Other Financial Support

In addition to the loans and grants available to students, there are other sources of financial support and funding for some students who fit particular circumstances.

Bursaries and Scholarships

  • Bursaries and scholarships are made directly by universities and colleges in addition to any student loans, and grants and do not have to be paid back.
  • Some commercial companies and charities also offer funding.

Disabled Students' Allowances

  • Disabled Students' Allowances provide extra financial help for disabled students.
  • They are designed to meet the extra costs that a disabled student may face, such as a note-taker or specialist equipment.
  • Each of the national student finance organisations offer different support.

Extra financial support for students in financial hardship

  • For those going to university in England, the Access to Learning Fund is a further source of modest government help to students on university courses and is allocated by the universities themselves to undergraduates in financial difficulties.
  • The equivalent financial hardship support in Northern Ireland is called the Support Fund; in Scotland the Discretionary Fund; in Wales the Financial Contingency Fund.
  • In all cases, you normally apply through the student services department at your university or college, after you start your course.
  • The university decides which students need support and what the level of that support will be. This may simply be help with day-to-day study and living costs or to meet an unexpected or exceptional cost.
  • Priority groups tend to be older or disadvantaged students and finalists.
  • This funding is a back-stop and is normally given as a non-repayable grant according to need.
  • It can be available as a one-off sum or in the form of a bursary payable every year.

National Scholarship Programme

  • Created to benefit individual students from disadvantaged backgrounds directly as they start studying at university. Available only to those going to university in England.
  • Read about the National Scholarship Programme.

If you are ineligible for any of the above financial support, you may still be able to apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan.

  • These loans are available through some major high street banks in partnership with the government.
  • Students on a wide range of vocational courses can borrow from £300 to £10,000 at a fixed rate of interest to help fund up to two years of learning and not pay anything back until you have finished your studies.
  • You pay no interest on the loan while you are studying and start repaying the loan one month after your course has finished.

Useful links

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