Full-time Tuition Fee Loan

Eligibility

Whether a student can get a Tuition Fee Loan depends on their:

  • university or college
  • course
  • 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.

Previous study

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 themselves.

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.

They might be able to get an extra year of tuition fee support if they need to repeat a year due to compelling personal reasons, such as bereavement or illness.

They would need to provide evidence of this. Depending on their circumstances, this could include:

  • medical evidence from their GP
  • evidence from social services
  • evidence from their university or college.

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.

 

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.

 

Students can also apply for tuition fee only support if they’ve been living in the UK, the EEA, Gibraltar or Switzerland for the past 3 years and have:

  • pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and are an EU national or a family member of an EU national
  • Irish Citizenship or are a family member of an Irish Citizen or Person of Northern Ireland and have pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • Gibraltarian status as an EU national, or
  • been living in Gibraltar as a UK national

 

They may also be eligible if they've been living in the UK or Ireland for the past 3 years (with part of that time spent in Ireland) and have Irish citizenship.

 

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.

Distance learning

Students who are overseas may be eligible if they’re:

 

  • a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
  • a spouse or civil partner living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
  • a child, step-child or adoptive child living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
  • a dependant parent living with either a child who is a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas or the child’s spouse or civil partner who is a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas.

This applies to students starting an eligible distance learning course on or after 1 August 2016.

 

From 1 August 2018 students studying a distance learning course will also be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan if they’re:

  • a member of the UK Armed Forces who usually lives in England but are serving in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • a relative living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.