What other financial support is available?

As well as the loans and grants available, there are other sources of financial support for students who meet certain criteria. These are listed in alphabetical order.

To note: We advise you do not rush your application, but try to apply as early as possible. There can be limits to what funding is available. Keep an eye out for what funding is available, and make sure you read the small print.

Adult Dependents' Grant

If there is an adult who depends on you financially and you’re a full-time student, the ADG can assist with additional costs you may have. In 2017-18, the maximum grant available is £2,384. It is based on yours and your adult dependant’s income. This does not have to be paid back.

You will need to meet the certain criteria. Find more information through your national student finance company, university or college.

Bursaries and scholarships

Universities and colleges provide these and they do not have to be paid back. Some commercial companies and charities also offer funding. Read more about bursaries and scholarships.

Care leavers

If you are a care leaver and finding issues with funding, there are solutions. Read about applying to university as a care leaver.

Childcare Grant

If you are a full-time student in higher education with children, you may be eligible for a Childcare Grant. You can receive up to 85% of your childcare costs, and it does not need to be paid back. You must meet the criteria, and you apply through your student finance company.

Disabled Students’ Allowances

DSAs provides extra financial help if you are a disabled student. This is to help meet any extra costs, such as note-taking or specialist equipment. You may be eligible if you have a long-term health condition, a mental health condition or a learning difficulty. This does not have to be repaid.

Each of the national student finance organisations offer different support. See their websites for more information.

Hardship funds

These are in place for students who struggle with money during the academic year. They come from universities and colleges and can be under any name. In England, they can be called the Access to Learning Fund; in Northern Ireland, the Support Fund; in Scotland, the Discretionary Fund; and in Wales, the Financial Contingency Fund.

You normally apply through the student services department at your university of college after you start your course. Universities decide which students need support and what level of support it will be. This may 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.


You can usually borrow money from your bank. As a student, you can do this through a time-dependent interest-free overdraft. These are to be taken with caution, however. Read more about student accounts.

Parents’ Learning Allowance

If you are a full-time student in higher education with children, you may be eligible to receive a PLA to assist with your costs. In 2017-18, up to £1,617 is available if you meet the criteria. You apply for the allowance when you apply for your student finance, and this does not need to be paid back.

Study abroad

If you study abroad in an EU country under the Erasmus+ scheme, you can receive extra funding. This is to help travel and living costs during your time abroad. If you are an Erasmus+ student you usually do not need to pay for your tuition. You may also be eligible for an Erasmus+ EU grant. To find out more, speak to your university or college.

Teacher training funding

If you are studying a teacher training course you may be able to receive extra financial help. This does not tend to be for undergraduates. Read more about how to get into teaching.

Travel Grant

If you need help with expenses when studying overseas during your course, or if you have clinical placements you have to travel to, you may be able to qualify for a Travel Grant. This is either based on your household income, and the amount you are spending on travel. If you are eligible for the grant, you will be sent a Travel Grant form after applying for student finance.

Professional and career development loans

If you are ineligible for the other financial support on this page, you may still be able to apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan. These loans are available through some major high street banks, which are in partnership with the government.

Students on a wide range of vocational courses can borrow a certain amount of money at a fixed rate of interest. This is 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. You must meet certain criteria and have to apply online.

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