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Funding for Students

Loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries are available for full time undergraduate students from England.

If your funding has been delayed - Guide: Worried about your student finance?

Website: Gov.uk - Student Funding


Students can apply online for their Student Funding by visiting gov.uk/student-finance

Phone Student Finance England on 0300 100 0607 for help and advice, or if you would prefer to apply on a paper form.

Support from Student Finance England

Plus Icon Tuition Fee Loan

The Tuition Fee Loan is not income-assessed, so you can usually borrow up to £9,250.

Plus Icon Help with living costs for students starting after September 2016 (figures based on 2019/20)
Maintenance Loan

The Maintenance Loan is for help with living costs, like accommodation, food, travel and leisure. Over half the loan is income assessed. The maximum amount for most students is £8,944 for students living away from their parents’ home, or £7,529 for students living at home.

All students under 60 can get at least £3,314 which is the minimum for a student living at home. The maximum loan for students over 60 years old is £3,783 and all of the loan is income-assessed.

Students who are entitled to benefits while studying can take out up to £10,194 if they are living away from home, or £8,882 if they are living at home.

A full-time student is entitled to benefits if:

  1. The student is a lone parent who is responsible for a child or young person aged under 20 (i.e. aged 19 or younger) who is a member of the student's household and in full-time non-advanced education.
  2. The student is a lone foster parent of a child or young person aged under 20 (i.e. aged 19 or younger).
  3. The student has a partner who is also a full-time student and one or both of them are responsible for a child or young person aged under 20 (i.e. aged 19 or younger) who is in full-time non-advanced education.
  4. The student qualifies for a Disability Premium or Severe Disability Premium.
  5. The student has been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks (two or more periods of incapacity separated by a break of no more than 8 weeks count as one continuous period).
  6. The student is deaf and qualifies for Disabled Students' Allowances.
  7. The student is waiting to go back to a course having taken approved time out because of an illness or caring responsibility that has now come to an end for a period not exceeding one year.
  8. The student is from abroad and entitled to an Income Support urgent cases payment because they are temporarily without funds for a period of up to six weeks.
  9. The student is aged 60 or over.
Plus Icon Grants for students with dependants (figures based on 2019/20)

Parents' Learning Allowance

This is to help with course-related costs if a student has dependent children. They can get up to £1,716 a year depending on their income.

Link: Parents' Learning Allowance

Childcare Grant
This will help with childcare costs for dependent children aged under 15 at the beginning of the academic year - or under 17 if they have special educational needs - in registered or approved childcare. The grant is based on 85% of actual childcare costs, with a maximum grant of £169.31 per week for one child only, or £290.27 per week for two or more children.

Link: Childcare Grant

Adult Dependants' Grant
The grant of up to £3,007 a year should help any student who has an adult who depends on them financially. The amount the student can receive depends on their income and the income of their husband, wife or partner and that of any dependants.

Link: Adult Dependants' Grant

Plus Icon Disabled Students Allowance

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are grants to help meet the extra course costs students face because of a disability. You may get DSAs if you have a disability, ongoing health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia. DSAs can help pay for:

  • specialist equipment you need for studying like computer software
  • non-medical helpers, such as a note-taker or reader
  • extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability
  • other costs such as photocopying or printer cartridges

You don’t have to pay DSAs back and they’re not counted as income when working out whether you get benefits or Tax Credits.

More information and how to apply:

Website: Disabled Students' Allowance

Plus Icon Funding for students from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland (figures based on 2019/20)

Students from Scotland

Full-time undergraduate students from Scotland studying in England can apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 per year and either a Young Student’s Bursary of up to £2,000 and a loan for living costs of up to £5,750 if you are under 25 years old, or an Independent Students Bursary of up to £1000 and a Loan of up to £6,750 if you are over 25 or independent for another reason.

How much loan and bursary you can get depends on you or your parents’ household income.

There are also grants for students with dependants and/or a disability.

For more information see http://saas.gov.uk/


Students from Wales

Full-time undergraduate students from Wales can apply to Student Finance Wales (SFW) for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250.  They can also get help towards living costs of up to £9225 a year if studying at Leeds Beckett.  The money for living costs is made up of grant and/or loan depending on household income. 

There are also grants for students with dependants and/or a disability.

For more information see https://www.studentfinancewales.co.uk/


Students from Northern Ireland

Full-time undergraduate students from Northern Ireland can apply to Student Finance Northern Ireland (SFNI) for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250. They can also get help towards living costs of up to £6,780 as a mixture of grant and loan depending on household income.

There are also grants for students with dependants and/or a disability.

For more information see the SFNI website https://www.studentfinanceni.co.uk/
Plus Icon Funding for Placements (figures based on 2019/20)

If you are doing a sandwich course that includes a placement year, either paid or unpaid, you can apply for a reduced rate maintenance loan for that placement year as well as the tuition fee loan.

The amount of the Maintenance Loan varies depending on where you are living during your placement year, it isn't income-assessed.

  • At home: £2,031
  • Away from home:
    • In London - £3,804;
    • Outside London - £2,709

Some students can get full Maintenance Loan (and Grant for pre-2016 starters) f they are doing 'unpaid service' in:

  • a hospital or in a public health service laboratory or with a Clinical Commissioning group in the UK;
  • with a local authority in the UK acting in the exercise of its functions relating to the care of children and young persons, health or welfare or with a voluntary organisation providing facilities or carrying out activities of a like nature in the UK or a Local Authority acting in the exercise of public health functions;
  • in the prison or probation and aftercare service in the UK;
  • in an institution in the UK (including Parliament) or, in the case of a student attending an overseas institution as part of his course, in an overseas institution
  • with a Special Health Authority, the National Health Service Commissioning Board, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Health and Social Care Information Centre, Local Health Board, Health Board, Special Health Board or Health and Social Services Board in England or Wales, or their Scottish or Northern Irish equivalents.

Students from England apply at www.gov.uk/student-finance

A year of study abroad

If you are studying abroad you can get the Maintenance Loan at a higher rate of up to £10,242 and could also be entitled to a travel grant, depending on your parent or partner’s household income.

If your placement year is a part of the Erasmus+ scheme, then in addition to your student loan and travel grant you could get an Erasmus+ grant which is paid monthly.
See: Erasmus Exchange for more information.

NHS Placements

Pre-registration healthcare students normally have to undertake practice placements as part of your course and you may be entitled to have some of the cost of journeys between your normal term-time accommodation and your practice placement site, or the costs of dual accommodation, reimbursed. If you get the NHS Bursary then you are reimbursed through the Bursary scheme. If you started your healthcare course on or after September 1st 2017 you can get help through the Learning Support Fund.
See: Learning Support Fund

Social Work

Social work students on placement can get help with their travel costs. If you are getting the Social Work Bursary then an allowance for travel costs is included in the bursary. If you are not getting the Bursary then you could apply for a Placement Travel Allowance of up to £862.50 (2018/19 figures).
See: How to apply for a Placement Travel Allowance

What happens if I don’t complete a placement?

Not completing a placement may have implications for your student funding if you have studied another course before, or have repeated study previously. Please speak to a Student Money Advice in those circumstances.

Other placement information
Plus Icon Care Leavers
Financial Support for Care Leavers in Higher Education

Local Authority Care Leavers' Bursary
Care Leavers who start a course before their 25th birthday may be entitled to a £2000 bursary from their Local Authority. In England, Care Leavers can get support from their Local Authority up to the age of 21. Some Care Leavers over 21 and under 25 can also get some support if they are still being helped by their Local Authority with an agreed programme of education or training.

To apply, students should contact their pathway planner at their Local Authority.  This is not part of the student finance package provided by Student Finance England and it is disregarded when calculating student grants and loans.

Leeds Beckett Care Leavers & Estranged Students Bursary
The bursary is intended to help new students who are leaving care to attend university, or who have been living independently since leaving care, or who are estranged from their family. The amount payable each year £1,000 at level 4, £1,500 in level 5 and £1,000 at level 6. Payment will be made in two instalments (November and February). You will need to be fully enrolled on a full time course.

