Eligibility

Whether you can get student finance depends on your:

  • personal circumstances, 
  • course, and
  • university or college

 

Your nationality or residency status

You’ll be eligible for student finance if all of the following apply:

  • you’re a UK national or have settled status (this means you have no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK)
  • you normally live in England
  • you’ve been living in the UK for at least 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course

You might still be able to apply if you’re:

  • an EU national, or a relative of one,
  • a refugee, or a relative of one,
  • under Humanitarian Protection, or a relative of someone under Humanitarian Protection,
  • under 18 and have lived in the UK for at least 7 years,
  • 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years or at least half your life,
  • an EEA/Swiss migrant worker, or a relative of one
  • the child of a Swiss national,
  • the child of a Turkish worker
  • a stateless person (including family members)

    To be eligible as a stateless person you must:

    • be a new student starting on or after 1 August 2018, and
    • have been living in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the first academic year of your course

    If you normally live in the Channel Islands or on the Isle of Man, you can’t apply to Student Finance England. You should contact the education authority on your island to find out more.

     

    Your age

    There’s no upper age limit for student finance but if you're over 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course, you won’t be able to get the basic Maintenance Loan - you should apply for a Special Support Loan instead. The amount of loan you can get depends on your household income only.

    Previous study

    Usually you can only get student finance for your first higher-education qualification.

    As a general rule, a Tuition Fee Loan is available for the full length of your course, plus one extra year if needed, for example, if:

    • you change your course, or
    • you leave your course but start another.

    The number of years for which you are eligible for funding is calculated as:

    Length of current course + one year – years of previous study

    If you haven’t got enough years of funding left to cover your course, you’ll have to cover some of the cost yourself. You’ll usually still be able to get a Maintenance Loan in any self-funded years of study.

    You might be able to get an extra year of tuition fee support if you need to repeat a year due to compelling personal reasons, such as bereavement or illness.

    You would need to provide evidence of this. Depending on your circumstances, this could include:

    • medical evidence from your GP
    • evidence from social services
    • evidence from your university or college

     

    Your course

    The course you plan to study must be in the UK and one of the following:

    • first degree, eg BA, BSc or BEd
    • Foundation Degree
    • Certificate of Higher Education
    • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
    • Higher National Diploma (HND)
    • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
    • Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
    • Integrated Master's
    • Initial Teacher Training (ITT)

    From 1 August 2018, students studying a Postgraduate healthcare course will also be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan.

    If you’re not sure whether your course qualifies for student finance, you should check with your university or college.

    Armed Forces

    You might also be eligible if you're:

    • a member of the UK armed forces serving overseas
    • a spouse or civil partner living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
    • a child, step-child or adoptive child living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas
    • a dependent parent living with either a child who is a member of The UK Armed Forces serving overseas or the child’s spouse or civil partner who is a member of the UK Armed Forces serving overseas

    From 1 August 2018 students studying a distance learning course will also be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan if they’re:

    • a member of the UK Armed Forces who usually lives in England but is serving in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
    • a relative living with a member of the UK Armed Forces serving in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland

    Your university or course

    Your university or college must be in the UK and either:

    • publicly funded (paid for by the government), or
    • privately funded but running individual courses that receive public funding.