The key elements of the student finance package are outlined below. The finer details of student finance change year to year, the most up to date information is available at www.gov.uk/student-finance
Tuition fees are what it costs to study a higher education course; these vary across different courses and different institutions and at the moment are capped at £9,000 per year for full time study. Students do not pay this up front; every UK student is entitled to a tuition fee loan to cover the entire tuition fee. The Student Loan Company pay the university directly and students do not start repaying the loan until they start earning a certain amount of money after graduation.
A maintenance loan is money paid into the student’s bank account by the Student Loan Company to cover living costs such as food, rent and books – it’s up to the individual how they spend it. How much money an individual is allowed to borrow depends on their household income. No-one starts paying back what they have borrowed until they start earning above a certain amount.
Some universities offer some bursaries and scholarships, which are financial awards that do not need to be paid back. These may be awarded based on family income, or on academic merit or a combination of the two. Bursaries and scholarships vary between institutions and may only be available for certain courses. Full details of financial support available at each institution can be found on www.ucas.com or on institutions’ individual websites.
There is extra financial support available for students with a disability, students with mental health conditions or specific learning difficulties, students who are parents, students with caring responsibilities and students who have experience of being in care.
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