Understanding student finance for Undergraduates Understanding student finance for Undergraduates

If you are planning on going to university, the cost of studying can feel like a daunting prospect. However, it doesn't need to be and to help you feel more confident we've created this guide, where you can find information on:  

Understanding basic tuition fees

UEA will be charging UK and EU students £9,250 per year for undergraduate courses starting in 2018. There is a Tuition Fee Loan available for eligible UK (Home) and EU students. Year abroad and year in industry courses have a lower fee.

For full information about UEA's Tuition Fees for each course, please refer to our Information about Tuition Fees and Charges. Here you will find the most up to date information about Tuition Fees, and be able to complete a Fee Status form to help determine which category of fee you should pay if you are unsure about your eligibility for Home, EU or International status.

Notice on Annual Fee Increases

Please note that tuition fees increase annually for all students (UK/EU undergraduate fees, whose rates are regulated by the UK government, will be amended in line with any alteration advised by the UK government). The fee increase will be limited to 4% or the % increase of the UK Government regulated fee

Tuition Fee Loan

Full time UK and EU students can obtain a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the cost of their course. The fee is paid directly to the university on your behalf and is administered by Student Finance England. You can borrow the full fee, part of the fee or none of the fee during each year of your study. Any student studying for their first undergraduate degree, from the UK or EU is eligible for a tuition fee loan.

You start paying back the Loan once you have finished studying and are earning over £25,000 a year. For more information see repaying your loan.

What is a living cost loan?

Living Cost Loans, also referred to as a Student Loan or Maintenance Loan, are available from Student Finance England. The Loan is usually paid in three instalments, one at the start of each term, directly into your bank account. The loan is designed to help with living costs such as course materials, accommodation, food and entertainment. Any UK student studying for their first degree is eligible for support with living costs while at university.

How much you borrow depends on your household income* and where you live whilst you study. The table below gives an indication of maximum annual loan amounts for 2017 entry, based on the information available at the time of publishing. 

  Maximum annual Loan Eligible for benefits
Living away from home and studying in London £11,672 £12,729
Living away from home and studying outside London £8,944 £10,194
If you live at your parent's home £7,529 £7,882
Studying overseas as part of course £10,242 £11,401

* Your 'household income' means either your income if you are an independent student or your parent's income if you are a dependent student.

For more information about what counts toward your household income please visit www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance/household-income or use the Student Finance Calculator at www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator.

Living Cost Loans are paid back once you have finished studying and are earning over £25,000 a year. To find out more information about repayments, please visit the Repaying your Loan section.

In addition to the Living Cost Loans available from Student Finance England, the University has a wide range of Scholarships and Bursaries.

Repaying your student loan

You only become liable to repay your Tuition Fee and Living Cost Loans once you have graduated and are earning over £25,000 a year. Repayments will start in the April after you graduate (providing you are earning over the threshold amount). If you have taken both Loans out these will be combined and you will make one repayment.

The Student Loans Company will advise HM Revenue and Customs (formerly the Inland Revenue) when your Loan is liable for repayment. They will then instruct your employer to deduct repayments from your gross income at a rate of 9% of any income earned in excess of £25,000 a year.

Interest rates

Interest on your loan will be applied at inflation (RPI - Retail Price Index) plus 3% whilst you are studying, and up until the April after you leave university. From the April after you graduate, interest will depend on earnings, as below.

Salary less than £25,000 RPI
Salary between £25,000 and £41,000 Between the RPI and RPI plus 3%
Salary over £41,000 RPI plus 3%

Please see our FAQ section for further details on how repayments work.

Applying for your student loan

You can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and Living Cost Loan online through Student Finance England. The online application is designed so you only see the sections that are relevant to you and that you need to fill in. You do not need to complete it all in one go, you can save it and log back in as many times as you like. You don't have to wait until you've accepted a place on a course to apply for student finance. If you haven't accepted a place yet, create your student finance account and apply using your first choice of course. You can easily change your course or university details online later.

Applications can be made in the Spring of the year you will start your course. There is a deadline to submit your application, please check the Student Finance England website for the most up-to-date deadline information. We recommend you apply as early as possible to ensure your application is processed and approved so you are paid on time.

For more information on how to apply through Student Finance England please visit https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance.

Student loan calculator

Student Finance England provide an online calculator which allows you to work out how much you could receive and help you to compare your living costs at various universities. The calculator can be found at www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator.

What options are available for mature and independent students?

To be classed as an independent student in the UK you need to fall into one or more of the following categories: aged 25 or over at the start of the academic year; be married before the start of the academic year; or have supported yourself for at least three years before the start of the academic year.

Loans for fees and living costs are available. If a student already holds a degree, they are generally not eligible for Government support (unless studying Medicine). If you are an independent student and married or living with partner, your partner's income will be assessed alongside your own.

  Maximum annual Loan
Aged 60 or over on first day of first academic year of their course £3,783


Additional support for students in special circumstances

Additional financial help is available for students in particular circumstances:

Childcare grants for students

A Childcare Grant is available for full-time higher education students who have dependent children in registered or approved childcare. The maximum childcare grant payable in 2019/20, which covers 85% of actual childcare costs up to a specified limit, will be increased to £169.31 per week for one child only and £290.27 per week for two or more children. The Grant is income assessed and does not have to be repaid.

Adult dependants' grant

If you have a husband, wife or partner who depends on you financially you could be eligible. How much you get depends on your income and that of your dependants. The maximum adult dependents' grant will be £3,007 as of 2019/20.

Parents' learning allowance

If you are a parent studying on a full-time course you may also be entitled to the Parents' Learning Allowance to help with course-related costs. The Allowance is income assessed and does not have to be repaid. The maximum parents’ learning allowance payable in 2019/20 will be increased to £1,716.

Students with disabilities

If you have a disability which causes you to have extra costs when attending your course you could be entitled to a Disabled Students' Allowance. Any allowance you're entitled to won't have to be paid back, and can be applied for at any time before or during your course.

For a full-time course: £22,603 for a non-medical personal helper, £5,684 for major items of specialist equipment and £1,899 for other disability related expenditure.

For a part-time course: £16,951 for a non-medical personal helper, £5,684 for major items of specialist equipment and £1,424 for other disability related expenditure.

To apply for the disabled students allowance please complete form DSA1. This form is also available through Student Finance England, along with guidance on completing the form.

For more information on any of the above please visit Student Finance England.

Part time students

Students starting a part-time undergraduate course at the University of East Anglia from 2016 will be subject to the fee rate on a pro-rata basis. Part-time students will be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to cover the cost of their course fees. 

For more information on part-time funding please visit Student Finance England.