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Additional loans for student who doesn't qualify for maintenance grants
Your situation sounds tricky.
Your son will be eligible for the maintenance loan and it sounds as though the max he would get is £3,731 a year. But yes, this is a loan as oppose to a grant.
Some universities offer bursaries/scholarships to exceptional students, or low income students, but you allude to the fact that your son is neither of these.
Perhaps your son is a gifted sportsman competing at regional, national, or international level. In which case he might qualify for a sports bursary.
Otherwise I recommend that your son get a part-time job whilst studying. This really helped during my experience at university and it taught me a thing or two about the real world. And with Manchester non his doorstep he should be able to secure some. Here's some compelling reasons to get one:
If it's any consolation there is a lot of evidence to suggest that getting a degree, even if it's from a low ranked university, will have a positive effect on lifetime earnings: