Confused about student finances, what you’re entitled to and how to find it? Read our simple guide to student funding for a straightforward explanation of what’s out there and how to get it, or for a quick overview, take a look at our infographic.

Money from the Government - There are three main sources of funds from the government available to students:

  • A Tuition Fee Loan – this is a loan of up to £9,250 a year, made to you to pay for your tuition fees and it is paid directly to the University you will be attending. You have to pay the loan back.
  • A Maintenance Loan – this loan of up to £11,002 a year is intended to help towards your living costs whilst at University including accommodation. Everyone is entitled to a percentage of this loan, but to be eligible for the full amount will be required to provide details of your household income. You have to pay the loan back.
  • A Maintenance Grant – Unfortunately the maintenance grant that has previously been available to students from low income households, will no longer be available for 2016 entrants. If you have already started university before 2016 and you are in receipt of a grant you will continue to receive it until you graduate.

Money from Universities - in addition to the money provided by the government, Universities have their own schemes which provide scholarships and bursaries to students, to provide fairer access to higher education or to reward or attract applicants with high achievements. Some of these schemes are merit based and others are assessed on your financial needs

  • Scholarships, Grants or Bursaries - These terms seem to be used fairly interchangeably and it can be confusing, but the basic principle of each is the same. The main thing to remember is that any money you receive as a scholarship, grant or bursary, does not need to be paid back. The difference lies in the reasons for which you are given the money. Often there are stipulations about how the money can be spent or conditions attached requiring specific commitments from you as the recipient.
  • Awards for specific needs - there are also awards available for students within the following priority groups:
    • Students with children - especially single parents
    • Mature students - especially those with existing financial commitments
    • Students from low income families
    • Disabled students
    • Care leavers (if you've been in care)
    • Students who are homeless or who are living in Foyers
    • Final year students