Higher Education Funding

Colleges and universities charge tuition fees for HE courses, but most people are eligible to receive a student loan, available from the government, to cover this fee

Although all colleges and universities charge tuition fees for HE courses, most people are eligible to receive a student loan to cover this fee. The loan is available from the government and does not need to be paid back until you are earning a certain level of income.

The government also offers ‘maintenance’ loans which are designed to help you pay for some living costs while you are studying, for example, contributing to accommodation costs. Some students also receive a student grant to cover other living costs, for example, childcare, which does not have to be paid back. However, there are certain criteria that have to be met to receive a grant.


What help is available?

There is a range of support available if you are concerned about financing your higher education studies.

1. Student Loans

Types of help for new full-time undergraduate higher education students include:

Tuition Fee Loans to cover the full cost of tuition fees, and also:

  • Maintenance Loans to cover living costs
  • Grants to cover living costs
  • Students can also get extra support if they have children or adult dependants, a disability or a specific learning difficulty

Find out more about student loans for higher education:

Student Loans Company

Gov UK

Student Finance – How You Are Assessed

Student Loan Advice for HNCs and HNDs


  • It is important that you apply for extra support e.g. Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) at the same time that you apply for a student loan – it may not be available once your course has started
  • You do not need a confirmed offer of a college place before you can apply for a student loan. Apply as early as possible to prevent delays to your application

2. Self-Funding

If you choose to pay any part of the fee yourself, the college offers an instalment plan to allow you to stagger your payments by direct debit.

3. Student Services

If you require any help or advice applying for your student loan, please speak to our trained advisors on 0330 135 9000

There is a College Higher Education Support Fund available for higher education. Please contact the Student Finance and Welfare Team for further information and details of eligibility if you are experiencing financial difficulties once you are enrolled.

4. Independent Financial Advice

It is important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options. You can access free independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service

Do you want to find out more information about higher education? Read our Higher Education: Explained Guide here. Alternatively, check out all our higher education courses.