Funding for students at university
What financial help can I get as a student at university?
If you’re over 16 and plan to go to university or a college of higher education, you'll need money to live and to pay your way. The help you could get will depend on your circumstances.
Top tip - Always apply for loans, allowances or grants as soon as possible.
This guidance cannot cover all individual circumstances. You should get more details from relevant organisations
- Student Loans will help you with tuition fees and living costs. Depending on how much you earn, you will start to repay your student loan in the April after you graduate or leave your course.
- You can get a Tuition Fee Loan to cover all or the first part of the tuition fees your university will charge you.
- If the fee being charged is not covered by the Tuition Fee Loan you can also get a Tuition Fee Grant. It will cover any difference between the maximum loan and the fee you are charged.
- The Maintenance Loan is to help you with your living costs. The amount of available to you depends on where you will be living during term time and whether you will be studying in London.
- Depending on how much you earn, you will start to repay your student loan in the April after you graduate or leave your course.
- Welsh Government Learning Grant depends on your income and that of your parents or partner. It does not have to be paid back.
- Special Support Grant depends whether you are able to claim certain income-related benefits. It does not have to be paid back.
- Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance to help with childcare costs if you have dependent children. They don’t need to be paid back.
- Adult Dependants' Grant offers extra money if you have an adult who is financially dependent on you. It does not have to be paid back.
- Each university in Wales has a Financial Contingency Fund that help students in serious financial difficulties. Only students who have explored all other ways to support themselves may be helped. Support from the fund does not have to be repaid. Enquiries should be made directly to the university’s Student Support or Welfare Services departments.
- Bursaries, Scholarships and other awards. Universities and charitable trusts offer extra financial help. Browse the following websites for more information:
Your local public library should also have directories of charitable trusts that offer grants and awards:
- the Educational Grants Directory
- the Charities Digest
- the Grants Register
- the Directory of Grant Making Trusts
- You may get a grant if you have to pay extra travel costs related to your course. For more information call the Student Finance Wales Contact Centre on 03002004050 or contact your local authority.
- Your parents or carer may continue to receive Child Benefit for you until your 19th birthday.
- Other possible benefits while you're studying
You may be able to claim other benefits if you're a disabled student on a low income, such as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
What financial help can I get to study for a postgraduate qualification after my degree?
The greatest difference between support for undergraduate and for postgraduate study is that, with the exception of nursing, social work and teaching, you can’t get a Student Loan for postgraduate study. Loans and grants aren’t available, but they are harder to find and the competition for them is greater.
Researching the funding available through the university of your choice. Do this as soon as possible as funding is provided to applicants on a first come, first served basis until it’s exhausted.
Postgraduate financial support for students falls into seven categories, as described in the Funding Database of PostgraduateStudentships.co.uk
- Research Councils
- Charities and Trust Funds, including those funded by the UK government
- Higher Education Institutions
- Overseas governments (international students only)
- Employers (if you have a job)
- Professional and Career Development Loans
- Self-funding (including family funds)
These funding sources, with the possible exception of Professional and Career Development Loans, can fund taught or research postgraduate study. Development Loans are intended to assist students with vocational or career related courses, and may therefore relate more readily to taught courses.
Universities may also be able to give you information about scholarships and locally-based charitable funding. National charities are also potential sources of support. The Royal Society provides grants to more than 1,200 scientists annually while the Funds for Women Graduates is offered to two outstanding postgraduates each year.