Your student finance questions, answered.
How much student loan can I get?
Everyone from the UK, regardless of household income, is entitled to the full tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 per year.
Living cost support (maintenance loan) is dependent on how high your household income is, and where you study. If you want to calculate your entitlement, please visit the Student Finance calculator .
Keep in mind that UK students are always entitled to something and then the rest is calculated on a sliding scale.
How many years can I be funded for?
You are funded for the length of your initial degree, plus one year. As an example, if you initially choose to do a 3-year course, but then change to a four-year course, that is fine as you can use the extra year. If you had to then resit a year that would be unfunded as you have already used your extra year. If you choose a 4-year course, and then shorten to a 3-year course, that would not affect the funding available. You can only receive the student loan if you do not already have a degree (there are exceptions to this for some health courses e.g Medicine).
How do you apply for Student Finance?
Student finance applications are completed online or by post through gov.uk/student-finance. Make sure you keep those login details safe!
When do you have to apply for a student loan?
You must always apply in the spring of the year you are going to university. Unlike university places, you cannot defer your student loan, so if you have deferred your university place, you will need to apply for student finance in your gap year. The application form is usually open from March onwards. Apply early and don’t miss the deadlines! The end of May is the cut off for the loan instalment to be paid on time in the first week of term. Although you can still apply after this date, you may find your payments severely delayed.
What are the fees for a year abroad or a year in industry?
Home students spending the year abroad or a year in Industry on the £9,250 fee rate for 2020/21 entry will be charged a reduced tuition fee of £1,385 (15% of £9,250). The tuition fee loan from student finance can cover this.
How do I get paid my loan?
The maintenance loan is paid directly into your bank account on the first day of each semester. You can update these bank details online with Student Finance England. You may need to keep in mind that you may need some money for the first day or two at university in their first year, as your loan will only arrive after you register.
The Tuition Fee loan is paid in instalments directly to the University from student finance, with 25% at the start of both the Autumn and Spring semester, then the remaining 50% in the Summer term.
Is there a penalty for paying off student loans early after graduation?
No, but think carefully before paying off a student loan. Unless you have no other debts (and even then sometimes if you do) it’s usually best to keep the money you would have used to pay off your student loan and use it for something else, more information is available on the Money Saving Expert website.
What is the interest on student loans and when does it start?
It starts as soon as you receive your first instalment of your Living Cost loan, or your first tuition fee payment reaches the University. While studying, the interest is charged at Retail Prices Index (RPI) + 3%. After graduation, students will pay a variable rate based on their salary, capped at RPI+3% when earning over £47,835. There is a further explanation of interest rates on the Student Loans Company website.
How much do you repay and when?
Repayments are taken from the April after you graduate if and when you are earning more than £26,575. You pay back 9% of anything you earn above £26,575 per year.
Are repayments taken before or after NI and Income Tax?
At the same time. So it is not a tax benefit but the repayment amount is based on Gross income.
What happens to my loan repayments if I lose my job or stop working?
If your salary falls below £26,575 a year your repayments will automatically stop. If you take a career break, go on maternity leave or are unemployed your repayments will be suspended until you are earning over the £26,575 threshold. However, interest on the loan will continue to be applied even if your repayments are suspended.
What happens to my loan repayments if I move abroad?
You will need to let student finance know and then your repayments will be the same as you would pay in the UK. So when you're abroad you'll pay 9% of whatever you earn over the equivalent repayment threshold for that country but converted into the equivalent amount of money for the country you're living in.
What is a university scholarship?
A scholarship usually rewards a student for an academic, musical or sporting achievement. They can be available as extra financial help or as support, e.g our sports scholars may benefit from gym membership and nutritional advice as well as financial support.
What is a university bursary?
Bursaries are offered to support students based on household income or social factors.
When and how do you apply for UEA scholarships and bursaries?
Some university wide bursaries are automatic and there is no need to apply (consent to SFE sharing your income assessment with partner universities and you’ll can be assessed by both at once). Scholarships usually need you to apply via a short application form by mid-March (deadlines may vary depending on scholarship). Take a look at our Scholarship Finder for full information.
How many scholarships are available each year?
Bright Sparks Scholarships (EPQ or extended essay scholarships) and bursaries are unlimited. We also have competitive music, sport and subject-specific scholarships.
How do I apply for a UEA bursary?
Students do not need to formally apply for bursary support, all UK students are automatically considered using household income information received from Student Finance England. Our bursary criteria for 2021-22 entry can be found in Bursaries.
Can students get both a bursary and scholarship or only one?
Both. Though there are limits on which scholarships may be combined with each other. Bursaries are separate to this.
Are assessments of household income based on net or gross income?
Gross. (Pre-tax household income from the last full financial tax year – unless there has been a 15%+ fluctuation)
What happens if your household income changes during the degree?
If it goes down by 15% or more students can be reassessed for their support. Tell the Student Loans Company. Technically you should tell them if it goes up, too.
Are there any allowances for if you have two children starting higher education or currently in higher education?
Yes. The support is two-fold.
A deduction from your income will be made of £1130 for each child who is dependent on your income, either as a student or below the age of 18.
If you earn over £42,875, the Student Loans Company define an "assessed contribution" (an amount they expect you to pay to support your child), which is divided by the number of children in HE at the same time. This is then subtracted from the total living cost loan amount available.
Does the maintenance loan cover the accommodation payments?
The amount of maintenance loan you get will depend on two factors - your household income and where you live and study whilst you are at University. You can use the student finance calculator to calculate how much maintenance loan support you will receive from Student Finance England. The loan may or may not cover your accommodation costs depending on these factors. At UEA we have a number of accommodation options for different budgets, including en-suite, shared bathroom and twin rooms.
If a student’s parent/s need to contact University regarding finance issues how do we give the University our permission for this, do parents have their own access customer number?
Students can email us at email@example.com and if they wish to give consent for a parent/s to talk to us then we can note that on their record. We would generally encourage Students to visit us in the office once they arrive at University.
Who do I contact for more information?
You can contact Student Finance England on 0300 100 0607
Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 17:30 , Saturday and Sunday – closed