Income assessment for part-time students

If you are a part-time higher education student, depending on the intensity of your course, you may be entitled to a grant towards your fees and course costs. You may also be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan to help towards the cost of your tuition fees.

Fee Grant and Course Grant

The maximum amount of Fee Grant and Course Grant available to you depends on the intensity of your course (how long it takes to complete compared to the comparable full-time course) and your household income.

Fee grant

For academic year 2020-2021 there are three different rates of fee grant, depending on how intensive your course is:

Course intensity Maximum fee grant
50 - 59 per cent of the full-time course £820
60 -74 per cent of the full-time course £985
75 per cent or more of the full-time course £1,230

You must be studying at an intensity of at least 50 per cent of a comparable full-time course to be eligible for any Fee Grant.

 Course grant

For academic year 2020-2021 the maximum course grant is £265 and doesn't depend on how intensive your course is.

If you and your course qualify, you’ll get the maximum Course Grant and maximum Fee Grant available for your course’s intensity (up to the actual amount you’re charged for tuition fees) if you’re receiving any of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

Income assessment

After your maximum grant entitlement is determined, based on your study intensity, an income assessment is applied.

If your household income is below £16,843 you will be entitled to the maximum fee grant. No fee grant will be available if your household income is above £25,420. A partial grant is available on a sliding scale between these two levels, down to a minimum grant of £50.

If you live with a partner or have children

If you live with a partner, your assessment will usually be based on the total of your joint incomes. The maximum income you can have and still qualify for a particular level of financial help is raised:

  • by £2,000 if you live with a partner
  • by £2,000 for your oldest dependent child
  • by £1,000 each for any other dependent children you have

Fee loan

You can also apply for a Fee Loan of up to £3,296.25 to help pay for your tuition fees.

The Fee Loan can’t be more than the actual fee charged by your university or college. The maximum amount of Fee Loan entitlement in any academic year will be reduced by the amount of Fee Grant you get in that academic year.

To be eligible for the Fee Loan, you must be studying at least 25 per cent intensity of the same full-time course for the year.

The Fee Loan isn’t based on household income and is repayable.

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