18 Background Finance For Higher Education With the annual cost of higher education likely to be in excess of £ 8,000 for many students, finance continues to be a major issue. So it is essential that you explore the likely costs and level of support, as they apply to you. To do this you will need to check out the latest detailed sources of information including the websites and publications referred to on pages 33 and 19. Key facts . The money needed for higher education falls into two categories - tuition feesand living costs. . The money you may receive falls into at least four categories - loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, and other, depending on your circumstances ( see ' Other sources of income' on page 19). . As a full- time undergraduate, you will not have to pay any tuition fees up- front, or while you are studying. . You shouldapply online for financial assistance once you have applied for your place, even if you think you will have to pay the full contribution towards fees and other expenditure. If your home address is in England, register online by visiting www. studentfinanceengland. co. uk or make use of the link on your UCAS application. If you don't apply, you will have to pay full fees, and you will not be able to receive a student loan. . Tuition fees will vary between institutions and between courses. Fees can be up to £ 3,290 per year. . You can defer payment of tuition fees by taking out a student fee loan, repayable after you leave higher education and are earning more than £ 15,000 per year. The interest payable is related to inflation, so what you repay will be worth about the same as what you borrowed. . You may be able to get a non- repayable means- tested maintenance grant of up to £ 2,906, depending on personal and family household income. If you qualify for the full grant, and your fee is set at the £ 3,290 maximum, your higher education institution will give you an additional bursary of at least £ 329. . About two thirds of all new full- time students will qualify for non- repayable support. . Further financial support may be available through bursaries and scholarships. The size and eligibility criteria for this funding will vary between universities/ colleges and between courses, so research carefully! . All home students are eligible to take out a student loan for maintenance, repayable only when higher education is finished and earnings exceed £ 15,000 per year. 28% of the loan is means tested. . The government will write off all student loans ( except arrears) left unpaid after 25 years. . Students taking NHS funded degree courses ( for example, degrees in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, podiatry) will normally have their fees paid by the NHS, and are eligible to apply for a means- tested bursary along with access to a non- means- tested student loan for the balance of their maintenance costs. Medical and dental students also have special arrangements for the final part of their course. . Social work degree students can apply for an annual non- means tested bursary worth at least £ 4,575. . Dance and drama awards may be available for practical courses. . Part- time students, including those enrolled with the OU, will not be able to defer tuition fee payments, but if studying at least 50% of an equivalent full- time course, can apply for means- tested grants to help with fees and course costs. " Managing finances and debt have become a defining feature of the student experience" - Student Money Adviser.
19 Finance For Higher Education Other sources of income Parents/ family There is no longer a government expectation that your parents/ carers will contribute towards your tuition fees, though some of course will do so. Access to Learning Fund Once in higher education, if you face financial difficulties that you had not anticipated, it may be possible to apply for additional help from this higher education institution managed fund. Disabled Student's Allowance The Disabled Student's Allowance ( including for learning difficulties such as dyslexia) is available to help pay for extra study costs incurred in attending a higher education course, as a direct result of a disability. Charitable and education trusts A number of charities and large company educational trusts may offer limited help to students, especially those in unusual or challenging circumstances. Banks Most banks offer generous, interest free overdrafts, but remember that loans have to be paid back and banks are tough on repayments. You could also explore a professional and career development loan ( PCDL) for some vocational courses. Employment The vast majority of students work in the vacation to supplement their income, whilst it is estimated that over 60% now earn money during term- time - sometimes to the detriment of their studies. Most universities and colleges have developed Jobshops to generate vacancies and put students and employers in touch with one another. Sponsorship Some organisations give financial assistance to students at university or college, most commonly in the areas of science, engineering, technology, and business studies. Some also offer work placements and/ or guaranteed jobs. Applications are usually made at the same time as, or just after you apply to UCAS, and competition is likely to be severe. Some opportunities arise after enrolment on the course - employers often make links with university or college departments. " Saving is a very fine thing - especially when your parents have done it for you" - Winston Churchill. Further information Financial Support for Higher Education Students outlines the financial arrangements for new students entering higher education. Bridging the Gapprovides a guide to Disabled Students' Allowances for prospective higher education students. Childcare Grant and Other Support for Student Parents in Higher Educationexplains additional grants available for care leavers and students with children. Financial Support for Part- Time Students in Higher Educationgives information and help for part- time students. All the above booklets are free and available from the DCSF/ DIUS, Tel: 0800 731 9133, or on the web at www. direct. gov. uk/ studentfinance Financial Help for Healthcare Studentsexplains the financial support for students on NHS funded courses leading to professional registration. For details of trusts, charitable funds and other sources of finance see the Educational Grants Directory published by the Directory of Social Change, and the Undergraduate Courses and Funding Guide published by Hotcourses. These are available at most public libraries. International Students EU nationals are entitled to apply for a UK student fee loan, and may be eligible to receive further financial support towards living costs. Non- EU students get nothing. Refugees, asylum seekers and other non- UK nationals should seek advice from the British Council for International Education, the DCSF/ DIUS or prospective university/ college international advisers. Warning! At the time of going to press, significant changes to tuition fees and student financial support structures were under discussion. Please check out the very latest situation at www. direct. gov. uk/ studentfinance before proceeding.