a job).
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, although 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 information provided by Stand Alone to be useful, including their student finance guide for estranged students.
Getting reassessed if your household income has reduced
If your household income has reduced by 15% or more since the 2016/17 tax year, you can ask Student Finance England to use your estimated household income for the 2018/19 tax year when assessing the amount of Maintenance Loan to which you are entitled.
You will still need to provide household income details for 2016/17 in your application. You must then submit a paper Current Year Income form for 2018/19, which will soon be available from the Student Finance England form finder. This form asks you to estimate what your household income will be over the current tax year.
You will need to inform Student Finance England if at any point your actual household income changes from your estimate to avoid any Maintenance Loan overpayments which will later be reclaimed.
When to apply
Students are encouraged to apply as soon as the application service opens. It usually opens in February each year.
You do not need to have a confirmed place at university, and can change or cancel your application easily at a later stage, if required.
In order to receive the first term’s instalment of your Maintenance Loan soon after enrolling onto your course (and to avoid problems enrolling onto your course), you should apply and provide any evidence that is requested by the specified deadline. This is usually the last week day in May.
You must reapply for funding from Student Finance in the spring before every subsequent year of your course.
How to apply
The application processes for Home funding and EU funding are slightly different:
Most students will be able to apply online once the application system opens.
If you prefer, you will be able to download a paper application form which will soon be available on the Student Finance England form finder.
If you are applying for Home funding as an EEA or Swiss Migrant Worker or family member you should apply using paper application form.
It will usually take up to 6 weeks for your application to be processed.
If you are eligible for EU funding only, you will need to download paper application form (and a completed Certifier Checklist if you are submitting copies of your identity evidence rather than the originals). This will soon be available on the Student Finance England form finder.
It will usually take at least 6 weeks for your application to be processed.
Repayments and interest
You're charged interest from the day your first Tuition Fee Loan (and Maintenance Loan, if eligible) payment is made until your loan is repaid in full. You’ll start repaying your loans on a monthly basis from the April after you leave or finish your course if your income is over a threshold set by the government. Currently, this threshold is £25,000 for graduates living in the UK.
Refer to the UK Government website for full details on interest rates and how repayments are made.
The Adult Dependant Grant, Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance are not loans and therefore do not need to be repaid, except in the case of an overpayment.
Extra funding from the University
The University offers a number of scholarships, bursaries, awards and hardship funds.
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.
The Student Advice Service is available to provide further information and support on financial matters related to your course, including understanding your eligibility for loans and grants and help with applying.