For the majority of us, seeing that payment come through at the beginning of each term from student finance is a blessing, and will be used to cover all of our living necessities at university. However, for some that have extra responsibilities alongside their studies, the maintenance loan that they receive is just not enough to live on; most of the time people aren’t aware that they can actually be entitled to more! With the help of Gov.uk, we’re going to let you in on the few ways that you can get more student finance.
What is student finance?
Let’s go straight back to the basics here, student finance is an organisation that allows students to borrow money in order to pay for their university fees. Everyone is entitled to a tuition loan, this money goes straight to your university to pay for your course, and a maintenance loan, which goes directly to your bank account to help pay for living expenses.
Although tuition fees are pretty much the same in England, around £9250 a year, maintenance loans vary depending on how much money your parents earn, and whereabouts you’ll be studying for university. If you’re planning to live in London, you’ll be entitled to a higher minimum amount of money, because the capital is far from cheap in comparison to the north. However, the more your parents earn, the less maintenance loan you’ll be entitled to. And after you start earning over £26,575 a year, that’s when you’ll have to start repaying your student loan.
How can I get more student finance?
Some people may struggle to afford the living expenses at university, and may be entitled to more student finance that they weren’t previously aware of.
Students on a low income, and don’t have the support of family to help them with living expenses, are eligible to apply for Universal Credit. This is a monthly benefit payment, depending on your earnings, from the government that entitles full-time students to a standard allowance of £257.33 if you are single and under 25. If you are over the age of 25, in a couple, or have children, then you are entitled to more standard allowance.
Children or dependent adults
Full-time students are able to apply for Childcare Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance, and Adult Dependents’ Grant to help them with their finances.
Childcare Grant does not have to be paid back, and is an additional payment on top of other student finance. If you are a full-time student, and have children under the age of 15, or 17 if they have special educational needs, then you are eligible to receive 85% of your childcare costs, or up to £179.62 a week for one child.
This also depends on your household income, and you can get between £50 and £1,821 a year which is paid in three instalments, one at the start of each term. This also does not have to be paid back, and is on top of student finance.
Alongside Universal Credit, students can also apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance. This is to cover any study-related costs you may have because of long term illnesses, mental health problems, or any other disability, and does not need to be paid back.
Help from your university
Many universities also offer bursaries, scholarships and awards on top of student finance, which you don’t need to pay back, in order to help you with your living expenses. Make sure to find out directly from your university what they offer, and it will vary depending on the institute.