Going into higher education can improve your career prospects and your earning potential, however it does require financial investment.
Since September 2018, eligible first time undergraduates are able to apply for a generous package of support to help fund their day-to-day living costs during term time, regardless of where in the UK they choose to study.
From August 2019, eligible postgraduate master’s students are able to apply for a similar package of support to undergraduates. The support is made up of a mixture of grants and loans and is a contribution to costs, rather than allocated specifically to fees and living costs.
This new student finance support package means that students will be able to focus more on their studies and spend less time worrying about making ends meet. Most students won’t have to pay anything upfront for their course.
Eligible first time undergraduates are able to apply for financial support to help with living costs while studying. The support is a combination of grants and loans (depending on eligibility), and for most will be equivalent to the National Living Wage. Students must be under 60 years old on the first day of the first academic year of their course to access an undergraduate maintenance loan.
Full-time undergraduates could be eligible for up to £12,930 a year towards their living costs if they live away from home and study in London and £10,350 per year in the rest of the UK.
Every eligible student will receive a grant of at least £1,000 regardless of household income. Students from homes with lower household income may be eligible for a grant of up to £10,124 if studying in London or up to £8,100 if studying in the rest of the UK. This grant does not have to be paid back.
The figures in the table are for illustrative purposes.
|£59,200 or over||£1,000||£9,350||£10,350|
Students studying away from home, outside London, are entitled to a maximum amount of maintenance support of £10,350. The maximum grant is £8,100. This is reduced by £1 for every additional £5.750 of income above £18,370. The balance to the maximum amount of £10,350 can be taken as loan.
|£59,200 or over||£1,000||£11,930||£12,930|
Students studying away from home, in London, are entitled to a maximum amount of maintenance support of £12,930. The maximum grant is £10,124. This is reduced by £1 for every additional £4.475 of income above £18,370. The balance to the maximum amount of £12,930 can be taken as loan.
|£59,200 or over||£1,000||£7,790||£8,790|
Students living at home are entitled to a maximum amount of maintenance support of £8,790. The maximum grant is £6,885. This is reduced by £1 for every additional £6.937 of income above £18,370. The balance to the maximum amount of £8,790 can be taken as loan.
Under the support package, students will be eligible for loans to cover tuition fees. Most students won’t have to pay anything upfront for their course.
Students who began their course before August 2018 will continue to receive the student support package they currently get.
In addition to living costs and tuition fee support you could get the following support:
Childcare Grant – you could receive a Childcare Grant as a contribution towards the cost of your childcare if you have children in registered or approved childcare and are studying at an intensity of 50% or more. You won’t qualify for this grant if either you or your partner claims the child element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, Childcare Allowance from the NHS or Tax-Free Childcare from HMRC.
Parents’ Learning Allowance – you could receive help with course-related costs if you have a dependent child or children. The maximum amount you could get is £1,821 per year but this will depend on your household income and course intensity.
Adult Dependants’ Grant – you may be eligible to be considered for an Adult Dependants’ Grant if you have a partner or another adult who is financially dependent on you. The maximum amount you could get is £3,190 per year but this will depend on your household income and course intensity.
Bursaries and scholarships – some universities and colleges may offer discretionary bursaries or scholarships. You can talk to your Student Support Service to see what additional financial help may be available to you. If you’re on a course which leads to a qualification in medicine, dentistry or healthcare then you might be able to get a bursary from the National Health Service (NHS). Visit the Student Award Services website to find out further information.
Don’t forget, Disabled Students’ Grants are also available to support you. Find out more.
Further information about support is available on the Student Finance Wales website.