Student finance explained for 2011 entry
Changes in student finance have made it all easier to understand (and hopefully a little less worrying too!). The overall support package available should cover essential living costs and universities also offer non-repayable bursaries.
There is now no requirement for students to pay tuition fees up-front or while studying (although you can do so if you wish). Plus, the overall support package available should now cover your essential living costs, whether you decide to move into university halls or decide to stay at home.
Important note: Student funding arrangements are changing for 2012 entry. Please keep updated by visiting
www.direct.gov.uk/student finance. It is likely that students deferring entry to 2012 will be assessed according to the new system. Please note that this information is current at time of going to press for 2011 entry (ie Nov 2010),
note also that it applies to students domiciled in England and attending English universities.
For most courses in 2011/2012, full-time students will have to pay tuition fees of up to £3,375 per year of their course (university websites detail fees). However, students can choose to pay their fees after graduation by taking out a Student Loan for Fees from the Student Loans Company, who then pay the fees direct to the university on the students behalf (so no chance of spending it first!)
Student Loans for Fees
Student Loans for Fees are available to all, irrespective of household income. Responsibility for paying fees rests with you – not with your parents!
Students on nursing and paramedical courses such as physiotherapy and radiography (plus medics and dentists from the fifth year) may not have to pay fees and also receive NHS bursaries. Go to the NHS Student Bursaries website, www.nhspa.gov.uk/sgu/, for further information.
Student Loans for Maintenance
The main source of cash for living expenses is the Student Loan for Maintenance, again provided by the Student Loans Company. The amount each student can borrow is limited.
For example, in 2011/12, the maximum loan a student can borrow is £6,928 a year for those living in London, but away from the parental home; outside London it is £4,950 a year; and those living at home can borrow up to £3,838. 72% of these amounts are available to everyone, but how much of the remaining 28% the student can obtain will depend on household income.
Repaying the Loans
Student loans for fees and maintenance are combined and loan repayments start the April after graduation. Plus, repayments only begin once the graduate is earning in excess of £15,000 per year. So, if you are earning less than £15,000 in the April after graduating you won’t be expected to pay anything; after that you pay 9% of your income above £15,000.
If you never work, or never earn above £15,000 a year, you will not be expected to pay anything back; any debt outstanding after 25 years is written-off (although with a degree under your belt this seems unlikely)! The rate of interest charged is very low and is linked to the Retail Price Index.
For full details of financial arrangements for students visit: