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Student Finance

Students » Sixth Form » Student Finance

Student Finance

It is very difficult to give you advice on student finance - the situation remains, as ever, very fluid. As I write this we have a new government in power and universities campaigning to increase tuition fees. Any increases in fees, cost of living, taxation including VAT will passed onto you and at some point you must pay it back - probably!

Why probably? There are certain exemptions, bursaries and other reasons why you may pay less and we will explore them presently.

What follows is up to date as of 30/9/15

At present in England and Wales a university can charge you up to £9000 per year to study at their university. These are your tuition fees.

Remember that is per year.

This is the fee that some universities would like to increase.

On top of this are your living costs. These will vary greatly depending on where you wish to study, what type of accommodation you wish to live in and what sort of life you want to live at university.

The typical accommodation costs - if you choose to live in a hall of residence - in a university such as Portsmouth – are approximately:

£120 per week - self catering

£150 per week - fully catered (except at certain times on a weekend)

Those figures are per week so you can do the basic math to work out a term or an annual figure.

On top of this figure you have any additional food, books, study materials, travel costs and leisure costs.

Any student can apply to the student loan company Student Finance England for a loan that covers part or all of your costs.

You can apply from as early as January (Year 13) but there are also strict deadlines in April or June that you need to meet if you want the money in time.

The application forms are available for download or application on line from the website that is identified at the bottom of this document.

Students can apply for the following:

  • Tuition Fees.
  • Maintenance Loan - this is a loan of up to £5740 (depending on which part of the country you study in) and will need to be paid back.
  • Maintenance Grant - this is a grant not a loan - you don't need to pay it back. You can apply for a grant up to £3387. It is 'means tested' - you get a grant that reflects your home circumstances. There are plans to remove this!

The tuition fees will be paid directly to the university - and not to your bank account.

The maintenance loan/grant is paid directly into your bank account - in instalments.

There is also help available for a student with specific learning difficulties or those applying for NHS supported courses.

It is important that every one of you explore what offers, inducements and bursaries the universities have put together to encourage you to make them your 'first choice' in your application process.

Each university has its own individual set of offers that range from cash payments, reduction on accommodation costs, laptops, money off on sports or academic equipment. This can be awarded for hardship, academic excellence, sporting excellence and other things such as making the university your first choice. When you are deciding on a university you should look at the university websites/literature for specific guidance.

* You start to repay your loan after graduation when you earn more than £21000 per year. You start being charged interest on your loan as soon as you receive any money. The interest is very low so in real terms.

When you start to repay your loan the loan company will take 9% of any salary you earn over £21000 – every month. This will start off as a very small amount but will increase as you earn more over time.

# Student Finance England

Also SLC

Please note - if a student is applying for a grant/loan they must apply every year for each year they intend to study at university.

Students who are taking a gap year and intend to start at a university in September 2017 can only apply from January 2017 onwards.

A simple breakdown of what may be available to a student - based on household income.

Household Income Up to..






Tuition Fee Loan





Max per year - may be less

Student Maintenance Loan





Means tested against household income

HE Maintenance Grant





This is means tested - no need to repay


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