Going to university is a great experience, as people go not just to learn about their chosen degree, but going to uni will introduce you to new cultures, and you’ll make new friends.

You will also learn to become independent as for many people university will be there first time living away from home in a new location, but it will soon become your home away from home.

However, university is expensive and thinking about how you will afford it can be a headache, so here are some solutions to how anyone can afford to go to uni.

Student finance

Students in England can apply to the government for a loan which will cover their tuition fees and living costs, although if you’re from the rest of the UK, the process is different. Student finance works based on the income of your family, and you can calculate how much you may get online in advance. However, one thing that is great about student loans is that they do not affect your credit report. Student finance is great as it means anyone can go to university, as you only start repaying once you begin to earn a certain amount.

With Student finance, if you need extra help, such as if you have a disability or children, you may get additional money to help with that as well. The childcare grant is available for full-time students with children under the age of 15, or under the age of 17 if they have special educational needs. This grant is given to students as well as their other student finance and does not need to be paid back. Students can get up to £174.22 a week if they have one child, and up to £298.69 a week if they have two children or more, but the amount you receive depends on your household income.

If you have a disability, whether it’s physical or a specific learning disability, you can apply for the disabled student’s allowance, which you will get as well as your other student finance and do not need to pay back. This grant of money is to help students buy specialist equipment they may need and deal with any other additional costs they may face during their studies because of their disability. For a full-time student, this could be up to £1,954 a year, or up to £1,465 a year for a part-time student.

If you’re from Scotland, you will need to apply to the Student Awards Agency Scotland for tuition fees based on your household income. You can also apply for living costs grants, but these are only available for students who are carers, dependents, etc.

Whereas if you’re from Northern Ireland, there are plenty of forms of student finance to help anyone afford uni. To help cover your tuition costs, you can apply for either a tuition fee loan or a student contribution loan depending on where you are studying. To help with your living costs, you can apply for either a maintenance loan, maintenance grant or a special support grant. If you need additional help, you can also apply for a childcare grant, adult dependants grant, parents learning allowance, disabled student allowance, or a travel grant.

Student Finance England
Source: The Windsor Bous School

Scholarships & Bursaries

All universities have their own rules about scholarships, bursaries and awards to help students pay for uni, and this is money that they do not need to pay back, so can really help with the burden of student loans.

Depending on the university, there are different rules on who can apply and how to apply, as well the amount you receive. However, if your household has a certain income, you may only be available for academic scholarships. If you have lived in local authority care, you can also apply for a £2,000 bursary to help you pay for university ohttps://unifresher.co.uk/how-university-scholarships-work/r college.

There are also many specific grants students can apply for, such as the NHS Learning Support Fund for students studying one of their selected medical or health degrees, such as Orthoptics, Nursing, Physiotherapy, etc. The NHS fund can provide a training grant of up to £5000 per year, a parental support grant of up to £2000 a year, as well as other one of payments to help students with travel and accommodation costs during placements.

Many charities and organisations, such as The Prince’s Trust and Lawrence Atwell’s Charity, also offer grants and supports to students to help them with travel costs, childcare, course fees, and equipment. There’s a more comprehensive list of the grants available in 2020 here, and more specific ones for low-income families here.

Princes Trust
Source: Princes Trust