While you’re studying, you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs.
You can apply for a range of student finance to help with both these costs. Check out some of the financial support available to you.
Tuition Fee Support
Tuition fees are charged by your university or college to cover the cost of your course per year. Full and part-time students can apply for a separate loan to cover tuition fees. In Wales, tuition fees have been capped at £9,000 per year, but in other parts of the UK you could be charged up to £9,250 per year for a full-time undergraduate course.
Key things to know:
- Student Finance Wales provides a Tuition Fee Loan to cover your tuition fees.
- The Tuition Fee Loan isn’t income assessed, which means that it does not depend on your household income.
- The Tuition Fee Loan is usually paid directly to your university or college.
- Tuition Fee Loans must be repaid, and you will be charged interest on your loan from the first day the money is paid to your university or college, until the loan is paid in full or cancelled.
Find out more details about Tuition Fee Loans and how to apply at Student Finance Wales
Living Cost Support
There are various loans and grants available to help you with living costs such as food, rent. books and other costs when you are studying at university or college, and often living away from home:
Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG)
Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) is designed to help with your living costs. The key things to know are:
- The amount of WGLG you can get will depend on your household income and where you are studying and living, but most students will get a grant of at least £1000.
- If you are from a lower income household, you may be eligible for a grant of up to £10,124 if studying in London, or up to £8,100 if studying in the rest of the UK.
- You will not have to pay back a Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) unless you leave the course, or your circumstances change.
You can apply for a Maintenance Loan to top up your Learning or Special Support Grant (SSG). The key things to know are:
- The amount of Maintenance Loan you can get will depend on your household income and where you are studying and living. It will also be affected by how much Welsh Government Learning Grant you have been awarded.
- The Maintenance Loan is paid directly into your bank account, usually at the start of each term.
- Part-time students will receive similar support on a pro-rata basis based on the course’s intensity.
- Maintenance Loans must be repaid, and you will be charged interest on your loan from the first day the money is paid into your bank until the loan is paid in full or cancelled.
Special Support Grant (SSG)
You could also be eligible to apply for a Special Support Grant (SSG) to help with living costs. The key things to know are:
- You may be eligible if you are a single parent, have a disability, you are eligible for other benefits, or if you are over 60.
- Special Support Grants are paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term.
- Special Support Grants do not need to be paid back unless you leave your course or there is a change in your circumstances.
If you are studying full-time as an undergraduate, through a mix of grants and loans you could be eligible for up to £12,260 a year towards your living costs if you are studying in London and up to £9,810 if you studying elsewhere in the UK.
Find out more details about living costs support, which you are eligible for and how to apply at Student Finance Wales
You may also be able to apply for extra support if you have a disability or have caring responsibilities for children or an adult. Some of the extra support you may be able to apply for include:
- Disabled Students’ Allowance
- Adult Dependants’ Grant
- Childcare Grant
- Parents’ Learning Allowance
- Travel Grant
Find out more:
Bursaries and Scholarships
Don't forget to check if there are any Bursaries and Scholarships you could apply for in addition to your other grants and loans:
- Some universities and colleges may offer bursaries or scholarships which you could apply for in addition to your Maintenance Loan and other grants. Check the university or college website or contact their Student Services to find out what they offer.
- If you are on a course that leads to a qualification in medicine, dentistry or healthcare then you might be able to get a bursary from the National Health Service (NHS).
- If you are studying an approved Social Work undergraduate or Master's degree course, you may be able to apply for a Social Work Bursary.
- Most bursaries and scholarships do not need to be repaid.
Funding for social work, teaching and healthcare courses
Healthcare workers, teachers and social workers may be eligible to receive separate funding to support them studying their courses. The funding can change from year to year so it is important to check the offical National organisations' websites or contact then directly for the most up to date details.
Find out more: Funding for social work, teaching and healthcare courses
Repaying your student loan
What will I have to pay back?
Remember, grants do not have to be paid back but loans do. Interest is added to your loan from the first day the money is paid into your bank account or to your university or college. It is important to consider this before you take out a tuition fee loan and/or a living cost loan.
When will I have to start paying back?
Most undergraduate students who start their course in the academic year 2020/21 will only start paying back their student loans when their income is £511 a week or £2,214 a month (before tax and other deductions), or have left their course. The income threshold changes each year and may be slightly different depending on when you started studying and what course you are studying.
Once you earn an income above the current threshold, repayments will be taken from your salary each month. The amount you pay will be based on your income, not what you borrowed.
Find out more details about Repaying your student loan.
What is the Welsh student finance partial cancellation scheme?
If you are a full-time student who has taken a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance Wales you could get up to £1,500 cancelled off your Maintenance Loan when you start repaying. Make sure you take advantage of this, if you are eligible.
Find out more: Welsh student finance partial cancellation scheme
How to apply
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