Education In India
Institute & University
Scholarships Courses

Study first, pay back when you’re earning
There’s a student finance package available to help with the costs of higher education. The main sources of help for full-time students are:

  • Student Loans and grants from the government
  • bursaries from universities and colleges

If you take out a Student Loan from the government, you won’t have to start paying it back until you’ve left your course and are earning more than £15,000 a year.

And any help that you get through a grant or bursary doesn’t have to be repaid at all.

Who does this information apply to?
The pages within 'Student finance: what you can get for 2008/2009' outline the help available if you:

  • live in England, and
  • are a new student, or you started in or after 2006/2007

The package of financial help available will be different if you live outside England. It will also be different for students who started in 2005/2006 or earlier - and for some students who started in 2006/2007 after taking a gap year.

  • Student finance: not from England?
  • Student finance: started before September 2006?

Student Loans from the government you don't have to start repaying Student Loans until you’re earning £15K

New, full-time higher education students - and those who started in 2006/2007 or 2007/2008 - could be eligible for:

  • a Student Loan to cover the cost of tuition fees (up to £3,145 for 2008/2009)
  • a Student Loan to help towards accommodation and other living costs (up to £6,475 for 2008/2009)

You do pay interest on Student Loans, but in real terms what you repay is worth no more than what you borrowed.

  • Student Loans

Grants to help with accommodation and other living costs
As well as Student Loans, you may be able to get a Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant to help with your accommodation and other living costs. You won’t have to pay this back.

Grants of up to £2,835 are available for 2008/2009. Whether you can get one depends on your income - and your household income.

  • Maintenance Grant: help with living costs

Bursaries, scholarships and awards

You may be able to get extra help through a bursary - extra financial help from your university or college. Bursaries can be provided in a variety of ways - for example, as payments into your bank account or a discount on accommodation costs.

You don't have to pay bursaries back.

Publicly-funded universities charging full tuition fees (£3,145 for 2008/2009) have to give you a bursary if you’re getting the full Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant.

Many universities and colleges are offering considerably more than the minimum: in 2007/08 the typical bursary for a student receiving the full Maintenance Grant on a course charging the full £3,070 tuition fees was £1,000.

Scholarships and awards
Some universities and colleges offer scholarships. These can be based on your income, your A level results or on other criteria – check what’s available.

There are also some charities and educational trusts which may be willing to award you extra financial help.

You won’t have to pay back any money you get through a bursary, scholarship or award.

  • Bursaries, scholarships and awards

Extra help
Extra help is available for students with a disability, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty, and for students with children or adult dependants.

The Access to Learning Fund can provide help for students on low incomes who need extra financial support.

  • Disabled Students' Allowances (disabled people section)
  • Disabled students - extra financial help (disabled people section)
  • Extra help for students with children
  • Adult Dependants' Grant
  • Access to Learning Fund: extra help if you need it

How do you know if you qualify for student finance?
Not everyone can qualify for the type of financial help described on this page.

Both you and your course need to meet certain requirements - for example, you must meet some residency requirements, and your course must lead to a recognised higher education qualification.

Check that you qualify before you apply.

  • Do you qualify for student finance?

Adding it up: the Student Loan and grant calculator
If you're a new student starting in 2008/2009, the easiest way to get an idea of the total help available through Student Loans and grants is to use the Student Loan and grant calculator.

  • Student Loan and grant calculator

How do you apply for student finance?
The fastest and easiest way is to apply online. Or you can get a form on paper, then fill it in and send it to your local authority. Follow the relevant link below for more details.

  • How to apply for Student Loans, grants and bursaries
  • How to apply for student finance - after your first year