Lots of students from overseas choose to study in the UK. If you are an EU national, or the family member of an EU national, and are studying at a university or college in England you might be able to get student finance to help pay for your tuition fees. If you are from outside the EU you will not normally be able to get student finance from us.
Can I apply?
To get a Tuition Fee Loan you must:
- be an EU national, or the family member of an EU national
- have lived in the EEA or Switzerland for three years or more before the start of your course, and
- be studying on a course that qualifies for student finance
How do I know if I am on a course that qualifies for student finance?
Your university or college, and course both need to qualify for student finance.
To qualify for student finance your course must be at a university or college in England that gets public funding. Some private universities or colleges will offer courses that are specifically designated, meaning you could get funding if you are on one of those courses. You should ask your university or college if your course qualifies for funding. Some groups of schools taking part in the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) will also qualify for funding.
Your course must lead to one of the following qualifications:
- Degree (such as a BA, BSc or BEd)
- Foundation Degree
- Diploma of Higher Education (DipEd)
- Higher National Diploma (HND)
- Higher National Certificate (HNC)
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
- Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
- Certificate of Higher Education
- Integrated Masters
How much can I get?
If you and your course qualify you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 if you are studying at a publicly funded university or college.
If you are studying at a private university or college you can get a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £6,000. Your university or college might charge more than this, you will have to arrange with them to pay the difference if they are.
How is my Tuition Fee Loan paid?
We will pay your Tuition Fee Loan straight to the university or college in three instalments once they have told us you are registered on your course.
Do I have to pay it back?
Yes, but not until you have finished or left your course and your income is over £21,000 a year. If you choose to live outside the UK after your course the threshold for repayment might be different.
How do I apply?
You will fill in a paper application form and send it to us at the following address:
Student Finance Services
Student Loans Company
PO Box 89
If you are planning on starting university or college in September 2016, the application form will be available from spring 2016. You should apply as early as possible to make sure your Tuition Fee Loan is ready for the start of your course. This means you might be applying before you have a confirmed place, but you can change your course details later if you accept a place on a different course.
Can I apply for help with my living costs?
EU students can normally only get help to pay for their tuition fees. However, in some circumstances you might be able to apply for help with your living costs in the same way as a UK national.
Have you been living in the UK for five or more years?
If you have been living in the UK for five or more years before the start of your course and your main reason for moving to the UK was not to receive full-time education you can apply as if you were a UK national.
Are you an EEA or Swiss migrant worker?
You might be able to apply for additional student finance as a migrant worker if you, or a family member, are working in the UK and are a national of an EEA country or Switzerland. You have to be living in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course and have been living in the EEA or Switzerland for at least three years before the start of your course.
Are you the child of a Swiss national?
You might be able to apply for additional student finance if you are the child of a Swiss national. Your Swiss national parent will be asked to provide evidence that they are living in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course.
Are you the child of a Turkish Worker?
You might be able to apply for additional student finance if you are the child of a Turkish national who usually lives and works in the UK. You have to be living in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course and have been living in the EEA, Switzerland or Turkey for at least three years before the start of your course.
Where can I get more information?
The international office at your university or college will be able to help you with general questions about coming to the UK to continue your education. They will be used to working with students from all over the world.
You can contact Student Finance Services if you need help with your application or working out what you can apply for. Their phone number is (+44) (0) 141 243 3570 and the office is open from 9:00 to 17:30 GMT from Monday to Friday.
If you are studying in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland the support you can get might be different. For more information if you are: