Student loans and grants

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Expand the sections below to find out about the financial support packages that are available to you from the government in 2017/18.

How can I cover my tuition fees?

The tuition fee that will be charged for undergraduate students in 2017/18 is expected to be £9,250 (subject to approval). A Tuition Fee Loan is available from the government via the Student Loans Company (SLC) to all UK and EU undergraduate students, giving you the opportunity to borrow up to the full cost of your tuition fees.  

How can I cover my living costs?

While you are at university, your living expenses will be taken up by the cost of your accommodation, travel, food, bill, study materials and other day-to-day spending. In order to cover these costs, the government provides support in the form of a Maintenance Loan.

This loan is only available to UK undergraduate students. All eligible students are entitled to some loan, but the exact amount you will get will depend on where you choose to live and your household income.  For example, you will get:

  • £8,430 if you are living away from home (and not in London).  This reduces down as your household income rises, eventually reaching a minimum of £3,928 for household incomes higher than £62,187. 
  • £7,097 if you are living at home and your household income is less than £25000.  This reduces down as your household income rises, eventually reaching a minimum of £3,124 for household incomes higher than £58,215.

These values are subject to Parliamentary approval.  For up to date details, visit the gov.uk website. You can also use the student finance calculator to estimate how much you might qualify for.

How do I apply?

You can apply for your funding online via the gov.uk student finance page at any point during the academic year. You should ensure that you apply to the relevant SLC agency for your area in which you normally reside. 

If you are a continuing student, you will be invited (by SFE or your relevant SLC agency) to re-apply for student finance in order to ensure you continue to receive your funding for the new academic year. If nothing has changed, you can usually simply log in to your account to confirm, or sign and return the declaration form that you receive in the post. If changes are required your relevant SLC agency will advise you how to do this, when they invite you to reapply for you finance package, usually in March of the prior academic year.

Do the loans gain interest?

From the date you take out loan(s) you will be charged interest at the rate of inflation plus 3%. Once you have graduated or otherwise left the University you will be charged interest at:

  • the rate of inflation (if you are earning less than £21,000)
  • the rate of inflation plus up to 3% (if you are earning between £21,001 and £41,000)
  • the rate of inflation plus 3% (if you are earning above £41,000)

For further information about interest rates on student loans, please visit the repayment web pages on the gov.uk website

How do I repay the loans?

You will only start repaying your loan(s) in the April after you leave University, are in work and earning over £21,000 per year. Repayments will be 9% of income above this threshold so the amount repaid each month will depend on your earnings. If for any reason your income falls below £21,000, your repayments will be suspended.

The repayment process is simple, as it will be deducted automatically from your pay through the tax system (PAYE). If you have not paid off your loan after 30 years, all outstanding repayments will be written off. For further information on the repayment process, please visit the repayment web pages on the gov.uk website.  

What if I do not normally live in England?

If you normally live in Wales, a maximum tuition fee loan of up to £4,296 will be available which will be paid directly to your university or college. The National Assembly will provide a fee grant of £4,954 to cover fees the total tuition fees of £9,250. Maintenance Loans are available for living costs, as well as a Welsh Assembly Grant of up to £5,161 for students from lower-income backgrounds. Please visit Student Finance Wales for more information.  

If you normally live in Northern Ireland, a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 will be available. Loans (up to £4,840) and grants (up to £3,475) for living costs will also be available. Please visit Student Finance NI for more information.

If you normally live in Scotland, the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will offer you a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250. Bursary and loan schemes worth up to £7,625 are available to cover your living costs. Further details can be found on the SAAS website.

EU students are eligible for the Tuition Fee Loan only. This is offered by the UK government via the Student Loans Company (SLC) to all EU and home undergraduate students, giving you the opportunity to borrow up to the full cost of your tuition fees.  This arrangement will continue until at least 2018/19, and students starting up until this date will continue to receive tuition fee support until they complete their course, or leave the University.

If you are an international student, you will not be eligible for any financial assistance from the UK government. You will need to contact your home country to determine if there is any financial support available.

Additionally, please visit our international fees and funding web page for further information.  

How to contact SFE:

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Telephone: 0300 100 0607

Textphone: 0300 100 0622

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Student Finance England
PO Box 210
Darlington
DL1 9HJ