Fees and Finance can be a complex topic for you and your family, but there is a lot of information available for you to make sure you don’t see finances as a barrier or obstacle to accessing Higher Education, and to help you understand the financial support out there for you.
All students entering university for the first time are entitled to a non – means tested Tuition Fee Loan – payable directly to the institution where you will be studying. This will cover the full cost of your course fees up to the value of £9250. The tuition fee charge can vary between institutions and courses. University tuition costs are a study now, pay later scheme.
Additional costs associated with university are dependent on your personal choices and preferences. They can include rent, utilities, food, course materials and socialising. These costs are largely funded by the means-tested Maintenance Loan. The amount you could receive for this will depend on your circumstances, but it can be supplemented further by part-time employment.
Once you finish your studies, the sum of any Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans will be consolidated to leave you with one repayment sum per month. This only begins in the April after graduation, providing you are earning above £25,000. If your wage dips below this threshold, the repayments cease. Any remaining balance thirty years after graduation is written off.
Scholarships and Bursaries
These are free pots of money allocated by universities to help students supplement and manage their finances. Each institution has their own package of support on offer and details about the amounts available, the relevant criteria and the applications processes can be found on their websites.
Funding applications are carried out in the Spring of your Year 13 and are then renewed each subsequent Spring term until you finish your course. They are made to and processed by Student Finance and completed electronically. In order to begin an application, or to research further detail of support available, you should visit www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance.
Managing a budget and financial commitments can be a steep learning curve for you when you enter Higher Education. Understanding the various different areas of spending associated with university and forecasting a weekly or monthly budget can help you to appreciate where your financial support packages will be spent. It is very common for students to undertake part-time employment during term time and in the holidays. Providing it does not interfere with your academic commitments, it is an excellent way of supplementing your finances.