Availability of Student Grants

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.

What Are Grants?

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.

Maintenance Grants

English Students

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 student2016 to 20172017 to 2018
Living at homeUp to £6,904Up to £7,097
Living away from home, outside LondonUp to £8,200Up to £8,430
Living away from home, in LondonUp to £10,702Up to £11,002
You spend a year of a UK course studying abroadUp to £9,391Up to £9,654

Source: .Gov Student Finance

Scottish Students

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.

Welsh Students

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.

Northern Ireland

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.

Other Grants

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.

  • Travel grants for studying overseas (more information).
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA).
  • Dependants' grants to cover such costs as childcare.
  • Parents' Learning Allowance (Lone Parent's Grant in Scotland) of up to £1,500 per year for students who have dependent children.
  • Adult Dependants' Grant of up to £2,834 per year another adult relies on you financially.
  • Special support grants are instead of a maintenance grant (if you qualify). The difference is that this doesn't reduce the main loan available nor affect any benefits you're already claiming.

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.