Whether a student can get student finance depends on their:
- university or college
- previous study
- nationality or residency status.
Uni and course
The course must be at an eligible uni or college in the UK and one of the following:
- first degree, eg BA, BSc or BEd
- Foundation Degree
- Certificate of Higher Education
- Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
- Higher National Certificate (HNC)
- Higher National Diploma (HND)
- Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
- Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
- Integrated Master’s.
Students can usually only get student finance for their first undergraduate higher education qualification - even if their previous course was self-funded.
The number of years for which they are eligible for funding is calculated as:
Length of current course + one year – years of previous study
If they haven’t got enough years of funding left to cover their course, they’ll have to cover some of the cost their self. They’ll usually still be able to get some Maintenance Loan in any self-funded years of study.
However, they may still get some funding if, for example:
- they change course
- they leave a course but start another
- they’re ‘topping up’ a higher education qualification, for example they have finished an HNC, HND or Foundation Degree and now want to do an Honours degree
Full financial support is available if the student already has a degree but they’re starting:
- an Initial Teacher Training course, not exceeding two years and they don’t hold qualified teacher status, or
- a Nursing, Midwifery or Allied Health Professional course in England on or after 1 August 2017.
For courses starting from 1 August 2016
There’s no upper age limit for applying for a loan to help with living costs. But if the student is aged 60 or over on the first day of the first academic year of their course the amount they can get depends on their household income only.
For courses starting before 1 August 2016
Students aged 60 or over are not able to get a loan for their living costs.
Nationality or residency status
Students must be:
- living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years before starting their course
- living in England
And they’re either:
- a UK national or Irish citizen
- settled under the EU Settlement Scheme
- granted indefinite leave to remain for other reasons
If they’re a UK national who was living in the EEA, Gibraltar or Switzerland, they also may be able to apply for full support.
They can also apply if they’ve been living in the UK, the EEA, Gibraltar or Switzerland for the past 3 years and are:
- the child of a Swiss national and have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- an EEA or Swiss worker, or the family member of an EEA or Swiss Worker, and have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- a family member of a UK National - both the student and their family member must have lived in the UK, EEA, Gibraltar or Switzerland for the past 3 years
- the child of a Turkish worker
They can also apply if they have one of the following Home Office statuses:
- Humanitarian protection or the family member of someone with this status
- Stateless status or the family member of someone with this status
- Refugee status or the family member of someone with this status
- Calais leave or the dependent child of someone with Calais leave
- Classed as ‘leave to remain’ under the section 67 of the Immigration act or the dependent child of someone with this status
- Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK as the victim of domestic violence or abuse
- Leave to Remain as a person who has been a bereaved partner
A student could also be eligible if they’ve been living in the UK for the past 3 years with long residence and are:
- under 18 on the first day of their course and have lived in the UK for at least 7 years
- 18 or over on the first day of their course and have lived in the UK for at least half their life or at least 20 years
To be eligible for support under the long residence category, students must have limited Leave to Remain (including Discretionary Leave to Remain) and have lived in the UK for three years before the first day of their course. They must also live in England on the first day of their course.
The first day of the first academic year of their course is:
- 1 September, if their course starts between 1 August and 31 December
- 1 January, if their course starts between 1 January and 31 March
- 1 April, if their course starts between 1 April and 30 June
- 1 July, if their course starts between 1 July and 31 July.