Parents, your child has just been accepted into university and we bet you’re wondering: “What do I need to know as a parent about student finance?”. It can be tough when your child is leaving the nest, possibly for the first time in their lives, and as parents, the best you can do is prepare.
Yes, it can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be if you approach things in the right way. This is why we’ve created this parents guide to student finance to help you be prepared for the next chapters in your domestic lives. Our student finance tips will help you understand all there is to know surrounding this topic.
What Loans Can You Get for University?
Whilst at university, your child will have to cover two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. They can apply for student finance to help with both, and all students are eligible to:
- A tuition fee loan to cover the full cost of the fees charged by their university
- A basic rate of maintenance loan to aid with the costs of living, such as rent or bills
The basic rate of maintenance loan does not depend on your household income, but it is possible to apply for a larger loan that does. Any loans borrowed have to be paid back, but not until they have finished or left their course of study, and their income is over the repayment threshold.
For students who have a disability, including a long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning disability, grants are available. Grants are also available for students that have children, or an adult that is dependent on them financially. These don’t usually have to be paid back. Additionally, a student’s university may offer bursaries, scholarships, or other forms of financial assistance, so it’s always worth checking with the institution.
Student Finance Tips on UK Tuition Fees
Most universities charge £9,250 a year for course fees. But it’s important to consider that universities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales sometimes charge less (or nothing at all) to students who are already living there, or are from the Republic of Ireland. The same applies to those who are from the EU and started their course in or before the 2020/21 academic year.
The good news is that the majority of students from the UK can easily apply for student finance, scholarships or fee waivers, all of which makes it achievable when covering tuition fees. However, international students almost always face higher tuition fees, so this is another thing to consider if you are reading our parents’ guide to student finance in other parts of the world.
What About Household Income?
In this section of our parents’ guide to student finance, you might be wondering where your household income sits in all of this, but not to worry, we’ve got you covered.
You will most likely need to give Student Finance England information about your income if your child or partner has applied for student finance which is based on your household income. Financial details they will ask include:
- The last full tax year prior to the start of the academic year
- Details of the previous tax year (as this is the most recent full tax year at the time applications will have opened)
Household income and where they choose to live whilst studying will impact the overall size of their overall maintenance loan. Your information will be used to work out if your child or partner can get extra in their maintenance loan on top of the tuition fee loan and basic maintenance loan already being provided.
The maximum maintenance loan that most can apply for is £9,488 a year, though there is more offered to those who are choosing to study in London or spend parts of their course abroad. Another one of our important student finance tips is that many students often get less than the maximum amount, so it’s important to check for yourself!
Student Finance England may seek evidence ofthe following:
- Your income – if the details you provided don’t match HMRC’s records
- Your marital status – if you’re separated or divorced
Don’t worry if this happens as it’s just part of their checks to make sure your child gets the appropriate funding they are entitled to. It can take six to eight weeks to process these applications, so it’s imperative that you upload any evidence as soon as possible, so that your child gets any extra money in time for the start of their course.
Supporting a Student’s Application
Once your child or partner has applied for student finance, you will receive an email within 24 hours with a link to submit your household income details. When registering, you will need to supply your National Insurance number and your personal income for the previous tax year. Student Finance England will only ask for your individual details, so if you live with your child, they will ask for their details separately.
Supporting a Continuing Student
When applying, you’ll need to fill in details of your marital status, any changes to the information you provided the previous year and again, your financial information for the previous tax year.
Moving to Leicester? Check Out St George’s Tower
Now that we’ve come to the end of our parents’ guide to student finance and we’ve offered you all the student finance tips we can, we would like to give you a warm welcome if you are planning on moving to Leicester.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions, queries or concerns you may have – contact us today and a member of our friendly team will be happy to assist you as soon as possible.
Alternatively, you can check out our blog to see the latest updates and tips we provide.