Tuition Fees, Loans and Financial Support

Since Universities have increased their fees there has been a drop off in the number of people applying. Make sure you do your research because some courses are run by Higher Education Colleges and give you exactly the same qualification but at a much reduced rate.

It is also worth remembering that no one has to pay up front for their fees. Instead you take out a Tuition Fee Loan which you will only pay back once you are earning above a certain threshold - and then only as a percentage of any earnings above that threshold.

Did you know?

Graduates earn on average £12,000 more a year than non-graduates?

Three in ten jobs in the UK require degree-level skills according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

So it's really work embarking on your degree course! Have a look here at how you can go about paying back your loan.

Studying abroad

You may find that actually studying abroad is more affordable. There are a number of Universities across the world who deliver their degress in English, and frequently, students from abroad pay much lower tuition fees! Have a look at this newspaper article about studying in Holland - it's very interesting! Also look at these websites:

British council prospects top uni Fulbright

 

Paying back your loan

Payments will normally begin automatically, via the tax system, once your earnings exceed the required threshold (currently £21,000 and set to rise in line with average earnings from 2017). Payments are made at a rate of 9% on any income above £21,000 - so if you were earning £25,000 you would pay back 9% of £4,000 per year, or £30 per month.

Salary

Amount of salary from which 9 per cent will be deducted

Monthly repayment

£25,000

£4,000

£30.00

£30,000

£9,000

£67.50

£35,000

£14,000

£105.00

£40,000

£19,000

£142.50

£45,000

£24,000

£180.00

£50,000

£29,000

£217.50

£55,000

£34,000

£255,00

£60,000

£39,000

£292.00

 

If you have been paying the loan back and then your income drops below the threshold, payments will automatically be stopped. Payments then restart once you are earning over the threshold again. If your loan has not been repaid after 30 years, any outstanding payments are written off.

Regarding your loans impact on other borrowings, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has advised that a student's loan is 'very unlikely' to impact on an individual's ability to get a mortgage, although the amount of mortgage made available will depend upon your net income.

Living Costs

You will be entitled to a loan to help with living costs such as food, accommodation and travel. The amount you can borrow is dependent upon your parent's income and whether or not you are living at home. If you are living away from home you will be able to borrow up to £5,500 a year. Stay at home and you can borrow up to £4,375. These loans are then paid back on the same basis as the tuition fees loans.

You may also be entitled to a Maintenance Grant living costs which does not have to be repaid. For students whose household income is below £25,000 (for students starting in 2013), the full grant is £3,354. This is assessed on a sliding scale - see the table below for more details.

Example package of support for students living away from home (please note that this is just an example; different parts of the country vary greatly and so it is wise to do your research carefully)

Household income

Non-repayable grant

Living cost loan

Total

£25,000 or less

£3,354

£3,823

£7,177

£30,000

£2,416

£4,292

£6,708

£35,000

£1,478

£4,761

£6,239

£40,000

£540

£5,475

£5,770

£45,000

£0

£5,288

£5,288

£50,000

£0

£4,788

£4,788

£55,000

£0

£4,288

£4,288

£60,000

£0

£3,788

£3,788

Over £62,500

£0

£3,575

£3,575

 

There is also support available for the following:

Special Support Grants: Grants are available to full-time students to help with their living and study costs. You don't pay grants back. You can apply for a Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant through the direct.gov.uk website.

Adult Dependants Grant: It you're a student in full-time higher education and there's an adult who depends on you financially, you may be entilted to extra help through the Adult Dependant's Grant.

Parents Learning Allowance: If you are a student with children, or a parent who wishes to go back into education, there is plenty of financial help available through the direct.gov.uk website.

Disabled Students Allowance: Disabled students' Allowance (DSAs) provide exra financial help for disabled students. You may get DSAs if you have a disability, ongoing health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia. Further information is available through the direct.gov.uk website.

Busaries: Many universities offer scholarships to a set number of students each year from the lowest economic backgrounds who demonstrate excellence in academic achievement. Each university differs in how much they offer and whether or not this is offset against your loan(s). You should not have to pay a bursary back.