Current Year Income assessment

If you’re applying for student finance this year, we normally use your household income from the 2018-19 tax year to work out how much student finance you can get. However, we understand your household income might have changed significantly since then, for example because of the coronavirus outbreak, or if your parent or partner has retired or got a different job.

If your household income is expected to drop by 15% or more compared to the 2018-19 tax year, your parents or partner can ask us to work out how much student finance you can get based on their estimated income for the current 2020-21 tax year instead.

Household income means the income of your parents or partner.

This information is for students. We also have information for parents and partners.

Who can apply

A current year income assessment means you could get more student finance, but it’s not right for everyone. At the end of the tax year, we’ll ask your parents or partner for evidence of their income to check if the estimates were right. If they were wrong, you’ll probably have been paid too much student finance and will need to pay some of it back.

Your parents or partner should check to see if they can apply and whether it’s right for them. They can apply for a current year income assessment before or during the academic year.

If your household income was less than £25,000, you’ll already have been assessed for the maximum amount of funding, so there’s no need to ask for a current year income assessment.

But you might still be able to ask us for one if:

  • you need it to get more bursary or scholarship from your university or college
  • you have children or an adult who depends on you financially

This is because the household income threshold for bursaries and Dependants’ Grants can be lower than other types of student finance. You should check with your university or college before asking us for a current year income assessment.

Keeping their household income estimates up to date

Once they’ve applied, we’ll ask your parents or partner to provide updated estimates of their household income throughout the year. If there are changes to this, your student finance payments could change too.

When they provide their estimates, your payments might go up, but they might also go down. If your student finance changes in any way we’ll send you a new entitlement letter with the updated amount.

At the end of the tax year

We’ll send your parents or partner a form and ask them to send us evidence of their actual household income for the tax year 2020-21.

Once they’ve sent us this, we’ll be able to check if the amount we gave you was correct. If their estiamted household income is different to their actual household income and:

  • you got too much student finance, then you’ll be asked to pay it back as soon as possible.
  • you didn’t get enough student finance, then we’ll pay anything extra to you as soon as possible.

If they don’t confirm their actual household income when we ask them to, we’ll reduce your student finance and you’ll be asked to pay some of it back.

If you’re going back to university or college next year

We’ll be able to use the information your parents or partner gave us again. We’ll ask their permission to do this at the end of the tax year.