Student finance options

mortarboards in air

Depending on your situation, your journey through Student Finance might look a little different. Whatever your circumstances, we’re here to help guide you through it.

Studying for a Foundation Diploma?

If you are studying a Level 3 qualification such as a Foundation diploma, and you are 19 years old and over and live in England, you can now apply to Student Finance England for a Tuition Fee Loan, called the Advanced Learner Loan, to help pay for your course. This does not cover your living costs, so you need to make sure you are able to support yourself whilst you study.

Apply online and indicate that you are studying for a diploma. You will require a Funding and Information letter from your college or university to complete your application and the loan will be paid direct to them. If you go on to study a degree immediately afterwards, this loan will be written off meaning you will not have to pay it back. For more information about the Advanced Learner Loan, check out this website.

Studying part-time?

You should be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan if your part-time course has a ‘course intensity’ of 25% or more. This means how much of your course you complete each year compared to if it was a full-time course. You can check course intensity with your university or college.

Tuition fee loan

Your university or college sets your tuition fee, and the loan is paid directly to them.

Part-time tuition fees 
Part-time student Tuition Fee Loan for the 2016 to 2017 academic year Tuition Fee Loan for the 2017 to 2018 academic year
Part-time Up to £6,750 Up to £6,935
Part-time at a private university or college Up to £4,500 Up to £4,625

Do you have a disability or a health condition?

If you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia) you may be able to get more help from Student Finance.

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is paid on top of your Maintenance Loan and helps towards the extra costs you may have because of your disability, such as specialist equipment. DSA does not have to be paid back. How much help you can get depends on your individual needs and not your household income.

More information on DSA can be found at Disabled Students’ Allowances In addition to Disabled Students’ Allowance, and depending on the type of disability you have, you may also qualify for disability related benefits.

Are you a parent or carer?

You can apply for additional help if you take care of someone else. This paid on top of your Maintenance Loan to help with things like childcare and other related costs. You do not need to apply separately, because you will be assessed for this extra help when you apply for your main funding. Check out these websites for more info:

Estranged from your family?

If you are estranged, this means you have no contact from your family and are not supported by them. You can say this on your application and will not need to give household income, as Student Finance will assess you as an independent student. A special member of the Independent Team, who will explain the information they need to make sure you get the right support, will contact you. You may also be able to apply for more help from your university with bursaries and/or accommodation assistance. For details of whether your university offers additional support, you can contact Stand Alone.

I am an EU (European) student

If you are from the EU, for 2017/18, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from Student Finance, but not the Maintenance Loan. Download the EU17N form, complete and return with your evidence. If you are working in the UK prior to the start of your course and did not come to the UK to study you may be able to apply for Maintenance Support as a Migrant Worker.

UKCISA offers information and advice for International and all non-UK students.

More information

  • The Student Room is the largest student community in the world with a range of online resources to help you get through university.
  • Go to Money Advice Service for free and impartial money advice.