The Financial Benefits Home Students in Higher Education Can Access

by Charles Nwabueze
Reading Time: 5 minutes


Reading Time: 5 min

It is generally accepted that studying in the UK can be an expensive affair for home/domiciled students. Amongst other factors, the major factor flows from a governmental decision in 2017 that allowed British universities to charge home students tuition fees up to £9,250. With this in place, a home student may find that by the end of their journey through university they may have spent up to 50,000 pounds or more on tuition and expenses.

So what can home students do to combat these high costs? It is wise for them to take part in all the financial benefits that the government provides. In this article, we will explore the major income-related benefits that home students may be eligible for during their time at uni. 

The way the UK is structured home students may be able to borrow money to help pay for university or college tuition fees and to help with living costs. Additionally, they might get extra money on top of this, for example, if they’re on a low income, are disabled or have children.

We’ll now look at some of the benefits

Student Finance 

This is the one that the majority of the students will access. This allows home students to borrow money to help pay for university or college tuition fees and to help with living costs. This loan is run by Student Loans Company on behalf of the UK Government. They provide financial support to students entering higher education in the UK. Student Finance can be gotten for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. This loan is split into two: tuition fees and maintenance fees.

Your tuition fee loan is paid directly to the University to help pay your tuition fees while the maintenance loan is paid to you and helps towards your living costs, such as food, rent and books. The amount you can borrow depends on your household income, your course and where you live and study. Undergraduate applications are either submitted online or via a form. However, all postgraduate applications are completed online.

Student finance is also open to those with the status of ‘migrant workers. 

Universal Credit

Next on our list is Universal Credit, and this is a monthly payment to help students with their living costs. Students who are on a low income or out of work may be able to get it. This payment is also geared toward students studying part-time; they would be allowed to get Universal Credit as long as they meet the work-related requirements that apply to them. 

Students who are studying full time are usually not allowed to get it unless certain exceptions apply:

  • The student is 21 or under, in full-time ‘non-advanced education (for example, studying for A levels or a BTEC National Diploma), and you don’t have parental support (for example, you don’t have parents and you’re not under local-authority care)
  • The student is responsible for a child 
  • The student is part of a couple and their partner is eligible for Universal Credit
  • You are part of a couple who is responsible for at least one child, and one (or both) of you is a student
  • You are single
  • The student has reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit  or, in joint claims where the partner is under that age
  • The student is disabled, and has been assessed as having limited capability for work (LCW) before they started their course and they get: Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Payment in Scotland, Attendance Allowance and Armed Forces Independence Payment

Special Support Loan or Grant

You may get a Special Support Loan or Grant if you get or qualify for:

  • Income Support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • the housing element of Universal Credit
  • You may get the Special Support Loan or Grant if, for example, you’re a lone parent or have certain disabilities.

You’ll be told if you can get the Loan or Grant when you apply for student finance.

Childcare Grant

The childcare grant which is a non-repayable grant is open for students who are studying full-time at uni or college and have children under 15, or under 17 if they have special educational needs. This grant helps these students out with their childcare costs if you. 

You must be eligible for student finance to apply for a Childcare Grant.

Parents’ Learning Allowance

This allowance is also geared towards full-time students with children. The amount that a qualifying applicant will get depends on their household income. The allowance is non-repayable, is paid on top of their other student finance and will not affect their benefits or tax credit. You can get from 50 quid to close to 2000 pounds in a year.

Adult Dependants’ Grant

For the 2022/2023 academic year, the government is offering a non-repayable grant of £3,263 – the maximum amount – to full-time students in higher education who have an adult financially depending on them. 

Disabled Students’ Allowance

Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) is a non-repayable support given by the government to cover the study-related costs students incur because of a mental health problem, long-term illness or any other disability. This support can be on its own or in addition to any student finance already given.

For the 2022/2023 academic year, undergraduate and postgraduate students can get up to £25,575 a year for support.

This support can help students to pay for extra travel to attend their course or placement because of their disability, and other disability-related study support. For example, printing additional copies of documents for proofreading.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

For those studying full-time, you may be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance during the summer holiday if:

  • you’re a lone parent
  • you are attending a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) related course or scheme for a limited period 
  • you have a partner who is also a full-time student, and one or both of you is responsible for a child or young person
  • you also need to be available for and actively seeking work
  • you have sufficient National Insurance Contributions

Part-time students are also allowed to claim this allowance if they have been:

  • Out of work or working less than 16 hours a week on average
  • capable of working
  • Available for work
  • Actively seeking work
  • Below retirement age
  • Have sufficient National Insurance Contributions
  • Be aged 18 or over. You must be willing to go to a job interview, even if you have to take time off from your course. You should also be prepared to rearrange your hours of study to fit around a job.

University and College Hardship Funds

You could get extra money to pay for your uni or college from university or college if you’re experiencing financial hardship. For example, if you’re a student with children, especially a single parent. Furthermore, if you’re from a low-income family, disabled, homeless, a student previously in care or a mature student with existing financial commitments you can qualify for this fund. The amount will be solely decided upon by the uni or college.

This help is usually known as extra help and it could be paid in a lump sum or instalments. It may also be non-repayable or repayable depending on the uni.

Accessing Benefits and Financial Support for Students

To access student benefits will depend on the particular requirements of the benefit and your circumstances, such as your income and savings you may have. If you are confused as to what benefits are available to you, you could always ask your student adviser or local Jobs and Benefits office.

Finally, as a result of the financial related benefits provided by the government and other bodies, it can be said that those concerned with running the UK educational system are very much interested in making sure that costs of studying for home students and others who qualify are brought low. Don’t forget that bursaries are also available! 


Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)
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