See Care Leavers & Estranged Students Bursary

Leeds Beckett Hardship Funds
Some students may also be entitled to help from our Hardship Funds. See Hardship Funds for more information.

Student Finance
The support above is in addition to the grants and loans available from Student Finance England.

Website: Student Finance England

If you have been looked after by a local authority it is important to let Student Finance England or your national funding provider know, so that you can be considered as an independent student. They will require a copy of a letter from your Local Authority or Social Worker confirming that you have been in local authority care. This will ensure that you are income-assessed in your own right.

Propel is a useful website for Care Leavers, produced by the Who Cares? Trust
Website: Propel

Plus Icon Carers

You are a carer if you care for a family member or a friend who is suffering from an illness, addiction or has a disability.

If the person you care for is an adult who is dependent on you financially you could be eligible for an Adult Dependants' Grant from Student Finance England.

Full-time students are not eligible for the 'Carer's Allowance' but if you have extra costs because you are a carer then apply to the Leeds Beckett Hardship Funds.

See Leeds Beckett Hardship Funds

Leeds Beckett Primary Carers Bursary
The bursary is intended to assist full-time undergraduate students who have responsibility as primary carer for a dependant adult that will continue whilst they are studying.

See Primary Carers Bursary for details

 You can also get free confidential support and advice from Carers Leeds, please click on the link below for more information.
Carers Leeds

Plus Icon Independent Students

You will be considered independent if:

  • You have the care of a person under the age of 18 on the first day of the academic year which you’re applying for support.
  • You’re 25 or over on the first day of the academic year for which you’re applying for support.
  • You’ve been married or in a civil partnership before the start of the academic year, even if you’re now divorced or separated.
  • You have no living parents.
  • You’ve supported yourself for at least three years before the start of the course. This includes any time you:
    • were in paid, full-time employment
    • received Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or other state benefits
    • received any pension, allowance or other benefit because of their disability or by any reason of confinement, sickness or illness
    • received training under any scheme for the unemployed or other funding by any state authority or agency
  • Your parents can’t be traced or it’s not practical / possible to contact them.
  • Your parents live outside the European Commission and an income assessment would put them in jeopardy, or it’s not reasonably practical for them to send funds to the UK if a contribution were assessed (this may apply to a student who’s a refugee).
  • You have not communicated with your parents for one year before the beginning of the academic year for which you’re applying for support, or you can demonstrate that you’re permanently estranged from your parents.
  • Subject to certain exceptions, you were looked after by a local authority throughout any three month period ending on or after the date you turned 16, and before the first day of the first academic year of your course.
Independent Student Status

If you are independent, then Student Finance England (SFE) won’t take your parent’s income into account when working out the household income and contribution. If you are married, in a civil partnership or over 25 and living with your partner, SFE will take the income of your partner into account.

  • Independent Student Factsheet
  • Stand Alone Guide
Plus Icon Estranged Students

Most students under 25 who are entering Higher Education are considered to be ‘dependent’ on their families. However, if you have a permanent lack of contact with your parents, you would be considered independent from your family. For ‘dependent’ students, student finance maintenance loans are means tested on household income, which means that they would need to provide evidence of parental income. However, if you are estranged from your parents, student finance can be assessed against your own income and you will be asked to provide evidence that you are estranged from your family in order to qualify for additional financial support.

How to prove estrangement

If you want to apply for independent status because you’re estranged from your parents, you must provide confirmation from a professional person, outside your family, who knows about your Circumstances. Examples of evidence you could provide are:

  • A letter from your social worker (if you have one).
  • If you claimed income support when you were under 18, a letter from your Jobcentre Plus office showing you received benefits because of your situation.
  • If your relationship with your parents broke down while you were at school or college, a letter from an advice worker, personal tutor or teacher, confirming your circumstances.
  • If you’ve visited your doctor because of problems relating to the breakdown of your relationship with your parents, a letter from the doctor to confirm your circumstances.
Applying for funding

To qualify for independent status through estrangement, you will need to prove the lack of contact with your parents is permanent. Student Finance would normally expect you to have had no contact with your parents for at least 12 months, although this may not apply in exceptional circumstances. You won’t be able to apply for independent status just because you don’t get on with your parents or because you don’t live with them. Similarly, you won’t be automatically able to apply for independent status because your parents refuse or don’t want to provide details of their income.

