You are expected to contribute towards the annual cost of your tuition. The fee level is set by each university. For 2013 entry this will be up to £9,000. Loans are available to pay for these fees. Loans of up to £5,500 (£7,675 in London) are also available to help you manage your basic living needs. Student loans are currently the main source of support and the amount is dependent on your household’s income. However, many students are eligible for either a Maintenance Grant or a Special Support Grant, these are offered on a sliding scale depending on income and are to help with the accommodation and other living costs and do not have to be paid back. If you are in receipt of the full amount of this grant and attend a publicly funded university or college, then you may receive a bursary from your university.
You will be expected to start repaying any loans from the April following the date that your course finishes but only if you are earning more than £21,000. Normally the repayments are deducted from your wages by your employer at a rate no more than 9% of your earnings in excess of £21,000. If you haven't repaid your loan within 30 years any outstanding amounts are written off.
Apply for a loan in plenty of time. There are several stages to go through and a late application may mean you won’t get the help in time to start your course. Make sure you have the appropriate official information. These rates are for England, there are different rates for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and also for overseas students.
England & Wales:
Student Loans Company Limited Provides loans to eligible HE students within the UK. These have to be repaid in instalments during employment. Interest rates are linked to the rate of inflation and the company is wholly owned by the government and operates within government policy.
Bursaries available in England Bursaries are non-repayable financial support which are offered in addition to the student finance packages available from the government.
Student Award Agency for Scotland, Gyleview House, 3 Redheughs Rigg, South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9HH Tel: 0300 555 0505
Dept. Of Education for N.I., Rathgael House, Balloo Road, Bangor, Co. Down BT19 7PR Tel: 02891 279279
There may be additional funds available to students with severe financial problems. Many universities and colleges have their own small hardship funds. Contact the Student Support or Advisers' office for information and advice.
Some students might be eligible for additional help through the Benefits Agency. Discuss this with your Student Support or Advisers ' office or contact the local benefits office. Keep a note of your National Insurance number as this could speed up the start of any application process.
Student Finance: The Essential Guide Practical advice on managing your finances whilst studying. (Need2Know)
University Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries Information on financial help available from universities, professional, commercial and other organisations, etc. (Trotman)
UCAS Student Finance Guide Practical advice on applying for financial support, loans, sponsorships and scholarships as well as managing your finances whilst studying. (Right Way/UCAS).
Other on-line resources
StudentHousing.co.uk - Student Accommodation listings.
BroadbandforStudents.co.uk - The best broadband deals for students.