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EU Students

The UK is a popular choice for overseas students. If you're an EU national or the family member of an EU national you might qualify for help from Student Finance England (SFE) towards your tuition fees and living costs.

However, if you're from outside the EU then you'll not normally be eligible for any financial support from SFE.

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for:

  • help with tuition fees
  • help with tuition fees and 'additional help' - for example, living costs

Tuition Fees

To qualify for a Tuition Fee Loan the following needs to apply:

  • you're an EU national, or the family member of an EU national
  • your course qualifies

Does your course qualify?

Your course must take place at one of the following:

  • a UK university
  • a college that receives government funding
  • a private institution offering specifically designated higher education courses (ask your university or college if it qualifies)
  • a group of schools taking part in the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) scheme
Your course must lead to one of the following qualifications:
  • degree (like a BA, BSc or BEd) - you may not qualify if you already have one
  • foundation degree
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipEd)
  • Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

Additional help

Some EU nationals may qualify for a Tuition Fee Loan and additional help, but usually only if all of the following apply:

  • you're an EU national, or the family member of someone who is
  • you've lived in the UK for three years or more before your course starts
  • you'll be living in the UK on the first day of the academic year in which your course starts
  • usually your main reason for living in the UK was not to receive full-time education
  • your course qualifies
If you qualify for this level of help, the application process is different. You need to apply in the same way as students from England.

EEA and Swiss migrant workers

You may qualify for help with tuition fees and additional help if all of the following apply:
  • you're a national from an EEA country or Switzerland
  • you're working in the UK
  • you've lived in the EEA or Switzerland for three years or more before your course starts
  • you'll be living in the UK on the first day of the academic year in which your course starts
  • your course qualifies
You may also qualify if you're a family member of an EEA or Swiss migrant worker.

Children of Turkish workers

You may qualify for help with tuition fees and additional help if all of the following apply:
  • you're the child of a Turkish national who usually lives and works in the UK
  • you've lived in the EEA, Switzerland or Turkey for three years or more before your course starts
  • you'll be living in the UK on the first day of the academic year in which your course starts
  • your course qualifies
The application process is different if you want to apply as a migrant worker or the child of a Turkish worker. You need to apply in the same way as students from England.

What financial help can I get?

Tuition fee loan

What's it for?Covers the cost of your tuition fees.
How much can I get?You can get an amount to cover the fee your university or college charges you. This could be up to £9,000 for a full-time course. The cost of tuition varies between different universities and colleges and can also vary between different courses at the same university or college. If you decide to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan then you need to confirm the annual amount directly with the university or college to ensure you apply for the correct amount of money. You can also find some specific information for tuition fees if you're going to study abroad, go on work placement or participate in the ERASMUS scheme.
Who's eligible?EU nationals and the family members of EU nationals who are under 60 years old on the first day of their first academic year. This funding is usually only available for a first undergraduate degree. If you've studied a higher education course in the past it may affect your eligibility.
Do I have to pay it back?Yes, but not until you've left university or college and your income is over £21,000 a year.
How is it paid?SFE will pay your Tuition Fee Loan direct to the university or college on your behalf when your attendance has been confirmed.
How do I apply?You need to complete a paper application form and send it to SFE. See this page for more information.
When do I apply?You can apply from April 2014 if you plan to start university or college in September 2014. This means you may need to apply to SFE before you've chosen your course or before your university or college place has become unconditional. You need to apply as early as you can to ensure that your application has time to be assessed. This means all of the money you're eligible for will be available for when you start your course in September 2014.

Who can I speak to for more help with my application?

The international office at your university or college will be able to help you with general questions regarding coming to the UK for your university or college education. They'll be used to working with students from all over the world, including your country, so are accustomed to discussing issues with students from outside of the UK.

You can also contact the Student Finance Services European Team to discuss your personal situation in more detail.

The phone number is (+44) (0) 141 243 3570 and the office is open from 9:00 to 17:30 GMT from Monday to Friday.

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