Student support glossary

Student Support is full of complicated terms. Use this glossary to help you understand your application.

If you cannot find the help with what you need here, first check out the How to Apply for Student Finance guide. You can also get help with any questions in the Money and Finance Forum.

General Terms

  • Income Assessed - If the financial help or your application is income assessed, it takes into account your household income.
  • non Income Assessed - An application that is non income assessed does not take your household income into account. It does not require you to submit wage slips, although you may get less than you are entitled to, especially if your household income is less than £40,000 per annum
  • PN1 - This is the application form you need to fill in to get your student loan and tuition fees.
  • Student Support Direct - This company runs the application system for applying for Student Loans and Tuition Fees. Their website is can be found at
  • Student Loans Company - This is the group that lends out the money and ensures that it is collected after your degree. This is the group who send you your annual statements every year. Also known as the SLC.

Tuition Fees

  • Tuition Fee - You pay this fee to cover the cost of your course. Universities in England are likely to charge £3,145 for undergraduate courses in the 2008/2009 academic year. If you are not from Wales, but choose to study in Wales, your fee will also be around £3,145.
  • Loan for Tuition Fees - Regardless of your parental income, you will be able to get a loan to cover your tuition fees. Information on applying for the Tuition Fee Loan is provided here.
  • Fee Grant - If you are normally resident in Wales, and you also choose to study in Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government will provide you with a non-repayable Fee Grant of up to £1,890, regardless of income. This means that if you are Welsh and study in Wales, you will actually pay around £1,255 in tuition fees per annum, instead of the £3,145 you would pay elsewhere in the country.
  • Scottish Fees - If you are normally resident in Scotland, and choose to study in Scotland, you will not pay tuition fees. If you are normally resident elsewhere in the UK but choose to study in Scotland, you are likely to pay in the region of £1,700 per annum in tuition fees (£2,700 if you are studying Medicine).

Maintenance Loans

  • Student Loan for Maintenance - This is a low-interest loan taken out to cover the general cost of living, which includes everything from accommodation and food to books and train-tickets. It is entirely separate from the Tuition Fee Loan and, unlike the Tuition Fee Loan, the amount you get depends partly on how much your parents earn.
  • Aid for Scottish Students - Scotland's scheme is comparatively complex, but detailed information can be found here on the SAAS website.


  • Bursaries - If you are in full receipt of the Student Loan for Maintenance and the Grant for Maintenance (or regional equivalent), you will also be entitled to a minimum of £310 from your university, in the form of a non-repayable bursary. Many universities are currently offering much more than this - typically, bursaries of around £1,000 were available to students within this category during the 2007/2008 academic year.
  • Additional Funding - Most universities will have some sort of "hardship" scheme in place, if you really begin to struggle financially once you arrive at university. It is best to contact the universities of your choice to find out their policy in such circumstances. There is also a little more information on other funding, including Disabled Student Allowances, here.