The prospect of paying for a three or more year degree at the cost of £9,000 per year can be daunting. However, the funding for your university experience does not rest solely on your shoulders. Student Finance (https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/overview) offers loans and grants to cover tuition and living costs, dependant on your household income. Additionally, although you do not have to pay back grants, you only need to pay back loans once you are earning above £21,000.
Tuition Fee Loan
All students are eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan. Fortunately, after you have applied to receive this loan, it is paid directly to your university, saving you the hassle of worrying about transferring a payment on time. The amount you will receive is dependent on whether your degree is full or part time. For full time degrees, you can collect up to £9,000, whereas for part time the amount is capped at £6,750.
In addition to help paying for tuition fees, every student is entitled to a Maintenance Loan. Like the Tuition Fee Loan, there are options for your Maintenance Loan. If you chose to live at home, you can get a loan of up to £4,565. If you decide to escape your parents’ house you can receive up to £8,009 if you attend a university within London, or £5,740 if you want to study outside of the capital. This is paid directly into your bank account, although ideally it should be used towards your rent rather than a big night out.
Maintenance Grant & Special Support Grant
As well as these two staples, there is extra financial help for those with lower household incomes or special circumstances. If your household earns less than £42,620 a year, you can qualify for a Maintenance Grant between £50 and £3,387, depending on how low your household income is. The downside of a Maintenance Grant is that it alters the amount you can get in your Maintenance Loan. However, if you qualify for Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Housing Benefit, then you may get a Special Support Grant instead.
You can also apply to receive extra help if you are attending university under particular circumstances. For example, if you are a parent or guardian, if you have a disability or are studying abroad for part or all of your degree.
Student Finance Calculator
Whilst this may give you an overview of what financial help you are entitled to, the Student Finance website has a calculator that allows you to work out how much money you could receive. Just make sure that you know your household income in order to get an estimate of how much funding you could get to help reduce the financial stress of your university experience.
Save the Student!
If the thought of juggling your student finances still concerns you, Save the Student! (http://www.savethestudent.org/books/student-finance/) has a free guide to help soothe your money worries. Simply sign up for free and they will give you plenty of advice, from how to save easily, to how to avoid money pitfalls. What’s more, it is written by students and graduates in order to give you reliable, authentic advice.