Financing your degree and thinking about living costs is a huge concern for prospective students. Although the student loan doesn’t quite match up to the cost of living, it can go a long way in helping you afford tuition, rent and other necessities while you study. But not everyone is eligible for a student loan. Moreover, not every course is eligible for a student loan. One of the most common queries is whether or not you get a maintenance loan if you do a degree with a foundation year. We explore this in our article as well as other financial assistance options may be available to you.

What is a maintenance loan?

maintenance loan for foundation year

A maintenance loan is a type of loan that is designed to help students cover their living expenses while they are studying. The amount of the loan is based on your household income and where you will be studying. You will be required to repay the loan once you have graduated and are earning above a certain threshold.

Starting in March, maintenance loan applications for the 2023/24 academic year will be available. If you are living with your parents during term time, you may be eligible for a maintenance loan of up to £8,400. If you are living away from home outside of London, you may be eligible for a maintenance loan of up to £9,978. The actual amount you receive may vary depending on your individual circumstances and eligibility criteria.

What is a foundation year?

which degrees have foundation year?

A foundation year is a preparatory year of study that is designed to bridge the gap between your current qualifications and the entry requirements for your chosen degree. It is also known as a pre-degree year or a year zero. The foundation year provides students with the essential knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their degree program.

A foundation year is typically offered by universities and colleges in the United Kingdom, and it can be taken as part of an undergraduate degree program. The duration of a foundation year can vary, but it is usually one year long.

Foundation year courses are available in a wide range of subjects, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, and business. They’re commonly found in teaching degrees aka PGCEs. These courses are designed to help students who may not meet the entry requirements for their chosen degree program, due to factors such as their academic background or their English language proficiency.

Courses that typically have foundation years include:

  1. Engineering
  2. Science
  3. Mathematics
  4. Business and Management
  5. Social Sciences
  6. Law
  7. Humanities
  8. Computing and IT
  9. Art and Design
  10. Education (PGCE)

The foundation year is a great opportunity if you want to pursue a degree but don’t meet the entry requirements. It provides a structured learning environment, where you can get the skills and knowledge you need to progress further. But if you don’t have the funds, it may not be that useful after all. So you need to know if you can get financial support through a maintenance loan if you do a foundation year to plan ahead.

Do you get a maintenance loan for foundation year?

student loan

The short answer is yes, you’ll likely be eligible for a maintenance loan during your foundation year. However, there are certain criteria that you must meet in order to qualify.

Firstly, you must be enrolled on a designated foundation year course. You must also be a UK or EU student who has been living in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of your course. Additionally, you must meet the eligibility criteria for student finance, which includes factors such as your age, residency status, and previous study.

It is important to note that the amount of maintenance loan you receive during your foundation year may be lower than what you would receive during a standard undergraduate course. This is because the foundation year is often considered to be a preparatory year, and the living expenses during this time may be lower than during a full undergraduate course.

Other financial assistance options

part time job to help finances

If you are not eligible for a maintenance loan during your foundation year, there are other financial assistance options that you may be able to access. For example, you may be able to apply for a bursary or scholarship from your university. Many universities offer financial assistance to students who demonstrate financial need or academic excellence.

You may also be eligible for a grant from your local authority. These grants are designed to help students cover their living expenses while they are studying, and they do not have to be repaid.

Finally, you may be able to access a part-time job to help supplement your income. Many universities have job boards or career centres that can help you find part-time work that fits around your studies. You can find ideas for part-time jobs in our article. 

For more info on student finance, check out our complete guide with all you need to know!