Help at Leeds Beckett

Leeds Beckett Care Leavers & Estranged Students Bursary
The bursary is intended to help new students who are estranged from their family. The amount payable each year £1,000 at level 4, £1,500 in level 5 and £1,000 at level 6. Payment will be made in two instalments (November and February). You will need to be fully enrolled on a full time course.

See Care Leavers & Estranged Students Bursary for details.

If you need help proving estrangement, you can contact our Money Advice Team & arrange an appointment with one of our Money Advisers.

Our advisers also provide confidential specialist advice about student funding and can also help with general advice about budgeting, debt and welfare benefits.

Plus Icon Distance Learners

Distance learning is a programme of study that allows students to study at home. Students studying on distance learning undergraduate courses at a publicly funded institution may be able to apply for a non means-tested tuition fee loan of up £9,250. If you are studying a course by distance learning because you have a disability and your disability prevents you from attending the course, then you may be eligible for the full-time package of support and extra help in the form of Disabled Students’ Allowances.

Contact Student Finance England for more information on 0300 100 0607.

Plus Icon Healthcare Courses

Students who start a pre-registration healthcare course after 1st August 2017 will be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England. Additional funding will be available for students with dependants, childcare costs and a disability.

If you have studied in Higher Education before that will not affect your entitlement to this funding if you are studying a Healthcare course. See www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/healthcare-students for a list of eligible healthcare courses. Apply for funding at www.gov.uk/student-finance

In addition to this main funding, students will be able to get extra help through the Learning Support Fund. The Learning Support Fund will include help with:

  • Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses
    For costs incurred over and above daily travel costs related to essential practice placements.
  • Child Dependants Allowance
    £1000 for students who have parental responsibility for children under 15 years or under 17 years if they are registered as requiring special educational needs.
  • Exceptional Support Fund
    Up to £3000 available for students who are facing severe hardship.

More information is available at: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/learning-support-fund. 

Plus Icon Social Work Bursary

A undergraduate bursary of £4,862.50 (outside London) is available in the second and third year of the Social Work BA (Hons). The Bursary is not means-tested and will be paid in addition to all the full-time student support available from Student Finance England.

See our Postgraduate funding pages for details of the postgraduate Social Work Bursary

For more information about the bursary see the NHSBSA website:

Booklet: Your Guide to Social Work Bursaries 2016/17

Plus Icon Trust Funds and Charities

It may be possible to get some extra help with living expenses or course costs from a Trust Fund or Charity. Whether you can get help will depend on your individual circumstances and the aims of the Trust Fund or Charity.

You can carry out a search on the website below to find details of organisations that may be able to help.

Website: Turn2Us Grants Search

Plus Icon Repayment of Student Loans

Full-time and part-time students who start their course after 1 September 2012 will not begin paying back their student loan until the April after they finish their course and only when they earn more than £25,000 year.

What you repay is based on your earnings, 9% of what you earn over £25,000 is deducted from your salary by Revenue & Customs. For example, if you earned £26,000 a year, then you would repay £7.50 per month from your salary.

If you move overseas for more than three months you will need to let SLC know before you leave.  If you don't, then SLC can charge penalties, and if necessary ask you to repay the full amount of loan plus interest.  See the booklet 'Student Loan Terms and Conditions' for more information about repaying the loan from overseas.

The regulations governing Student Loan repayment may change from time to time and this means the terms of your loan may change.

Website: Student Loan Repayment

Booklet: Student Loan Terms and Conditions

Student Loan Repayment for courses starting before September 2012

Website: Student Loan Repayment 2011

This page was last modified: 19/08/2019

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