0800 371 434

Fund your learning

As a higher education student on a university-level programme, you do need to pay tuition fees.

However, you do NOT need to pay everything upfront.

You may be able to pay in instalments, or you can apply for a loan to help spread the costs.

See below for information about:

  • student loans
  • tuition fee loans and common questions
  • other financial information


If you’re studying full time, you can take out two student loans per academic year:

  • a tuition fee loan – to cover your annual tuition fees in full
  • a maintenance loan – to help with accommodation and other living costs (how much you get will depend on your household income)

When you are assessed for your fees, you are automatically assessed for a student loan.



The tuition fee loan is available to cover the tuition fees for HNDs, foundation degrees or BA (Hons) degrees. Part-time students can apply for a tuition fee loan too.

When do I have to pay it back?

You only start to pay the loan back when you earn over £21,000 per year.

How much do I pay each month?

You repay 9% of your income above £21,000 only. So if your salary was £25,000, your repayment for the year is 9% of £4,000 – around £30 per month.

What if my salary drops after I’ve started paying?

If your salary falls below £21,000 – e.g. you take a career break or are unemployed – your repayments stop. Repayments only start again when you are earning over £21,000.

What if I reach retirement age before I’ve paid it off?

All loans are cleared after 30 years. If you have not repaid by then, it is written off



You might get financial help from your university or college with a bursary. Bursaries do not have to be paid back.

If you are paying your own tuition fees, an instalment plan can be arranged. Just contact us.



New students

Still to apply for student finance?  You need to apply now, it takes at least six weeks to process your application – www.gov.uk/studentfinance

Continuing students

Are you returning to a full-time course at university or college in autumn? You must re-apply for student finance now!  

You don’t need to have a confirmed place at university or college to apply for student finance – use your preferred choice of course and change it online later if you need to.
Got a question about student finance or your application? Why not follow Student Finance England on Facebook (facebook.com/SFEngland) or Twitter (@SF_England) where you can ask a question which will be answered by an SFE adviser.
For a range of helpful tools and guidance, visit The Student Finance Zone at www.thestudentroom.co.uk/studentfinance
You can ask a student finance question by joining one of the Student Finance surgeries on www.thestudentroom.co.uk/askSFE every Wednesday between 1.00pm and 4.00pm

For a range of useful one-minute films about student finance please go to www.youtube.com/SFEFilm

If you have any other questions, contact us for our up-to-date tuition fee information. Call 0800 371 434 or email HE@activatelearning.ac.uk