Student Finance & Money Management


Understanding the ins and outs of student finance is vital for students as they prepare for university and life beyond it. Split into a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan, it enables students to cover the cost of living while studying. In this blog, DANCOP explain more about student finance and what to expect when it comes time to pay it back.

Student Finance

Higher education courses cost up to £9,250 per year. You can receive two types of loan: a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan. Here’s how the two compare:

Your maintenance loan is calculated based upon your household income – how much everyone in the household earns collectively. The lower the income, the more learn you’ll receive.

You will receive a different maintenance loan amount depending on whether you:

  • Study whilst living at home.
  • Study whilst not living at home.
  • Study whilst not living at home and living in London (as the cost of living in London is more expensive).

You may be eligible for additional support through scholarships and bursaries. Many universities and colleges also offer scholarships for high performing students in areas such as academic studies, music, or sport. Unlike tuition fee and maintenance loans, these additional bursaries and scholarships do not need to be paid back.

Bursaries are available if you fulfil at least one of these categories:

  • You have a disability.
  • You live in (or have previously lived in) local authority care.
  • You have to look after others (e.g., children or a vulnerable adult).
  • You are studying a course which requires you to study abroad or travel.
  • You are studying certain healthcare courses (e.g., nursing).

Activity 1

Calculate how much maintenance loan you are eligible for here. You’ll be able to enter your details and receive an estimated figure.

Why not repeat the calculation to see how much your loan would differ if you were living at home, living away, or living in London?

How to Apply

You can apply for student finance at usually up to seven months before the start of your course. You do not need a confirmed place on your course. Simply apply using the details of your preferred course choice, and you can amend your student finance details should your plans change.


Student loans only need to be paid back once you have completed or left your course. You will repay 9% of any earnings above the repayment threshold – £26,575 per year. If you don’t earn above this amount, or stop earning (for example, if you lose your job), your repayments will stop and you will not be expected to make them again if your earnings remain below the threshold.

Let’s have a look at an example from someone earning £30,000 per year:

After 30 years of finishing or leaving your course, your student loan will be written off – even if you have not fully repaid it.

Activity 2

Based on the information in this blog, create an elevator pitch about student finance. You can deliver your elevator pitch to family, friends or teachers, and should last no longer than 60 seconds.