Tuition fee loans and financial support – if you come from Wales

This is an outline of what is available for full-time undergraduates from Wales for 2019–20 entry. Check to find the exact dates, cost of fees and financial support available on university and student funding websites.

Note: to be classed as a Welsh student, you normally need to have lived in Wales for the three years before the start of your course. Please see our information on eligibility for details.

Click to skip to:
University tuition fees Tuition fee loans • Funding your living costs
Extra funding  Studying abroad or on placement • Repaying your loan

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University tuition fees

Universities in Wales can charge up to £9,000 a year for undergraduate tuition. Universities in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland can charge up to £9,250 a year. If you are taking an accelerated degree in England (which is completed in less time than a normal degree) fees can be up to £11,100 per year. You will not have to pay tuition fees up front.

Tuition fee loans

You can apply online to Student Finance Wales for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,250 to cover your tuition fees (there is not yet any additional support for those taking accelerated degrees). The loan is non-means-tested, so it won't depend on your household income. You will eventually have to pay it back.

There is a deadline for applications to Student Finance Wales to ensure your university receives tuition fees by the time you begin your course. The deadline is usually in late spring; you can still apply after this time but funding may be delayed. The loan is paid straight to your university.

Funding your living costs

Living cost support for full-time students is made up of the Welsh Government Learning Grant and a maintenance loan. These combine to make up the totals in the table below, depending on where you live for your course and your household income. Wales currently has the most generous package of support of the UK's nations, and does not assume any parental contribution.

Between the lower and upper incomes shown, the proportion of grant decreases while the loan increases – but unlike the loan the Welsh Government Learning Grant does not need to be repaid. The maintenance loan element will have to be paid back in due course.

If you do not wish to give details of your household income you will only be entitled to basic support, assessed as though your income were £59,200 or more. You would receive the minimum £1,000 Welsh Government Learning Grant and maximum loan amount.

Household income:

£18,370 or under

£59,200 or above

Where you study

You could receive

If you live at home

(£6,885 grant and £955 loan)

(£1,000 grant and £6,840 loan)

Or you live and study in London

(£10,124 grant and £1,406 loan)

(£1,000 grant and £10,530 loan)

Or live away from home and study outside of London

(£8,100 grant and £1,125 loan)

(£1,000 grant and £8,225 loan)

What if my course is longer than 30 weeks?

You can get an additional loan. In Wales, the fixed rate of loan per week is:

  • £84 if you are living with your parents
  • £162 if you are living in London
  • £127 if you are living outside of London
  • £127 if you are studying overseas.

Applying for living cost support

If you want to receive finance in time for the start of your course, you usually need to apply to Student Finance Wales by late spring (usually a date in May). This is to guarantee funds are in place for the beginning of the academic year. The latest you can apply is nine months after the first day of the beginning of your course.

Your local authority student finance office will assess your eligibility for support. The Student Loans Company (SLC) will handle the payments. Both the grant and loan are paid into your bank account at the start of each term, once you’ve registered on your course.

You may also be able to receive a partial cancellation of up to £1,500 on your maintenance loan. If you meet the criteria, the changes will occur to your balance when you begin repaying.

Extra funding

You may be eligible for a Special Support Grant of up to £5,161 per year. This is based on other criteria, such as being a lone parent, deaf, or over 60 years old. It does not have to be paid back unless your circumstances change and this results in an overpayment, or you leave your course. The Special Support Grant may be topped up by the Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) to the amount you are eligible to receive for your household income. Unlike the WGLG, the Special Support Grant will not reduce the amount of maintenance loan you can apply for – though if you're over 60 when you start your course you won't be able to apply for a maintenance loan. The grant is paid directly to you, like the maintenance loan.

You may be able to get a bursary, scholarship or award from your university. There is also extra support available if you meet certain criteria, for instance if you are disabled. Read more about what other financial support is available.

Studying abroad or on a placement

Students who wish to study abroad for part of their course for anything between one term and one year should be eligible for living cost support. From 2018 onwards, depending on household income, students could get up to £9,225 (the rate for living away from home) made up of the above maintenance loan and Welsh Government Learning Grant.

If you wish to study a complete degree at an overseas university, you will not be eligible for financial support from Student Finance Wales.

Travel grants may be available for full-time students, although you will need to pay part of the costs yourself (from £303 to £1,000, depending on household income). These can be used for study abroad or if you are on a clinical placement in the UK.

Unpaid placements should not affect your eligibility for living cost support. Students with a paid sandwich-course placement, or those eligible for health service funding in Scotland or Wales will get reduced funding.

Tuition fee rates for studying abroad, on an Erasmus+ scheme, or while on placement, can be complex. You are likely to be charged a reduced tuition fee by your university – which varies, depending on where it is in the UK – and be eligible for a reduced tuition fee loan.

Repaying your loan

Loan repayments begin the April after you leave university. You will also need to be earning over a certain amount. See our page on loan repayments.