For learners

Student finance

One of the main concerns for parents and students alike is the financial side of higher education.  It's also the area where there is the most confusion!  So read on for the facts.....

The two main costs full-time students will have while studying are tuition fees and living costs. There are loans to help with both.

Tuition fees

Tuition Fee Loan Universities and colleges can charge up to £9,250 a year for full-time courses. No student will have to pay for tuition fees up front. Every new student is entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan to cover their fees of up to £9,250.

Living costs

Larger maintenance loans  - money to cover your accommodation and living costs are available for those starting undergraduate programmes from 2016.  The maximum loan will be £8,700 for students living away from home outside London, £11,354 for those in London and £7,324 for those living at home.  This is to help pay for things like the rent, bills and food.  All students are eligible for at least £3,224 and many will get more depending on household income.

Living cost loans table

Living cost loans table


How much you’ll repay depends on how much you earn.

You’ll have money taken off your salary where your earnings, before tax, are over the weekly or monthly threshold.

The thresholds for repayment are £480 per week, £2,083 per month or £25,000 per year. A student loan deduction will be made even if you don’t earn £25,000 a year but exceed the weekly or monthly threshold at any point in the year (for example if you work overtime).

You pay 9% of your income over the threshold.

Example repayment amounts

If your income changes - either rising or falling, your repayment amounts will automatically change to reflect this

If your income changes - either rising or falling, your repayment amounts will automatically change to reflect this

  • If you’re employed, your employer will take your repayments directly off your salary along with tax and National Insurance contributions.
  • If you stop working, your repayments will stop, only starting again when your income is more £25,000 a year.
  • Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off.

Check out the following Student Finance England animations covering aspects of repayment of student loans.

1.  Repaying your student loan – When and how do I repay?

2. Repaying your student loan – Interest

Care Leavers

Students leaving the care of their local authority (LA) are entitled to the same support as other students. They’re also likely to qualify for additional support from the institution they attend for their Higher Education course.


Care leavers may also be able to get additional financial support, like fee discounts or cash awards from the university or college they attend.

Many universities and colleges offer specific Care Leaver Bursaries to young people coming to higher education from a care background. It’s always worth checking with the university or college if there’s extra support available.


Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) help pay for extra costs a student might have as a direct result of their disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia. DSAs are additional support available to students who may otherwise be prevented from attending a higher-education course because of a disability.

Key facts about DSAs:

  • Available to undergraduates and postgraduates studying full- or part-time (their part-time course must be at least 25% of the full-time equivalent)
  • Don’t have to be repaid
  • Don’t depend on household income: the amount students can get relates to their needs up to specified maximum amounts
  • Doesn’t affect benefit entitlement. For example, other help students might get, like Disability Living Allowance, will not be affected by DSAs
  • Isn’t affected by a student’s age

Who can get DSAs?

  • a mental-health condition, such as anxiety or depression
  • a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia
  • a developmental disorder, such as autism, ADHD/ADD
  • a progressive medical condition such as Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer or HIV
  • a sensory impairment which could affect the ability to see or hear
  • another physical or medical condition
  • a long-term health condition



Find out more information about disabled student allowances (DSAs) by watching this short animation from Student Finance England

For more information about student finance, you can visit

Yes you can go student finance website

The Student Room website

The Government website on student finance

You can also download our student finance brochure: 


Brochure front cover

Yes you can student finance brochure

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