- students on a low income
- students with children, especially single parents
- students previously in care
- disabled students
- mature students with existing financial commitments.
You can also get help her latest blog from your university, as well as charitable trusts. Non-repayable bursaries, scholarships and awards are available for students who’d otherwise be unable to afford to study at this level. Contact your university to find out what’s on offer, whether you’re eligible and how to apply.
Meanwhile, if you find yourself in financial difficulty after your course has started, your university may be able to provide money from its hardship funds to assist you. Apply through your university’s support services.
Student bank accounts
Most high street banks, including Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, Nationwide, Halifax, Lloyds Bank and Santander, have accounts aimed specifically at students and it’s a good idea to open one of these before starting your course.
To be accepted for a student bank account, you’ll need to have your university place confirmed – but once you have the evidence to prove this, you can make use of the benefits before starting your course.
While incentives such as student rail cards and other discounts are always welcome, the size of the 0% overdraft facility will prove to be the greatest help when money is tight.
Browse the websites of the major banks to find the best option, get independent advice from consumer website MoneySavingExpert or use comparison websites such as Compare the Market to help you reach a decision.
Student loans and finance
When it comes to funding your degree, you’ll find there are plenty of student finance options available, including support for paying your tuition fees and living costs
Universities charge tuition fees to cover the costs of running their undergraduate courses. They can also account for registration, supervision, exams and graduation expenses.
Tuition fees are set at different levels depending on where you live, so universities will first need to carry out an assessment to determine your status.
In England, universities can charge up to ?9,250 per year for entry – this figure is the same cap as for the last two academic years. It applies to UK students from all regions, as well as students from within the European Union (EU) with settled status.
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was introduced in 2017 so that only institutions that perform well in a new teaching quality assessment will be allowed to increase their fees. Read more about this at how to choose the right degree.
Scottish universities don’t charge tuition fees to students from Scotland. But students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland must pay up to a maximum of ?9,250 per year.
If you study in Wales, you’ll be charged up to ?9,000 per year. This applies to all students from Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Universities in Northern Ireland will charge a maximum of ?4,530 per year to Northern Irish students, and up to ?9,250 to English, Scottish and Welsh students.
In all parts of the UK, fees for EU and other international students are set on a variable scale and are usually higher. University websites display the most up-to-date fee information.
Your most significant living cost is likely to be your rent, whether you decide to live in halls of residence or privately rented housing. You should research your student accommodation options thoroughly.
You’ll need to budget for any additional bills that aren’t included in your rent, such as Wi-Fi access, as well as essentials such as food. Remember to set aside money for insurance, clothes, toiletries, books, course materials, printing, transport (both locally and to get back home) and social activities. Read about what to take to university.