At Graduate Direct we believe in making the quality education accessible to all individuals but we also realise the fact; ‘leaving your job or any other professional career is a big commitment to complete the higher education’. We want to make this choice as easy as possible for you by offering the right support, services and suggesting you the best possible options when it comes to a pinch to your finances. Having the financial support from Student Finance, you will pay nothing upfront. The government will pay your fees, and you will normally start to repay after you’ve completed your graduation and you start earning more than £21,000.
What financial support you can get
- Tuition Fee Loan which covers the full tuition fee
- Maintenance Loan covers your living expenses
- Maintenance Grant this is in addition of Maintenance Loan
- University Scholarship
- Bursaries from Colleges and Universities
- Extra financial help for disability, or student has children or adult dependent
Tuition Fee Loan
Tuition Fee Loan
UK/EU full time or part time students can apply for Tuition Fee Loan. The loan is paid directly to your university or college.
Full-time students Tuition Fee Loan
|Full-time up to £9,000|
|Full-time at a private university or college up to £6,000|
Part-time students Tuition Fee Loan
|Part-time up to £6,750|
|Part-time at a private university or college up to £4,500|
Full-time students have to pay back any loans plus interest once you leave your course and start earning more than £21,000 a year. Part-time students who earn over £21,000 a year have to start paying back their loans after four years even if their course hasn’t finished.
If you leave your course early you need to repay a percentage of the Tuition Fee Loan for that year.
If you are studying the approved course at a private college or university; the tuition fee loan may not cover the full cost of the tuition.
If you are an EU student and meet certain conditions, you can apply for a tuition fee loan.
The maximum amount of Maintenance Loan available is;
Maintenance Loan If (Any one of following condition you meet)
|£5,500 If you live away from home and study at a university or collegeoutside London|
|£7,675 If you live away from home and study at a university or collegein London|
|£4,375 If you live at home|
You must be a full-time UK student. Part-time students, EU students and students aged 60 and over can’t apply.
The loan is paid directly into your bank account at the start of term. You have to pay the loan back.
The maximum amount of Maintenance Grant available is;
Maintenance Grant If (Any one of following condition you meet)
|£3,250 If your household income is £25,000 or under|
|£50 – £3,250 If your household income is between £25,000 and £42,600|
You must be a full-time UK student. Part-time and EU students can’t apply. The grant is paid into your bank account at the start of term. You don’t have to pay the grant back, but any grant you get will reduce the Maintenance Loan you can get.
Special Support Grant
You must be a full-time student. Part-time and EU students can’t apply. You may get a Special Support Grant instead of a Maintenance Grant if you get or qualify for:
- Income Support
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- the housing element of Universal Credit
The amount you get is the same as the Maintenance Grant, but it won’t reduce the Maintenance Loan you can get.
You may get the Special Support Grant if, for example, you’re a lone parent or have certain disabilities.
Help with the costs of studying abroad
You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. Medical and dental students might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards
Most of the universities and some colleges have bursary, scholarship or award schemes. Depending which University or College are you keen to take admission, you might be able to get a bursary, scholarship or award directly from your university or college. The National Scholarship Program helps students with a family income of £25,000 or less. Bursaries and scholarships do not have to be paid back.
Where You Live
You can only apply if:
- You’re a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (i.e. no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK);
- You normally live in England; and
- You’ve been living in the UK for at least three years before the first day of your course.
If you don’t meet those conditions, you may still be eligible if you are:
- An EU national, or a relative of one;
- A refugee, or a relative of one;
- Under humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum);
- An EEA/Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one;
- The child of a Swiss national (your parents must provide information and evidence they’ll be living in the UK at the start of your course); or
- The child of a Turkish worker.
If you normally live in the Channel Islands you can’t apply to Student Finance England. You should contact the education authority on your island to apply for student finance.
Usually you can only get student finance for your first higher-education course. However, you may still get it if, for example:
- You’ve changed course;
- You left your course but have decided to start again; or
- You’re ‘topping up’ a higher-education qualification (for example, if you’ve finished an HNC, HND or foundation degree and now want to do an honours degree).
There’s no upper age limit for grants or for Tuition Fee Loans. To be able to get a Maintenance Loan you must be under 60 when you start your course.
List of Graduate Direct courses which have been specifically designated for the purposes of student support can be viewed here:
Application is done online via the Student Finance England website. It is important that you apply for funding as early as possible to help ensure you have finance in place for the start of the term.
Depending on your circumstances, your course and where you study, you may be able to receive a range of financial help and support in the form of grants and bursaries (which you don’t have to pay back) and loans (which you do). There’s also extra help for those with special circumstances, for example, if you have children or adult dependants, a disability, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.
What can you get?
