Student Finance can seem daunting - but read on and all will become clear!

Tuition Fees

Universities in the UK can now charge students up to £9,250 a year for tuition fees (2017-18). For more details please see UK & EU Students - Undergraduate Tuition Fees.

However, this does not need to be paid up front as students can take out a loan to cover the cost, which they won’t pay back until they have graduated and started to earn over £21,000 a year.

Student’s today may pay back less each month than those under the previous fee system, and may end up not paying anything back at all!

Tuition fee loans are provided by Student Finance England, and are paid directly to the university your child is attending. Tuition Fee loans will therefore never enter your child’s bank account.

There are a number of reasons why student loans are a better system of borrowing than taking out a loan to cover the costs yourself:

  • Student loans don't go on credit files.
  • Student loan repayments are proportionate to income (9% of anything you earn over £21,000)
  • If you lose your job or take time off, so you've no income, you don't need to repay student loans.
  • Student loans don't employ debt collectors and won't chase you.
  • You can't lose your house or belongings if your student loans aren't repaid (unlike secured debts).
  • After 30 years, any outstanding debt is written off.

Example of repayments:

Graduate 1 earns £22,000 a year:

  • He earns £1,000 over the £21,000 limit.
  • 9% of £1,000 is £90
  • Graduate 1 would pay back £90 a year.

Graduate 2 earns £31,000 a year:

  • She earns £10,000 over the £21,000 limit.
  • 9% of £10,000 is £900
  • Graduate 2 would pay back £900 a year.

The Student Finance application process is due to open in mid-February and students can apply before they have received or accepted offers, as long as they have submitted their UCAS application form. The deadlines for applicaitons is to be confirmed, but in previous years has been towards the end of May (prior to the course starting).

To start an application with Student Finance England go to:

Maintenance Loans

Full time students can also apply for loans to cover living costs, e.g. accommodation, travel, books, food. These loans are referred to as Maintenance Loans.

Maintenance loans are usually paid in 3 instalments at the start of each term, directly into your child’s bank account. The amount your child receives will be dictated by the income of the household in which they reside. Student Finance England will make an assessment using the information provided to determine how much your child is eligible for.

A Maintenance Loan will need to be repaid, and will be included with the tuition fee repayments.

To find out what funding support your child might receive, why not fill in the Student Finance calculator:


Many universities provide a variety of scholarships and bursaries to help cover the costs of going to university. To find out more about the different scholarships available from Keele visit Money, Advice and Guidance.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about student finance, please contact our dedicated Money advice team at Keele: