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Money to learn for full-time higher education courses

Uni. even with higher fees!

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It is true that students studying a higher education course now have to pay fees between £6,000 up to £9,000 a year - but you don't have to pay upfront and you only pay back when you are earning more than £21,000 a year.

So, don't dismiss the idea of HE. Find out the facts and you will see that it is more affordable that you might think.

Benefits of higher education

Think first about the benefits of doing a higher education level course (e.g degree, Foundation Degree, HNC/HND, Higher Apprenticeship):

  • Employers really want people with graduate level skills,
  • You will meet a range of people who will become both friends and contacts for the future.
  • You are likely to earn more than those without a degree.
  • Etc.

Read more about the benefits here.

Costs of higher edcuation include both tuition and living costs.

Tuition Costs and financial support:

The tuition fees will be decided by the institution offering the course.

Look at an institution's website to see what they plan to charge. Click here to see institutions in the Sheffield area.

The Open University which offers part-time distance learning degrees, will be charging £5124 for credits equivalent to one year at a university. Find out more.

The government will lend you the money for the tuition fees and you won't have to pay anything back until you are earning more than £21,000. If you never earn more than that you NEVER pay the loan back!

Stories in the press and worries about leaving uni with huge debts have made some young people think twice about uni but really the loan repayments are manageable.

For example.

  • If you are earning £22,000 you will pay back £90 a year which is £7.50 a month - less than a cinema ticket!
  • If you are earning £25,000 you will pay back £30 a month - that's about the same as a mobile phone contract!

Your loan repayments will be automatically deducted from your earnings the same way as income tax.

It will still be possible to pay university fees upfront in order to avoid accruing any debt. If you choose to take out a loan you can choose to pay back all or some of the loan at any time without an early repayment charge.

Find out more about student finance and loans from gov.uk or more student friendly information can be found in the Student Room.

See resources from Student Finance England on loans and paying back:

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Fact sheets

Living Costs and financial support:

You can also apply for a loan to cover some of your living costs, like rent, bills and food.

There are also other sorts of financial support available - which you do not have to pay back.

  • Maintenance Grant for living costs - which is based on your household income e.g if you household income is under £25,000 you will be entitled to a grant of £3,387
  • Bursaries scholarships and awards - If you are from a lower income family (less than £25k a year) you may get help through the National Scholarship Programme (NSP) but be aware there are some changes to the NSP for 2014-15. Some universities may offer a reduction in tuition fees or possibly a free year on some courses or a bursary which is a non-repayable grant. Each university will decide what support they’ll offer so you’ll need to check to see what your chosen university is offering and whether you’re eligible.

Find out more about student finance and loans from gov.uk or more student friendly information can be found in the Student Room.

View a Student Calculator to check your eligibility for loans and grants and to work out your possible income against your possible spending.

Use the Open University's Eligibility Checker which can be used to indicate whether you may be eligible for any financial assistance.

Read more about the new funding arrangements and the available support.

Getting help sorting out the funding

When planning to study it is important to understand the costs and know your sources of income. You will then need to plan your budget so that you can manage financially throughout your study.

It is worth bearing in mind that a full-time higher education course will not necessarily involve spending 5 days a week at a college or university so you might be able to work as well as study. Check what the attendance requirements are for your chosen course.

You do need to know that to qualify for full-time funding support you will need to make sure your intended course has full time course status, check this with the institution.

Although financing a full-time course can seem complicated many colleges and universities have a Student Services Centre. They are a good source of information for people making enquiries about the financial support available.