Can I get help with my student costs?

Students have a pretty rough time as it is, what with having to pay tuition fees, but luckily there is some help available, depending on your current income of course.

As with most things these days, how much money you can get is means tested so that those with the least can get the most. The aim here is obviously to make things fairer so that students with wealthy parents don’t get as much help as those whose parents are struggling.

For example, if you or your parents are earning around £25,000 per year with no other dependencies you can get a grant for just over £3,300.

Also, you may get a loan for your tuition fees of up to £9,000 and a maintenance loan of around £4,000. There’s also potentially extra help if you plan to take a course in medical, teaching or social work but you need to apply separately for these.

What do these mean?

First of all, you need to be aware that there’s a difference between a grant and a loan. If you qualify for a grant then the money’s yours to keep and use for your living costs and you don’t have to pay it back. A loan is exactly that, you need to pay it back eventually.

The politics of why people struggle with this has been writ large all over the press, but the fact is, many people have found themselves struggling to pay back their loans when they eventually get to work.

Grants are different, though. If you manage to qualify then you don’t have to pay that back, but check the conditions of the grant from the issuing authority. You may find that they have to be paid directly to a particular body rather than into your bank account.

For more information, check out the government website: