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Tuition fee loans and financial support – if you come from Northern Ireland

This is an outline of what is available for students from Northern Ireland for 2017-18 entry. Check to find the exact dates, cost of fees and financial support available on university and student funding websites.

Note: To classify as a student from Northern Ireland, you will normally need to have lived in Northern Ireland for the three years before starting your course. If you are unsure please see our information on eligibility.

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University tuition fees and loans  Funding your living costs
Extra funding  Repaying your loan

Castle In Northern Ireland

University tuition fees and loans

If you are going to university in Northern Ireland:
Universities can charge you up to £4,030 for tuition. You will not have to pay this upfront. You can apply online to Student Finance NI for a loan of up to £4,030 to help cover this fee.

If you are going to university in England, Scotland or Wales:
Universities can charge you up to £9,250. You will not have to pay this upfront. You can apply online to Student Finance NI for a loan of up to £9,250 to help cover this fee.

All students:
There is a deadline for applications to Student Finance NI. This is so the Student Loans Company (SLC) is able to pay your tuition fees to your university at the beginning of your course. As this is a loan, you will need to pay it back.

You can also apply for your loan by a paper form (PN1) from your school or local Student Finance NI office.

Funding your living costs

You can apply online to Student Finance NI for a means-tested maintenance loan.

There are different amounts of loan available. This depends on your household income, and where you will live during term-time.

Alternatively, you can apply for a non-means-tested loan. If you do, the amount available will be lower.

If you:You can receive:
Live at home Up to £3,750
Live away from home and study in London Up to £6,780
Live away from home and study outside of London (including England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) Up to £4,840
Live and study abroad for at least one term as part of your course Up to £5,770

There is a deadline for applications to Student Finance NI to guarantee that funds are in place for the beginning of the academic year. This is usually mid-spring. The latest you can apply is nine months after the first day of the academic year of your course.

The loan is paid into your bank account at the start of each term once you’ve registered on your course.

What if my course is longer than 30 weeks?

You can get an additional loan. The maximum extra loan available if you are:

  • Living with your parents is £55 per week
  • Living in London is £108 per week
  • Living outside of London is £84 per week
  • Studying overseas is £117 per week.

Extra funding

You may be eligible to receive one of two grants, both up to £3,475. You do not need to pay these back. They are the:

  • Maintenance Grant – You can receive this if your household income is £41,065 or less. It will decrease the amount of maintenance loan you receive.
  • Special Support Grant – This is based on other criteria, such as being a single parent. It will not affect your maintenance loan.

If you receive either of these you may be entitled to receive a bursary. Contact your university to find out more. Bursaries and scholarships do not have to be paid back.

Further support may be available if you meet a particular set of criteria. For instance, if you are leaving care to enter higher education, or if you have a disability or mental health problem. Read more about other financial support.

Repaying your loans

You will start repaying the loan from the April after you leave university, and once your salary has reached a certain amount. You will pay a percentage of your income. See our content on repaying your loan.