Note: The following information applies to Universities in England only.
There have recently been a number of big changes to student finance. These have led to a lot of worry and confusion about what university costs and whether it is worth the money. Read the information below to find out more.
WHAT WILL MY UNIVERSITY EDUCATION COST?
Universities are able to charge up to £9,000 a year for tuition fees for undergraduate courses. Some charge less. You do not need to pay these upfront.
These include accommodation, bills, food, travel, social activities, sport and books.
HOW WILL I PAY FOR UNIVERSITY?
TUITION FEE LOAN
You do not pay for tuition up front. The government provide loans to cover tuition fees. All UK undergraduate students are entitled to a tuition fee loan. Amounts available depend on whether you are studying full-time or part-time.
Part-time students are eligible for a loan to cover the cost of tuition if studying at least 25% of full-time course each year.
All UK full-time undergraduate students are entitled to a maintenance loan to cover living costs. The amount you receive will be dependent on your household income, whether you will be living with your parents, and whether you will be studying in London.
|Living with parents||Up to £6,904|
|Studying in London and not living with parents||Up to £10,702|
|Studying outside London and not living with parents||Up to £8,200|
|Living and studying abroad for at least one academic term||Up to £9,391|
REPAYMENTS - HOW DO THEY WORK?
- Tuition fee and maintenance loans are combined into one amount.
- Repayments do not start until the April after you graduate AND when you are earning AT LEAST £21,000 per year.
- You pay 9% of your income over £21,000 per year. For example, if you earn £25,000 you would pay 9% of £4,000 per year (£30 per month).
- If your income falls below £21,000 repayments stop automatically until you reach £21,000 again.
- Your student loan repayments are linked to the Inland Revenue. If you are an employee, payments will go out automatically from your salary with your tax and national insurance.
- After 30 years, the loan is wiped so no further payments will be made after this point. This means that many people won’t ever pay off the full loan amount.
- While studying: interest charged at rate of inflation, using the Retail Price Index (RPI, plus 3%).
- When earning: interest rates vary depending on your salary. On a sliding scale between £21,000 – £41,000, interest will be charged from RPI to RPI plus 3%.
EXAMPLES OF MONTHLY REPAYMENTS OF TUITION AND MAINTENANCE LOAN
|Up to £21,000||No repayment|
|Up to £21,500||£4 per month|
|Up to £25,000||£30 per month|
|Up to £30,000||£68 per month|
This tool developed by the Independent Taskforce on Student Finance will give you a good idea about your likely repayments. It uses estimates about inflation rates and your estimated salary growth to calculate how much money you are likely to pay back.
SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES
(YOU DON’T PAY THESE BACK)
As part of the changes introduced by the government in 2012, financial support has been made available to students from low-income families. This means that university is actually now a lot more affordable for some students thanks to a range of extra sources of non-repayable money.
Students from lower income families may benefit from university bursary schemes, which the government is partly contributing to via the National Scholarships Programme. Universities will offer different scholarships and bursaries. Please see individual university websites for details.
NHS GRANTS HAVE BEEN WITHDRAWN
Universities may be able to offer fee waivers (a reduction in tuition fees) to students. These often depend on their household income. Please see individual university websites for details.
FURTHER GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
Additional funding is available for students with physical, mental and learning difficulties, students with children, and students with adult dependants. This funding does not need to be paid back.
STUDENT FINANCE ENGLAND ON THE STUDENT ROOM
Check out SFE’s pages on The Student Room for more information.