Fees, Finance & Funding - HE
Tuition fees, student finance and funding opportunities are different for those courses classified as higher education. This covers university-level courses such as HNCs, HNDs, foundation degrees (FdA/FdSc), bachelor’s degrees (BA/BSc) and higher-level programmes.
While you’re studying, you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get student finance to help with both. The quickest and easiest way to apply for student finance is online. You should apply as soon as the application service opens.
Some student finance options can depend on your household income – which is the income of your parents or partner. If you’re applying for this, we’ll need some information from them too.
You’ll only have to repay your loan once you’ve left university or college and your income is over the repayment threshold. Interest will be charged from the day your first payment is made to you, your university or your college, until your loan is paid off in full or cancelled.
There’s also extra help for students with a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty, or students who have children or adult dependants.
This extra help doesn’t usually have to be paid back.
How much do I have to pay?
Tuition Fees are reviewed annually, in line with increases in the cost of provision and with Government and funding body guidance, which is based on the RPI-X index, and are set as shown on the following link.
Download our HE Tuition Fees for Students:
Am I eligible for funding?
Eligibility for student funding is dependent on your nationality, residency, previous study and the type of course you are applying for. Generally most students applying for their first university-level course will be eligible.
For anyone between the ages of 18 and 25, you’ll be expected to provide income details for your parent/s or guardian/s, as you are classed as a dependent learner. You’ll apply online, and then your parents/guardians will be sent an email asking them to provide the necessary information.
If you’re living independently, don’t have a parent or guardian or are estranged, we can advise you on what to do next.
You can find out all the information you need on the government’s student finance webpages.
Course Fees and Living Costs
You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250. You have to repay any Tuition Fee Loan you borrow. You won’t need to repay anything until you’re earning over a certain amount, which is currently £27,295
You can apply for a Maintenance Loan to help pay for your living costs, such as books and rent. How much you can get depends on your household income, and where you live and study. This has to be repaid.
Where you live and/or study Maximum Maintenance Loan Living with your parents £7,987 Living away from home, studying outside London £9,488 Living away from home, studying in London £12,382 Living and studying abroad £10,866
Repayments will be based on your income, not how much you borrow. Interest will be charged from the day your first payment is made to you, your university or your college, until your loan is paid off in full or cancelled. The interest you’re charged won’t affect how much you repay each month.
If you’re 60 or over on the first day of the first academic year of your course, you can apply for up to £4,014.
Coronavirus and maintenance loans
You do not need to tell SLC if your course has moved online, as long as your living arrangements stay the same. If they have changed, you must update your address in your online account.
After 30 years your remaining loan is cancelled - even if you haven’t repaid a penny!
If you’ve got a disability or additional support needs, you could get EXTRA help.
Estranged from your parents
Going to university as an independent student can be an intimidating process if you are estranged from your parents. The following guide will give you information about how your Student Finance application is assessed as an estranged student.
You could get Disabled Students’ Allowances if you’ve got a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. The amount you can get depends on your needs, not your household income, and doesn’t need to be repaid.
2021 to 2022 academic year
Undergraduate and postgraduate students can get up to £25,000 a year for support.
2020 to 2021 academic year
Where you live and/or study Specialist equipment allowance Non-medical helper allowance General allowance Full-time undergraduate students Up to £5,849 for the whole course Up to £23,258 a year Up to £1,954 a year Part-time undergraduate students Up to £5,849 for the whole course Up to £17,443 a year Up to £1,465 a year
Postgraduates can get support of up to £20,580 a year.
These figures are the maximum amounts - most students get less.
What DSA can pay for
You can get help with the costs of:
- specialist equipment, for example a computer if you need one because of your disability
- non-medical helpers, for example a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter or specialist note taker
- extra travel to attend your course or placement because of your disability
- other disability-related study support, for example having to print additional copies of documents for proof-reading.
DSA does not cover disability-related costs you’d have if you were not attending a course, or costs that any student might have.
Buying a new computer
You may get a new computer if you’re assessed as needing one because:
- you do not already have one
- your current one does not meet your study needs.
When buying a new computer, you’ll need to pay the first £200.
The DSA team will send you more information about this after your needs assessment.
Your ‘needs assessment’
Once your eligibility for DSA is confirmed, Student Finance England may ask you to contact an assessment centre to work out what help you need. This is known as a needs assessment. Do not book this until Student Finance England asks you to.
The assessment is paid for through any DSA entitlement you may have.
After the assessment, you’ll get a report listing equipment and other support you can get for your course.
Do not buy any equipment until you’ve been assessed - you will not be reimbursed for it.
How DSA is paid
Money is paid either into your bank account or directly to the organisation providing the service or equipment. You’ll find out how your support will be paid to you after your needs assessment.
