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Paying Your Tuition Fees

By: Louise Tobias BA (hons) - Updated: 6 Jun 2019 | comments*Discuss
Student Loan Grant Maintenance Fees

The ins and outs of tuition fee payments can seem very complex at first glance, but by breaking down the details you will see that it is not difficult to work out how much you need to pay your university for these charges. The first thing to look at is where you live: these rates differ for students from England and Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and thereafter rates differ for students in these regions. This article will take you through the various components to look at how much and how to pay for your tuition.

Where Do You Live?

Full-time undergraduates from England, and Northern Ireland, and non-Welsh students studying in Wales, have to shell out for tuition fees of up to £3,225 a year in the academic year from 2009-10. This is an “up to” figure because individual universities in those areas can choose how much exactly to charge, but that is the absolute maximum. In Scotland, however, it is a little different. Scottish students studying in Scotland do not have to pay any tuition fees, (although those choosing to study elsewhere do have to pay fees) whilst students from the rest of the UK have to pay £1,775 a year.

Do I Have to Pay Now?

In short - no. The tuition fees are balanced out by tuition fee loans, so nowadays you do not have to pay tuition fees immediately, instead using the tuition fee loan (not to be confused with the student loan) which you don’t have to start paying back until after you have graduated and are earning more than £15,000 a year.

Note that students from families whose income is less than around £25,000 a year can receive further help with funding tuition fees and may not have to pay for these at all. You could receive a non-repayable grant to cover these fees. The actual amount you will receive decrease as family income increases, up to £50,020 -if your total family income is above this, you must pay full tuition fees. If you have special circumstances, such as you are classified as “independent” and your family income is not taken into account (you might be married, for example), then this will be worked out according to your personal income. Ask you university finance expert for more information if you think that special circumstance might apply to you.

International Students

Students who are studying at the UK from a country within the European Union pay the same fees as UK students but those studying in the UK from a country outside the EU have to pay whatever the university charges - this differs according to the institution. Again, it’s a good idea to chat to your institution’s student finance expert, who will be able to talk through your individual circumstances and highlight any funds you can apply for.

Student Loans

Over and above the tuition fee loans, UK students are also eligible for student loans to cover the cost of living whilst at university. All students, regardless of family or individual income, qualify for three quarters of the maximum loan, but the remaining 25% is means-tested.

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