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Funding for students on undergraduate courses

Depending on where you're from, there may be loans and financial awards available to help pay for fees and living costs while you study for your undergraduate degree.

This guidance is for:

Home and EU students

You can find out about:


Student Finance loans

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Student Loans for tuition fees and maintenance are available from the UK government through Student Finance to help UK and EU undergraduate students pay for their studies.

Home undergraduate students can get a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan plus supplementary grants  such as Childcare Grant, Parents' Learning Allowance, Adult Dependents Grant, depending on their circumstances.

Most EU undergraduates are entitled to a Tuition Fee Loan from Student Finance England. If you are an EU undergraduate and have lived in the UK for more than 5 years, or you are an EEA or Swiss Migrant Worker (or relative of one) you can also get a Maintenance Loan and supplementary grants.

Find out more about Student Finance funding for EEA or Swiss Migrant Workers

If you have previously studied in higher education, this will affect your entitlement to a Student Finance tuition fee loan.

Find out more about Student Finance

The Student Room's SFE Student Finance Zone is a valuable resource of information on SFE's loans and grants. It also includes a forum where students can have questions answered by Student Finance experts.

Home students will need to apply to the relevant funding authority for the nation they normally live in:

Application

Applying online through Student Finance is the quickest way to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan, a Maintenance Loan and any of the additional support available.

Apply online for Student Finance

If you are a home student you will be able to complete an application form online and manage your Student Finance account. Partners and parents can also register their details which will allow them to support any application as necessary. If you are an EU student you will need complete a paper form.  

Download forms for EU students

You will need to make a new application for each year you are studying in higher education.

Interest Rates

Interest starts to accrue on your Student Finance Loans from the time you receive your first payment. The interest rate varies between RPI and RPI+3% depending on your circumstances.  

Find out more about interest on Student Finance loans

Repayment

You will begin repayment from the April following your graduation and when your income is over £25,000 per year.

You repay 9% of your income over £25,000 each year. For someone earning £30,000 per year this works out at £37 per month in repayments. Repayments are taken directly out of your salary at the same time as tax and National Insurance.

Find out more about making repayments

Interrupting

If you decide to interrupt your studies, your Faculty will inform Student Finance and your funding will be paused from your ‘Last date of attendance’. Before you return you must apply to Student Finance for support for the coming academic year. When you return, UCL will inform Student Finance and your loan payments will start again.

Find out more about interrupting your studies

EEA and Swiss Migrant Workers and Family

Students from the EEA (EU countries plus Norway, Iceland and Lichenstein) and their family may be entitled to a Maintenance Loan and supplementary grants to help with living costs. To be eligible you must meet all of the following critiera:

  • you must be an EEA national (non-UK) or a Swiss national and resident in the UK as a worker (this includes employment or self-employment), or the relevant family member (spouse/civil partner/child/other relevant family member) of such a worker;
  • you must be ordinarily resident in England on 1st September of the year in which you start your course, (unless you are an EEA or Swiss frontier worker or their relevant family member); and
  • you must be ordinarily resident in the UK or elsewhere in the EEA and/or Switzerland for the three years immediately before the 1st September of the year in which you start your course (you can ignore any short absences, such as holidays).

To find out how to apply you should contact the EEA citizens working in the UK team at Student Finance.  


Bursaries

UCL Undergraduate Bursary

The UCL Undergraduate Bursary provides support to UK/EU undergraduates with a household income below £42,875.The Bursary is given in each year of undergraduate study, provided the household income remains below £42,875

You do not have to repay the UCL Undergraduate Bursary.

How to apply

UK Students who apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan from their funding body will submit their household income as part of the application. Provided that you opt to share this data with the university, UCL will then automatically asses you for the bursary so you don't need to make a separate application.

EU students contact studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk for information on how to apply.

Payment

Payments are made in three termly instalments directly in to your bank account. The exact dates will be confirmed in a letter sent to you in September.

Find out more about the Undergraduate Bursary

 

Estranged Student Bursary

UCL offers a £1,000 per-year bursary for UK undergraduate students who can demonstrate they meet the definition of estrangement from their family.

Successful bursary candidates can request an advance payment of £100 to help with their transition costs in first year.

