Grants are available to a wide range of students and claimed from your regional based finance institution. You'll need to check with your own institution to see what's available to you. The main scheme in the UK is the NHS student bursary scheme, but universities offer bursaries also.
A grant is a non-repayable financial support cash amount you receive as a student generally provided to new students on lower incomes. The smaller the income, the higher the grant awarded.
The amount is usually paid directly to the university, and you have to formally apply to get the award. Student grants usually serve as top-up fees towards tuition fees or living expenses. Therefore, there are two main grant schemes the maintenance grant and the tuition fee grant and get paid at the beginning of each academic year.
Unfortunately, those of you that are resident in England wishing to study anywhere in the UK get the worst deal.
From 2006 to 2016 the UK Government introduced maintenance grants to help with living expenses of up to £2,835 per year to new full-time undergraduate students from lower income households. The grant was available to English and Welsh students with no requirement for repayment.
Since 1st August 2016, the grant became a loan. These maintenance loans are in addition to the standard loan for tuition fees.
|Full-time student||2016 to 2017||2017 to 2018|
|Living at home||Up to £6,904||Up to £7,097|
|Living away from home, outside London||Up to £8,200||Up to £8,430|
|Living away from home, in London||Up to £10,702||Up to £11,002|
|You spend a year of a UK course studying abroad||Up to £9,391||Up to £9,654|
Source: .Gov Student Finance
Those students resident and studying in Scotland pay no tuitions fees at all. If you choose to study outside of the Scottish borders, then you pay the same as English students.
There is a little additional help available. For example, if your household income is below £18,999, then you could claim the Young Students' Bursary of a maximum £1,875 to help pay maintenance costs. The amount reduces as the income increases.
Live in Wales and want to study there? Well, there's help for you too!
There's a fee grant of £4,954 available from the government paid directly to your university. If your course is more than that, you'll have to make up the difference.
There's also a Welsh Government Learning Grant of up to £5,161 to help pay living costs.
You could receive a maintenance grant of up to £3,475 if you qualify on a low household income. The maximum grant available is for incomes of less than £19,203 per year.
Unfortunately for 2017 and beyond, there are no additional grant schemes available for tuition fees or living expenses.
As grants are in limited supply, you may be better off looking at bursaries that get awarded.
Most of the above are means-tested, and if you're already in receipt of some form of payment that these services cover, you may not receive anything.
If you qualify for any of the above grants you need to apply online at the government website.
Previous NHS grants are also now bursaries.
Hardship funds is a form of cash for emergency use only. Most university finance departments allow some students access to these funds but you should not budget for this cash as it's only for those in dire circumstances.