Support for Higher Education Students

If you are applying for a Higher Education (HE) course you can access financial support from the government through Student Finance England. The main sources of help include grants and bursaries, which you don’t have to pay back, and loans which you do.

Student Loans

The following student loans are available for HE courses:

  • a Tuition Fee Loan for full-time students
  • a Tuition Fee Loan for eligible part-time students for the first time
  • a Maintenance Loan to pay living costs for full-time students only

Tuition Fee Loans

The Tuition Fee Loan covers the fees you’re charged each year of your course and paid directly to the college. To be eligible as a part-time student, you course needs to be at least 25 per cent of an equivalent full-time course each year (e.g. four years instead of one year full time).

For more information about the amount you can borrow, and interest and repayment rates, visit

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)

What are DSAs?
DSAs are grants to help meet the extra higher education course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, ongoing health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty like dyslexia. They help disabled people to study in higher education on an equal basis with other students. They are paid on top of the standard student finance package and don’t have to be paid back. The amount you get depends on the type of extra help you need - not on your household income.

What can DSAs be used for?
They can help pay for:

  • Specialist equipment you need for studying - for example, computer software,
  • Non-medical helpers such as a note-taker, reader or specialist dyslexia support helper
  • Extra travel costs you have to pay because of your disability
  • Other costs - for example, audio resources or Braille paper

Who can get them?
You can apply if you are doing an undergraduate or postgraduate course (including a distance-learning course) that is:

  • Full-time and lasts at least one year
  • Part-time, lasts at least one year and doesn’t take more than twice as long to complete as an equivalent full-time course

Check that you’re eligible
To apply for DSAs, both you and your course must meet certain conditions. Check these before you apply.

Non UK EU Students

If you are a student from another EU country you can apply for financial help towards costs through Student Finance England. Depending on your circumstances you may qualify for help with tuition fees only, or help with tuition fees, living costs and other expenses.

For more information call Student Services on 01293 442269 or visit