2021 to 2022 academic year
You can get 85% of your childcare costs or a fixed maximum amount, whichever is less.
The maximum you can get is:
- up to £179.62 a week for 1 child
- up to £307.95 a week for 2 or more children
If your childcare for 1 child costs £100 a week, you’ll get £85 - this is 85% of your costs.
If your childcare for 1 child costs £220 a week, you’ll get £179.62. This is because 85% of your costs is £187, which is above the maximum weekly amount.
You have to pay for any remaining costs.
Parents’ Learning Allowance
You may be eligible for help with your learning costs if you’re a full-time student with children. This is called Parents’ Learning Allowance.
How much you get depends on your household income.
- does not have to be paid back
- is paid on top of your other student finance
- will not affect your benefits or tax credit.
Depending on your household income, in the 2021 to 2022 academic year you could get between £50 and £1,821 a year. It’s usually paid in 3 instalments direct to your bank account, one at the start of each term.
If you’re a full-time student in higher education and an adult depends on you financially, you can apply for an Adult Dependants’ Grant of up to:
- £3,190 for the 2021 to 2022 academic year
- £3,094 for the 2020 to 2021 academic year.
- does not have to be paid back
- is paid on top of your other student finance.
You cannot get an Adult Dependants’ Grant if you’re getting a Postgraduate Loan.
Once you apply for your finance
Once your application has been processed, you will receive an entitlement letter telling
you how much you can get. It’s important you show this to your main reception.
From January to June 2021
Decision time! You should have received offers from universities and colleges.
Good luck! Exam results and assessments are in and UCAS Clearing has started!
If your course, university or college, or personal details have changed, you should update these in your online student finance account at www.gov.uk/studentfinance before you start your course. You might not get paid in time if you don’t!
Courses start now! Remember to give your award letter to your university or college – Finance can’t pay you until you do!
You will receive your Maintenance Loan and any other student finance into your bank account over three instalments – once at the start of each term. Your Tuition Fee Loan is paid directly to your university or college.
What are Dependants’ Grants?
If you’re studying full time and have children or an adult who depends on you financially, you might be able to get some extra help.
Dependants’ Grants are paid on top of your other student finance and don’t usually have to be paid back, unless you leave your course early. The amount you can get depends on your household income, which is the income of you, your partner and any dependants.
There are three types of Dependants’ Grants that you could get.
Parents’ Learning Allowance
Parents’ Learning Allowance helps with course-related costs if you’ve got dependent children.
You can get up to £1,716 a year depending on your household income.
Childcare Grant helps towards the cost of childcare while studying. You could get help for up to 85% of your weekly childcare costs, up to a maximum of £169.31 per week for one child, or £290.27 per week if you have more than one child.
If either you or your partner get the childcare element of Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, or Tax-Free Childcare from HM Revenue & Customs, you won’t be able to get Childcare Grant as well, but you can choose to get it instead.
Adult Dependants’ Grant
If you’re financially responsible for your partner or another adult, you could apply for Adult Dependants’ Grant.
You can get up to £3,007 a year depending on your household income.
You can’t apply for Adult Dependants’ Grant for an adult who is a student, or a grown-up child who is dependent on you.
How do I apply?
To submit the required details for tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and any available grants, you’ll need to apply online. *
Each year thousands of students apply late for their finance and have no way to pay for their course or accommodation; some even have to drop out. Apply early to make sure your student finance is ready for the start of your course. You don’t need a confirmed place at university or college to apply, and can always change your details later if you need to.
*The application window is usually open from Jan-May. You can register on UCAS for updates and information from SFE.
Are you the parent or guardian of a Student? Student Finance Explained
While at university or college your child will have two main costs - tuition fees and living costs. They can apply for student finance to help with both.
Students can get a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover the fees charged by their uni or college, and a Maintenance Loan to help towards their living costs such as rent and bills. If you're starting an Accelerated Degree course you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £11,100. These have to be paid back, but not while they’re studying.
There are grants for students who have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. These don’t usually have to be paid back.
Repaying a student loan
Your child will need to repay any loan they borrow, but not until after they’ve finished or left their course.
Interest will be charged on the loan from the day we make their first student finance payment until the loan is repaid in full or cancelled. The interest rate is based on the UK Retail Price Index (RPI) and will vary depending on their circumstances.
How much they repay each month depends on their income, not how much they borrowed. They’ll repay 9% of their income over the repayment threshold, which is currently £25,000 a year, £2,083 a month or £480 a week. If their income drops below the threshold, all repayments will stop automatically.
For more information about repayment, visit www.slc.co.uk/repayment
- Students don’t need to wait until they have a confirmed place at uni or college to apply for finance – they can use their preferred choice and update it online later if they need to.
