If you live in Scotland and are studying in Scotland, The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) will pay your fees.
If you live in Scotland and are applying to university elsewhere in the UK, you will have to pay up to £9,250 towards your tuition fees.
How much can I borrow if I study elsewhere in the UK?
You can borrow up to £9,250 for each year of full-time study and, if you are studying part-time, you can borrow up to £6,935. If you are doing an accelerated degree you can apply for up to £11,100.
This money will be paid directly to the university or college.
Repaying your loan
Repayments start in the April after you finish your course, but only once you are earning £25,725 or more per year. The amount you repay will be 9% of the amount you earn over £25,725.
Your repayments are collected with your tax or national insurance from your salary. For example, if you earn £27,000 a year, you pay £9.56 a month.
How to find out more
You can also find advice and tips on MoneySavingExpert.
Loans and bursaries for living costs
There are also loans and bursaries from the government to help you pay for accommodation and other living costs.
Loans will need to be paid back, but you do not need to pay back a bursary.
The amount of bursary and student loan you can get will depend on the household income in your permanent home.
The money is paid into your bank account.
How much could I get?
This is a ‘means tested’ loan, so the higher your household income, the less you’ll receive. You may have to give details of your household income when you apply, but this is not always based on parental income (for students under 25).
The funding available to the following groups of students may be different from the standard funding package:
- Students studying Medicine at the University of St Andrews
- Students who are studying abroad
- Students on a practical placement (sandwich course).
If you fall into one of the above categories you should refer to the guidance booklet for more information.
Repaying your loan
Repayments for maintenance loans work in the same way as tuition fee loans.
How to find out more
SAAS has further information on maintenance loans.
University bursaries, grants and scholarships
You don’t need to pay back a bursary, grant or scholarship.
Scholarships are often given to those who do very well academically.
Bursaries and grants are usually awarded to students based on their personal circumstances. This could be having a low income or being from a background where fewer people go to uni.
How to find out more
University and college websites will have information about bursaries and scholarships. They will tell you what criteria you need to meet. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible then you can contact them.
You can find links to bursary and scholarship information on our course pages.
There is extra help available for:
- Care leavers or students who are estranged from their parents
- Students who have dependent children, or who are caring for an adult
- Disabled students
- Students who have a low household income.
A fee waiver is when a university or college pays part, and sometimes all, of a student’s tuition fee. This means you will need to borrow less money.
This option might be offered to you if you have a low household income or are a care leaver.
Disabled Students Allowances
If you are disabled or have additional needs, you may be able to get Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) to cover any extra study costs. This can include mental health conditions, epilepsy or dyslexia.
You will need to be assessed or provide evidence, but there’s money available to pay for:
- specialist equipment or software
- a non-medical helper
- other things that help your studies such as travel, books, or printing.
Disabled Students’ Allowances do not depend on your household income and do not need to be paid back.
GOV.UK has more information about eligibility and maximum amounts for DSA.
Disability Rights UK has factsheets about DSA and other useful information.
In addition to the bursaries and grants available to many other students, there are more that are on offer for care leavers. A separate funding package is available for eligible care experienced students (up to the age of 25).
There are also charities and foundations that can provide support.
Who cares? Scotland is a charity supporting care experienced students in Scotland.
Propel has been set up by Become, the charity for children in care and young care leavers and has a wealth of information around financial support across the UK.
The Unite Foundation works in partnership with 27 universities across the UK and offers bursaries and scholarships. You will need to apply for these and they are not guaranteed.
University or college bursaries
Universities and colleges usually have grants and bursaries for care experienced students, these may include
- fee waivers
- fee reductions
- reduced fees for accommodation
You can check what you may be entitled to with your chosen university or college.
If you are estranged from your family, your parents’ income is not taken into account for student finance. You can also sometimes get extra help from other sources.
StandAlone is a charity that offers extra support for young people (18–25 year old for student finance) who become estranged from their family.
Students caring for children or for an adult
You may be able to get help in the form of a grant. This does not have to be paid back and is on top of other student finance.
Students experiencing financial hardship
Your uni may give you extra money if you’re experiencing financial hardship. They will decide if you’re eligible and how much you will get. Check with your chosen uni to see if you can apply.
Other things to consider
Working while studying
Working while studying can help. You can work part-time while studying, as well as working during summer holidays.
If you do a degree apprenticeship, you will work alongside studying and be paid for it.
Your employer will also pay your tuition fees.
Find out about degree apprenticeships.
You may be receiving larger amounts of money than you are used to managing. It’s important to budget so that you can make it last.
You can find advice on budgeting at:
Applying for student finance
You do not need to have a confirmed place to start applying for student finance. You can find out how to apply and what the deadlines are on GOV.UK.
Deadlines are given to make sure that money is available for when you start your course. If you miss these, you can apply for funding up to nine months after you have started your course. But this will mean you will not have the money until up to six weeks after you have applied.
You will need a bank account to apply for student finance. There are a number of student bank accounts that offer a range of incentives.
For more information visit MoneySavingExpert - student bank accounts.