Student Finance - Maintenance Grants & Tuition Fees
Having obtained a place at , the next stage is to think about the finance associated with going to University.
As well as the costs of living at university to support yourself for items such as books, travel, rent, food, etc. you need to
consider the cost of Tuition fees. For UK students it is possible to do this through your Local Education Authority (
. Students in Northern Ireland need to contact their and students in Scotland
need to contact their local .
You can apply to your LEA not only for support with your but also for money to
help you support yourself in the academic year. The Mandatory award granted by the LEA is provided to
cover not only the University Tuition Fees but also student living costs which is termed .
Universities charge tuition fees for taking students through their courses. These are charged on an annual basis for each
year that the Student attends that University. Everyone attending University has to pay these fees.
The LEA assesses the amounts you have to pay towards your Tuition Fees, the assessment is known as the
This is so that you, your parents, or your guardians do not have to pay the full amount if you cannot afford to. The amount
that you have to contribute to your Tuition fees depends upon a number of factors, which are explained in detail below.
Tuition fees – what will I have to pay?
The most any student will be asked to contribute towards their fees in 2002/03 will be £1,100. The actual amount will depend on the family's residual income:
- If it is less than £20,000 they will pay nothing.
- If it is between £20,480 and £30,501 they will pay part of the fees, worked out on a sliding scale.
- If the residual income is above £30,502 then they will have to pay the full fee contribution of £1,100.
- Students in Scotland do not have to pay tuition fees.
The course you plan to study
Funding is provided on the basis that the course is full-time and leads to a first local Education and (,
), a Diploma of Higher Education
or Post-Graduate Certificate of Education ().
Whether you have received financial support previously for attending a higher education course
Although the conditions around this criteria are complex, the main thing is that you should not have previously been on a
course that lasted more than 2 years, and given up within 20 weeks. If this is met, you are not entitled to an award.
You must be a resident of the British Isles for three years prior to the academic year that the course commences in.
Depending on the outcome of the assessment, your LEA will pay for the total fees, contribute partially, or
expect you to pay for the whole amount. It is estimated by the Department for Education and Employment (
) that 33%
of students have the full fees paid for them and another 33% of students only partially pay for their fees.
The average tuition fee contribution was £1,050 for 2000/2001. However, some fees such as placement years of
where the placement lasts the whole year or lasts for 12 months spread over two or more academic years, and also
part-time first degree Initial Teacher Training courses are only £520. In addition, some courses require no fees to be
paid at all, for example teacher training where you should receive free tuition whatever your or your family's income.
How are they paid
If the local authority pays the fees (either partially or completely) they will be paid directly to your University.
Maintenance grants are provided by Universities to help pay for items such as books, travel, rent, and food, etc.
You may also get additional allowances, which you are entitled to, for example if you have any dependants.
The not only takes into account the factors assessed above for Tuition fees but the largest factor in the
assessments in your income, your parents income, or your spouse's income. Your award is based upon the basic grant,
plus any additional allowances, minus any assessed contributions.
To make the assessment the will apply the parental home rate (unless you are an independent student) if they
consider that you could attend the course from your parents' home.
In addition, to this if the course is longer than the basic course length over one academic year, the authority will
award an Extra Attendance Allowance, which is paid for every additional or part week that you attend your course in
a specific academic year.
How are they paid
The is paid directly to the student (if they are eligible) at the start of each term.
How to apply to the LEA for help
This section tells you about the steps that you need to take when applying to the LEA for help:
Step one Contact your LEA
You will be sent an application form that you need to complete.
Step two Complete an Application Form
The application form must be completed in full with no relevant fields left blank so that a fair and timely
assessment can be made by the LEA. Upon receiving this form the LEA will make their assessment and let you
know whether or not you are eligible for help. If they believe you are eligible, they will send you an
to confirm this and a Financial Form.
Step three Complete a Financial Form
Complete and return the Financial form to your LEA, and upon receipt of this they will advise you of how much
(if anything) they will contribute to your and maintenance award.
In addition, to the awards from the Local Authority, it is important to remember that the also provide grants
on some courses. The NHS will provide assistance if students undertake Chiropody, Dental hygiene, Dental therapy,
Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Radiography, or Speech and language therapy courses. These awards are provided
because there is a shortage of people in these professions in the NHS.
The only other condition besides undertaking any of the above listed courses, is that you must be accepted for an
NHS funded place. Previously, you received supplementary grants for nurse's uniforms and equipment, however, now everything
must be paid from your bursary or .
If you are experiencing problems with your grant or require any further advice, you are advised to either contact your
local Education Authority or alternatively contact your .
Please note that the information in this section is accurate at time of publication, but please note that processes are
likely to change year on year.