- Once your child has applied, you’ll get an email within 24 hours with a link to submit your household income details. You’ll need to create your own account if you haven’t already got one.
- When you register you’ll need to give us your National Insurance number and your personal income for the previous tax year.
- It’s really important that you send us your income details and any evidence we ask for as soon as possible so we can make sure that your child gets as much as they’re entitled to. They’ll only get the minimum amount of finance until you give us your details.
- Once we’ve received their application and any evidence we need, we’ll assess how much they can get and send them a Student Finance Entitlement letter. Your child should take this to their university or college when they register.
- Once the uni or college let us know they’ve started their course, we’ll make the first of three Maintenance Loan payments into your child’s bank account and pay the Tuition Fee Loan directly to their university or college.
You might not be thinking about how you’ll repay your student loan right now, but it’s really important you understand exactly how it works for when the time comes to repay.
Disability Students’ Allowances
This year, disability students’ allowances are changing. If you are or have been eligible for these, you can find out more information on our dedicated Supported Learning page.
How much do I repay?
You’ll have to repay anything you borrow, but it works a bit differently than you might expect. How much you repay each month depends on your income, not how much you borrowed.
The thresholds are £524 a week or £2,274 a month (before tax and other deductions). They change on 6 April every year.
You’re paid weekly and your income changes each week. This week your income was £600, which is over the Plan 2 weekly threshold of £524.
Your income was £76 over the threshold (£600 minus £524). You will pay back £6 (9% of £76) this week.
Your annual income is £28,800 and you are paid a regular monthly wage. This means that each month your income is £2,400 (£28,800 divided by 12). This is over the Plan 2 monthly threshold of £2,274.
Your income is £126 over the threshold (£2,400 minus £2,274). You will pay back £11 (9% of £126) each month.
While you’re studying, interest is 5.3%.
This is made up of the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus up to 3%.
This rate applies until the 5 April after you finish or leave your course, or for the first 4 years of your course if you’re studying part-time, unless the RPI changes.
After that, your interest rate depends on your income in the current tax year.
If you’re self-employed, your income is the total income amount on your Self-Assessment form.
If you’re an employee, your income is your taxable pay, plus any pension contributions, minus any benefits you get from your employer that are taxed through payroll (ask your employer if you’re not sure).
If you have more than one job in a year, your interest rate will be based on your combined income from all your jobs.
Your annual income Interest rate £27,295 or less RPI (currently 2.6%) £27,296 to £49,130 RPI (currently 2.6%) Over £49,130 Usually RPI (currently 2.6%), plus 3%
You must keep your contact details up to date in your online account and give the Student Loans Company (SLC) evidence if they ask for it. If you do not, you may be charged the higher interest rate even if your income is lower.
UCEN Manchester Bursary
Money is always a concern for students, so we are here to guide you and offer support. If you are struggling with day-to-day finance, make an appointment with one of our Careers, Employability and Welfare Advisors who will work with you to maximise your income.
Together, you can look at ways to improve your situation. This may be seeking part-time work or looking at any Government support you may be entitled to.
Staff will guide you through the application process for Student Finance loans and answer any questions you have.
The UCEN Manchester Bursary is administered by Future U and includes consideration for financial support in a variety of ways, from progression, living costs to hardship issues.
I’m from the EU
Funding information for EU nationals
The UK left the EU and free movement between the UK and the EU has ended. The UK’s new points-based immigration system applies and treats EU (other than Irish citizens) and non-EU citizens equally. Students who are nationals of EU (or EEA) countries (other than Irish citizens) who enter the UK after 31 December 2020 are not automatically eligible for funding and must be able to demonstrate that they are legally resident in the UK to be funded.
Note: If you are moving to the UK from an EU/EEA country, you will now require a Visa to study. Currently The Manchester College cannot accept any students with a student T4 visa.
EU Settlement Scheme
If you are resident in the UK and you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family members need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK beyond 30 June 2021. For more information and to apply, visit:
Higher Education (courses from Level 4 to 6)
If you have started a 3-year degree or 2-year foundation degree, your current funding will not change. For one-year HNC or HND courses, we cannot guarantee the rules for EU students will remain the same for the 2021/2022 academic year.
Useful tools and advice
There is lots of extra information and advice available to help you understand student finance. You can always get in touch with us, or take a look at some of the tools below.
- Student Finance Calculator – find out how much funding you could get
- The Student Room – get impartial advice, helpful tools and quick handy guides on all issues relating to student finance.
- Student Finance England – watch these handy films on student finance, and get information on deadlines, useful tips and FAQs from Facebook and Twitter.
- Repayment information – Learn more about loan repayments, interest and how to repay from overseas.