Can I afford to go to University?

yes you can

All you need to know about tuition fees and student finance in 2016

What do I need to know about student finance?

It's often in the news and it can be confusing to know where to start and what to believe - so this guide will help you to understand all the facts and give you a clear idea of what higher education will really cost.

You now have to pay tuition fees to universities and colleges to help them cover the costs of delivering a course (they are only part-funded by the Government). You'll also need to cover your day-to-day living costs. It sounds scary, but there are sources of funding for students that make sure higher education is still affordable for everyone.

So if the question is 'can I afford to go to university?'

Yes you can

"The student loan made paying for things like my rent easy, because you get student loan payments at the start of every term."

Sheffield Hallam University student

Why bother going to uni?

There are a lot of benefits from going on to higher education. You become more independent and learn new skills, some that you won't even know you're learning and almost all that will be useful in a job.

A survey last year revealed that:
Graduates earn 70% more on average than non graduates

Lets talk about money

There are different sorts of funding available. Some will depend on your financial circumstances while others might be based on how well you do at school or college.

Use our loan calculator


A lot of students and their parents are worried about student loans. The thought of borrowing so much money might make you feel queasy but what you need to remember is:

  • You don’t have to pay anything upfront
  • You don’t have to pay anything upfront

Tuition fee loan

The government will lend all first-time students the full cost for tuition fees. This is paid directly to the university or college and won't have to be paid back until your course is over and you earn over £21,000 a year.

Living cost loan

Larger maintenance loans are available for those starting from 2016 onwards.  These are to help pay for things like rent, bills and food. All students are eligible for £3,039 and many will get more, depending on household income. Use our calculator above to find out how much you might be eligible for.

Payback time

You won’t pay back anything until you’re earning above £21,000. When you are earning above this amount you will only pay back 9% of anything you earn over £21,000. So for example, if you earn £22,000 you earn £1,000 over the threshold and you will pay back 9% of this:

9% of £1,000 = £90 a year

that's only £7 a month

which is less than a cinema ticket!

Any outstanding loans will be written off after 30 years! Some people say "It’s a no win, no fee situation."

Estimate your future loan repayments

Higher education on your doorstep

Here are the details of all your local education providers within the region. To find out more about any specific funding that you might be entitled to at individual institutions, like bursaries or scholarships, you could visit their websites. You might also want to consider an Open University course.

  • Higher Education
  • Further Education
  • Both
map of institutions