Student finance explained for parents

Student Finance Explained for parents

While at university or college your child will have two main costs - tuition fees and living costs. They can apply for student finance to help with both.

What’s available?

Students can get a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250 to cover the fees charged by their uni or college, and a Maintenance Loan to help towards their living costs such as rent and bills. If they're starting an Accelerated Degree course, they can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £11,100. These have to be paid back, but not while they’re studying.

There are also grants for students who have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. These don’t usually have to be paid back.

Repaying a student loan

Your child will need to repay any loan they borrow, but not until after they’ve finished or left their course.

Interest will be charged on the loan from the day we make their first student finance payment until the loan is repaid in full or cancelled. The interest rate is based on the UK Retail Price Index (RPI) and will vary depending on their circumstances.

How much they repay each month depends on their income, not how much they borrowed. They’ll repay 9% of their income over the repayment threshold. If their income drops below the threshold, all repayments will stop automatically.

For more information about repayment, visit

Key facts

It’s important to note that a students’ Maintenance Loan may not be enough to cover all of their living costs. In this case, students are expected to make up the difference between the Maintenance Loan amount available to them and their total living costs. As a parent, you can provide financial support to the student, but there are several other sources of financial support such as the student getting part-time employment, using savings and receiving university bursaries or scholarships.

For guidance on how to support a student’s application check out our dedicated page.

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