Student Loans in UK: How to Apply – and Other Options to Consider Student funding


IIf you’re heading to college next month and haven’t paid off your student loans, you need to move on. It’s not too late to apply, but those who do now are unlikely to get all of their money in time for the start of their course.

Here we take a look at what students and parents should be thinking about.

The basics

Student funding is the official government funding you request to pay for college tuition and help cover living costs while you study.

There are two types of loan: the tuition loan, which covers course fees, with money paid directly to the university or college, and the maintenance loan, which is designed to help cover costs. expenses such as accommodation, food and books.

Tuition fees are charged by universities and colleges to cover key elements of your course and academic life (conferences, seminars and tutorials, course administration fees, access to course-related facilities, etc.) as well. as basic services related to student welfare, says Ucas. However, they usually don’t cover things like printing or photocopying in libraries, non-mandatory field trips, textbooks and other course materials, and membership in clubs and societies.

The maintenance loan is partly means-tested – the amount a student receives depends on their household income (for most students it is their parents’ salary), where they live and where they will study.

Student funding must be repaid once the recipient has graduated and earns more than a minimum wage.

You need to apply to the student funding body in the country you live in before you start university. You can do this online via This will take you to links to relevant organizations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It’s not too late but …

Technically, you can still apply for funding for up to nine months after the first day of the academic year for your course.

However, the Student Loans Company says it can take six to eight weeks for student funding applications to process and has indicated that students who apply now are unlikely to receive their full maintenance loan at the start of the term. “We will try to bring them some money and top it up later,” a spokesperson said. Typically, it will allocate the minimum maintenance loan amount first, so that the student has some cash at the start of their course, followed by a top-up payment if they are eligible for additional funding.

When it comes to tuition fees, this can usually be sorted out very quickly. At most universities, tuition fees aren’t normally billed immediately anyway – the first payment date is often in October or November.

How Much Maintenance Loan Am I Receiving?

Each country in the UK has its own rules, so part of it depends on where you usually live. Household income and whether you live at home or away from home are other important factors.

In England for 2021-2022, the maximum loan for a home student is £ 7,987 and the minimum is £ 3,516. If you live away from home, outside of London, the maximum and minimum are £ 9,488 and £ 4,422. If you live far from home in London, they are £ 12,382 and £ 6,166 respectively. Typically, you will get the maximum maintenance loan if your annual household income is less than £ 25,000, while the minimums exceed the thresholds of £ 58,000 to £ 70,000.

“Unlike the tuition loan, it goes straight to your student bank account once a quarter (once a month in Scotland) and you can spend it on whatever you want – that’s why you have to be smart about it, ”explains the Save the Student website.

Student funding must be repaid once the recipient has graduated and earns more than a minimum wage. Photograph: Sam Oaksey / Alamy

If your family has suffered financially from the coronavirus pandemic, you may be eligible for a higher level of funding.

For example, in England you can request a “income assessment for the current year”If you think your household income this tax year (2021-22) will be at least 15% lower than the year for which you were asked to provide details (for those leaving in the coming weeks , it’s 2019-2020). You will be eligible for an assessment if your expected family income after the 15% decrease is between £ 25,000 and £ 58,220 per year.

It’s a similar system in Wales. In Scotland, if your household income is fell into a lower parenthesis, Student Awards Agency Scotland may re-examine your funding based on the current estimate. In Northern Ireland, your total household income must have fallen by 5% or more to be reassessed.

What other help is there?

Check with your university as you can apply for scholarships, grants, and scholarships. Each university or college will have their own rules about who qualifies and how much you can receive.

Scholarships are like grants and do not have to be repaid. “The scholarships usually go to students with household income of less than £ 25,000 per year, although some universities stop at around £ 40,000 per year,” says Save the Student.

Universities and colleges usually also have hardship funds which means that you might receive extra money if you are having financial hardship.

Meanwhile, some charities, boards, and businesses are offering funds.

The scholarship center allows people to search and apply for UK scholarships, grants or scholarships for college.

Turn2us – a charity that helps people in financial difficulty – manages a site which allows people to seek charitable grants.

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