The following table shows what you might be able to get and what it’s for
|What is it for?||How much can I get?||Do I have to pay it back|
|Tuition Fee Loan||Up to £6,000 to help with the cost of your tuition fees. (Tuition fees vary between different universities and colleges)||Yes, but not until you leave your course and are earning over £21,000 a year.|
|Maintenance Grant (or Special Support Grant)||Up to £3,387, depending on your household income, to help with your living costs.||No, unless you leave your course early|
|Maintenance Loan||Up to £6,600 depending on where you live and study and your household income, to help with your living costs.||Yes, but not until you leave your course and are earning over £21,000 a year|
|Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)||To help with extra costs you have as a result of a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. Disabled Students’ Allowances can help pay for specialist equipment, a non-medical helper, travel or other extra costs.They don’t depend on your household income. How much you’ll get depends on your circumstances.||No, unless you leave your course early|
|Childcare Grant||To help with childcare costs if you have dependent children aged under 15 (or 17 if they have special educational needs) in registered or approved childcare. You can get 85% of childcare costs, up to a maximum of £150.23 a week for one child or £257.50 a week for two or more children.||No, unless you leave your course early|
|Parents’ Learning Allowance||To help with course-related costs if you have dependent children. You can get up to £1,523 a year, depending on your household income.||No, unless you leave your course early|
|Adult Dependants’ Grant||To help with costs if an adult depends on you financially. You can get up to £2,668 a year, depending on your household income.||No, unless you leave your course early|
By using the the student finance calculator at Directgove, you can get a personalised online quote by providing some information about yourself, your course and your household income. This allows you to see how much you could get while you’re studying. You can get quotes for up to five different universities, colleges or courses to let you compare costs and work out the best choice for you financially.
Once you’ve used the calculator you can:
- Save your quote and go back to it later;
- Email it to yourself; or
- Transfer the information from the calculator to your online application – saving you time and effort.
For more detailed information go to Student Finance Calculator
How to Apply
How to apply
You don’t need to wait until you’ve accepted a course to apply for student finance. If you haven’t accepted a place yet, we suggest you create your student finance account and apply using your first choice of course. So apply online now and have everything in place for starting your course. For more detailed information on how to apply see the ‘Apply and get paid’ fact sheet (FS03).
If you’re only applying for the Tuition Fee Loan and the basic Maintenance Loan entitlement (the bit that doesn’t depend on your household income), you can fill in and send your application without your parent’s or partner’s involvement.
But, if you’re applying for finance that depends on your household income, SFE will ask your parents or partner to give us some information about themselves and your household income. If you’re not filling in the application together, your parents or partner can log on and fill in their part at another time. But remember, your application isn’t complete and can’t be assessed until SFE have all the information we need.
Before you start your online application make sure you have the following to hand: passport; course details; bank details; National Insurance Number and your parent’s or partner’s details, including their National Insurance Number and income if needed. Make sure you fill in all the relevant questions correctly as this will help SFE process your application quickly.
If any of your details change after you have sent your application for student finance to SFE, don’t worry – it’s easy to update. Using your online student finance account you can make changes to:
- Your course details;
- Your college/university details;
- Your loan amount; and
- Your personal details.
Evidence you may need to provide
In most cases the evidence we need can be provided easily by filling in the appropriate details on the application. By providing your UK passport number and your parent’s or partner’s National Insurance Numbers, SFE can automatically check your identity and household income and process your application as quickly as possible.
However in certain situations you, or your parents or partner, may have to send to SFE evidence such as a non-UK passport, a birth certificate or a P60.
Once you have completed your online application you will see a list of evidence that you may need to send. Remember to send this straight away. If you don’t, your student finance might be delayed and you might not be paid on time. Remember to include your customer reference number on everything you send to SFE.
For more information on what evidence you might be asked to provide see the ‘Student finance evidence’ fact sheet (FS04)
Receive notification of what you will get
Once SFE has assessed your application, they will send you a Financial Notification letter showing what student finance you are entitled to. You should keep this letter as you will need to submit a copy to Admission Office/Finance Office when you register with the institute.
This letter will include a declaration that you must sign and return to SFE.
Enrolling with the Institution
Remember to enroll – SFE can’t pay you until you do!
You have to enroll with the institution before SFE can make your first payment. You will usually do this in the first week of your course and you will need to take along your Financial Notification letter, so make sure you keep this safe.
Once you have enrolled, your institution will inform SFE and they will make your payment. It can then take three to five days for the money to reach your account, depending on your bank.
SFE will pay any Maintenance Grant or Loan to your bank account and your Tuition Fee Loan directly to the institution.
Re-applying next year
You need to apply for student finance for each year of your course. Fees may go up each year and grant and loan amounts may change too.
SFE will contact you when you need to re-apply.
Remember to keep your password and secret answer safe as you’ll need these to re-apply each year or to let us know about any changes to your details. Your parents or partner will receive their own password and secret answer so they will also need to keep these safe.
Don’t forget, the amount of student finance available may change each year!
Continuing Students Academic Year 2014/2015
Don’t wait — reapply for your student finance now to make sure you have your money when you return to your course. You can do this at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance
Reapplying for student finance is easy:
If you applied for finance that doesn’t depend on your household income, you’ll simply need to sign and return the form that we send you along with your Student Finance Entitlement letter.
If you applied for finance that does depend on your household income you should reapply by filling in a short application online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinanceSFE will then send your Student Finance Entitlement letter along with a declaration form that you must sign and return.
If you applied for DSAs along with your main application for student finance, you will not have to reapply for DSA — as long as you stated on your main application that you wished to continue receiving them
Remember to re-enroll for Year 2 at your registered institute’s Finance Office. SFE can’t pay you until you do!