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 usually in February. 

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 or to your uni or 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.

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. Overseas/international students will be charged £9,250 per year for all courses.

Download our HE Tuition Fees for Home/EU students below:

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.

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 £25,000 
a year.

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 £8,400
Living away from home, studying outside London £9,978
Living away from home, studying in London £13,022
Living and studying abroad £11,427

Repayments will be based on your income, not how much you borrow. Interest is charged from the day your first payment is made to you or your uni or college, until your loan is repaid or cancelled. The interest you’re charged won’t affect how much you repay each month.

After 30 years your remaining loan is cancelled -even if you haven’t repaid a penny!

If you’ve got a disability, you could get EXTRA help

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. 

2022 to 2023 academic year

Undergraduate and postgraduate students can get up to £25,575 a year for support.

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.

  Maximum amount available
Childcare Grant - if you have one child 85% of your childcare costs, up to a maximum of £188.90 per week
- if you have two or more children 85% of your childcare costs, up to a maximum of £323.85 per week
Parents' Learning Allowance £1,915
Adult Dependants' Grant £3,354

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 2024

Decision time! You should have received offers from universities and colleges.

August 2024

Good luck! Exam results and assessments are in and UCAS Clearing has started!

Anything changed?

If your course, uni 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!

September 2024

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 £1,915 a year depending on your household income.

Childcare Grant

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 £188.90 per week for one child, or £323.83 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 £3,354 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.

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.

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.

What’s available?

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 £11,427. 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

Key facts

  • 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.

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 .

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.

You won’t have to repay anything until you’re earning over a certain amount, which is currently £25,000 a year. If you earn less than that, you won’t have to repay anything. If you’re earning more than that, we’ll work out your repayments at 9% of your income over that amount.

By the time you start repaying, the amounts will be different, but have a look at the table to see some examples of what you might repay based on the current threshold of £25,000 a year:

Annual salary Monthly repayment
£22,000 £0
£25,000 £0
£27,000 £15
£30,000 £37
£32,000 £52

If your income changes for any reason, your repayments will change automatically. And if you haven’t finished repaying after 30 years, your loan balance will be cancelled – so your loan won’t be with you forever.

How and when do I repay?

You’ll be due to start repaying your loan the April after you finish or leave your course, but remember – you’ll only make repayments if your income is over the repayment threshold.

If you’re employed, your employer will automatically take your repayments from your salary at the same time as tax and National Insurance. If you’re self-employed, you’ll make repayments at the same time you pay your tax.

If you move abroad, you’ll still have to make repayments, but they won’t be taken automatically. You’ll repay directly to us instead – and the amount you have to repay could be different from the UK.


You’ll be charged interest on your loan from the day your first payment is made to you or your uni or college, until it’s been repaid in full or cancelled – but it’s important to remember that the amount of interest you’re charged doesn’t change the amount you’ll repay each month.


  • How much you repay is based on your income, not how much you borrow.
  • If your income changes, either rising or falling, your repayment amounts will automatically change too.
  • If your income drops below £25,000 a year or you stop working, you won’t have to repay anything until your income is over this again.
  • Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start repaying will be cancelled.
  • If you leave your course early you’ll still have to repay your loan, but the repayment process may be different – and you might have to pay it back earlier than usual.

To find out more about repaying your student loan, go to www.slc.co.uk/repayment.

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.

If you’re from the EU we can look at exactly what fees you’ll have to pay, as well as sources of funding that may be available. If you’re from the EU and have not lived in England for the five years prior to the start of the course, you might be subject to EU funding rules which may mean you can still receive the tuition fee loan.

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.