Student Finance in 30 seconds
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Student Finance (funded by the government) allows students from any financial background to go to university.
The Student Finance package includes a loan for course fees, plus a means-tested Maintenance Loan or Grant to cover living costs.
UK universities can charge up to £9,250 a year in tuition fees, but you’ll pay nothing upfront if you’re eligible for Student Finance (most students are).
You could get extra cash if a health condition, childcare costs or clinical placements leave you out of pocket while studying, or financial support if you’re struggling to get by.
You or your parents may be expected to chip in for maintenance support (i.e. living costs). You’ll need to plan for this!
Student Finance has to be paid back, but don’t let that put you off! Student Loan repayments work more like a graduate tax, which is far easier to manage after uni.
You only make Student Loan repayments once you’ve left your course AND are earning enough. Repayments vary with your salary, and stop altogether if your income drops too low.
Controversially, the Student Loan charges up to 5.4% interest each year until you pay it all back.
But crucially, many loans may be written off anyway before they’re fully repaid. If you’re not a big earner after uni you may only pay back a fraction of what you borrow from Student Finance.
For the most part, Student Finance is reserved for UK students, but if you’re from the EU – or meet other eligibility criteria – you may get some support.
Almost all students can get a bite at funding beyond Student Finance, from bursaries and scholarships to charity and corporate cash.