The Maintenance Loan pays for day-to-day living expenses like rent, bills, food and books

Eligible full- and part-time students can borrow for the full cost of their course fees, up to ?9,250 per year (or up to ?6,165 a year at private universities). This money isn’t means-tested, so household income won’t affect how much you get.

The maximum amounts apply to students from across the UK who study in England. This means if you’re from Wales and opt to study in England, you’ll get enough to cover the higher fees. However, you can’t borrow a bit extra on the side with this loan: it’s only for course fees and is paid directly to your university.

If you don’t take the Tuition Fees Loan, you’ll need to make your own arrangements to pay tuition, either in full or in instalments.

If you’re a Scottish student studying in Scotland, note that even though you’ll likely be eligible for ‘free’ tuition, you’ll still need to apply to Student Finance to ensure you don’t get charged.

Maintenance Loan

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Unlike the fees loan, it’s paid directly to your student bank account once a term (monthly in Scotland) and you can spend it on anything you like which is why you need to be clever about it.

The Maintenance Loan is partly means-tested. Everyone eligible can get some of it regardless of their financial situation, but to get the full allowance, you’ll need to declare household income. For most students, that’s how much their parents earn.

These are the maximum amounts you can apply for this year in England. Don’t forget this is what you could apply for, not what you’ll definitely get!

Maximum Maintenance Loan for English students

Note that the higher your household income, the less funding you can apply for: the government assumes you or your parents will plug the gap!

Students who live at home with their parents with a household income of around ?58,220 or more will receive a max amount of ?3,516.

Students living away from home and outside of London with a household income of ?62,286 or more will receive a max amount of ?4,222.

And, students living away from home and in London with a household income of ?70,004 or more will receive a max amount of ?6,166.

NOTE: The numbers are different if you come from, or are studying in, other parts of the UK, or if you started uni before 2016. You’ll also get slightly less money in your final year because you won’t be a student over the summer. Gulp.

Maintenance Grant

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Maintenance Grants are the golden ticket of Student Finance because unlike loans you don’t have to repay them. How much you get depends on your household income and where you’re from:

New starters from England can’t apply for the Maintenance Grant anymore. You’re now expected to take out a larger Maintenance Loan instead. If you started your course before 2016 and already get a Maintenance Grant, don’t panic: your funding will continue as long as agreed.

Special Support Grant

In Wales and Northern Ireland, some students with lower household incomes may be able to swap the Maintenance Grant for a Special Support Grant (SSG). You could be eligible if you receive certain benefits, qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowance or are a single parent.