Prospective students can apply via Portico. Current students should contact studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk with evidence of their estrangement to apply.

More information on support for estranged students at UCL can be found on the Student Support and Wellbeing website.

 

Care Leaver Bursary

UCL offers a £1,000 per-year bursary for UK undergraduate students who live or have lived in care.

Prospective students can apply via Portico. Current students should contact studentfunding@ucl.ac.uk with evidence that they live or have lived in care.

More information on support for care leaver students at UCL can be found on the Student Support and Wellbeing website.


Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships available to undergraduate students. You can use the scholarships finder to search for awards that you might be eligible for. Your academic department may also be able to provide you with more information about funding.

Use the scholarships finder


Disabled Students’ Allowances

You can apply for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) to cover some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

You can get the allowances on top of your other student finance. You won’t need to repay DSAs.

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing provide information around DSAs and other support available for disabled students at UCL.  

Disabled students who are not awarded a Disabled Students’ Allowance may be eligible for a Student Health Association Bursary


Benefits

As a student, it is unlikely you will be able to claim benefits unless you have a disability or have children.

The charity Turn2Us have guides on what benefits students may be eligible for. 

If you are experiencing problems with your benefits, contact the Student's Union UCL Advice Service.

Council Tax

Full-time students do not need to pay council tax


Other sources of funding

Talk to your department about any programme or subject specific funding that may be available.

Students on the MPharm programme who are in or entering their final year may be able to receive financial support from Pharmacist Support either in the form of a hardship fund or their National Student Bursary Scheme. The charity also has a Finding Funding fact sheet that lists other funding opportunities for Pharmacy students.

The Armed Forces Bereavement Scholarship Scheme provides the children of people who have died in service of their country with scholarships for university.

The government has been looking in to the possibility of an alternative Sharia-compliant funding system which would be available alongside traditional student loans. However at present this system is not yet in place.

The Anglo-Jewish Association provides means-tested grants to assist Jewish students (who are British Citizens) with the costs of further education.

Online aggregators like Scholarship Search contain information on a variety of external schemes.
If you have specific circumstances or ethnic or religious background it is worth searching for scholarships, bursaries and grants that relate to those things. Some schemes are very specific. Also try subject specific searches.

Turn2Us Grants Search database contains information on over 3,000 charitable funds offering welfare and educational grants, as well as other support and services. 

The following directories (found at the university Careers Service, local library or council) contain information on grants that are available for students:

  • Charities Digest
  • The Directory of Grant-Making Trusts (Directory of Social Change)
  • The Grants Register: the Complete Guide to Postgraduate Funding Worldwide (Palgrave Macmillan Ltd)
  • The Educations Grants Directory (Directory of Social Change)

International students

You can find out about:

Scholarships

There are a number of scholarships available to undergraduate international students. You can use the scholarships finder to search for awards that you might be eligible for. Your academic department will also be able to provide you with more information about funding.

Use the scholarships finder 


US Loans

UCL participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loans). This is the main U.S. Federal funding available to American students in the UK. 

The processing of loans at schools outside the US is different to that when applying to a school inside the US. Students applying to Direct Loans for study at UCL should follow the instructions carefully as we will not be able to administer your loan unless you submit that application to the Student Funding Office as outlined in the guidance.

Find out more about US Loans


Canadian Loans

Students from Canada may be able to apply for Canada Student Loans and provincial or territorial student assistance. 

Find out more about Canadian Loans


UCL Fund for Disabled International Students

UCL recognises that disabled students may have to incur additional costs in order to pursue their studies. Because of this, the UCL Fund for Disabled International Students has been established.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be enrolled at UCL
  • be able to show that you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental health difficulty or specific learning difficulty (e.g. dyslexia) that affects your study such that you will incur extra costs

To apply, contact Student Support and Wellbeing.


Other sources of funding

Talk to your department about any programme or subject specific funding that may be available.

Online aggregators like Scholarship Search and International Financial Aid and College Scholarship Search contain information on a variety of external schemes.

If you have specific circumstances or ethnic or religious background it is worth searching for scholarships, bursaries and grants that relate to those things. Some schemes are very specific.

Find out more about funding for EU and international students

The charity Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has a hardship fund for international students from developing countries who are facing financial hardship in the final stages of their course.