Financial Support

Much of the information in this section will be known to you.  However, you may find it useful for reference purposes.  In addition, if you have not yet applied to Student Finance England to be assessed for grants/loans, it may not be too late – applications for the 2016/17 academic year can be received up to 9 months after the start of your course.

Various types of assistance with the cost of your tuition fees and living costs are offered.  These are outlined here.  A good source of more detailed information is the Student Finance site.

UK full-time undergraduate students

Tuition fee loans

The UK government offers help with the payment of tuition fees to full-time and part-time UK undergraduate students through a tuition fee loan.  Student Finance England will assess if you are eligible for a tuition fee loan. If you are eligible the tuition fee will be paid direct to UCB by the Student Loans Company.  For information regarding tuition fee loans and to complete an online application form, please go to the Student Finance site. If you normally live elsewhere in the UK, you should apply to the relevant Student Finance Company for tuition fee and maintenance support (Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland).

Maintenance Loans

Students who are given Home status, are aged under 60, and who intend to follow a full-time or sandwich course may apply for a loan to help with living costs. Loans of up to £8,200 (£6,904 for those living at home) are available - 65% of students' maintenance loans are non-income assessed, while the remaining 35% are based on household income for the previous tax year. The amount paid to students on the final year of their course is lower as the loan does not cover the summer holidays in that year.

Students over the age of 60 may be considered for a reduced maintenance loan. Your eligibility and the amount you are able to apply for are both assessed by Student Finance.

The Student Loans Company will usually pay your loan in three instalments - one at the start of each term. They will make payments for most students straight into your bank or building society account. Loans are repayable but you will only become liable to repay the loans once you have completed your course and are earning more than the repayment threshold (currently £21,000 per year). You will move into repayment in the April after you leave UCB, and the amount that you will be required to repay each month will be linked to your income. Details about the interest charged on your loan can be found on the Student Finance website.

Online Applications for 2016/17

The fastest and easiest way is to apply online.*  Student Finance England provides the service for online applications for 2016/17. If you apply online for the parts of the finance package that depend on your household income, your parent(s) or partner can support your application by supplying their financial information online. If you prefer to apply on paper, use form PN1 for students starting a new course or PR1 for students continuing on the same course.

If you are transferring course, please contact the First Floor Finance and Information Services Unit (FISU) for advice on which form to use.

* You can apply online on the Student Finance website.

Other European Union full-time undergraduate students

If you are a full-time undergraduate student from an EU country other than the UK, you may be entitled to a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of your course. If you have not applied, please do so immediately.

You can find more information and can download the application pack from the Student Finance website. If you change your address while studying in the UK you must inform the Team.

As an EU Student you may not be able to apply for maintenance loans/grants from the Student Loans Company.

UK Part-time undergraduate students

Part-time students who are studying at least 25% of an equivalent full-time course can apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England.  

There is no age limit for applicants but students who already have a qualification at the same level or higher will not be eligible for help with tuition fees.

Applicants may obtain further information from the Student Finance website.

Part-time students with disabilities

Part-time students with disabilities, who are studying at least 50% of a full-time course, may be eligible for help with a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).  The DSA is there to help with the extra costs a student may have as a result of attending a course as a direct result of a disability. Each country of the UK provides a guide to the help its government can give to disabled students and the guides can be found here for: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The DSA can be used to purchase specialist equipment as well as being used for travel costs and a non-medical helper’s allowance.  Paid directly to the student by the Student Loan Company (SLC), it is a non-repayable grant.

Postgraduate students

Home and EU students studying their first full Masters may be eligible for a postgraduate loan of £10,000. This is a non-means tested loan which is paid directly to you in instalments over the first 2 years of your course. You must enrol onto the MA/MSc in order to be able to access this loan and you must complete the full 180 credits. This loan must be paid back only once you have left the course and are earning more than £21,000. You pay your loan back at a rate of 6% on anything you earn above this threshold and you are required to repay this money alongside any other further education or undergraduate loans you may have previously had.

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University has a number of scholarships, bursaries and special fees available for students, details of which can be found here.

Students with dependants

Childcare Grant – for students with dependant children. How much help you get will depend on your circumstances. Jobcentre Plus will not count the Childcare Grant when they work out your benefit entitlement. The government website for your part of the UK (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) provides more information regarding terms and conditions of eligibility.

Parents’ Learning Allowance – The Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA) provides help with course-related costs to students who have dependent children. Jobcentre Plus will not count this grant when they work out your benefit entitlement. Full-time students with dependant children may receive up to £1,573 a year, but it is dependent on household income.  The government website for your part of the UK (England, Wales, or Northern Ireland) will have more information.  Please note: this is not available to students from Scotland.

Child Tax Credit from HMRC – Students with dependant children are eligible for Child Tax Credit from HMRC. Students receiving the maximum amount of Child Tax Credit (and no Working Tax Credit) are entitled to free school meals for their children.

Students with children will be entitled to claim the new Child Tax Credit, whether or not they are working or studying. To qualify you must be over the age of 16 and be responsible for a child under 16.

For more information about this grant and to find out whether you are eligible visit the government's Child Tax Credit webpages.

Adult Dependants’ Grant – If you have a husband, wife or partner or another adult member of your family who depends on you financially, you may be eligible. How much depends on your income and that of your dependants; the maximum grant is, however, £2,757 a year.

If you have a disability

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are offered to full-time and part-time students with disabilities, and are designed to help with the extra costs you have as a result of attending your course and as a direct result of your disability.

When you apply, you will be asked to go for a needs assessment to establish exactly what support you require. This will be carried out by a person with specialist experience at an independent assessment centre. The cost of the assessment may be met through your disabled students’ allowances.

The following allowances are offered to eligible students:

  • Specialist equipment allowance of up to £5,212 for the whole of your course.
  • A non-medical helper’s allowance of up to £20,725 a year. The maximum available is £15,543 if you are studying part-time.
  • A general disabled students’ allowance of up to £1,741 a year.  The maximum available is £1,305 if you are studying part-time.
  • Extra travel costs you have to pay as a result of disability and not normally for everyday travel cost.
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