How Student Financing Works in the UK

Before the system was changed in the 1990s, undergraduates were much better-off.  Not only were their tuition fees paid automatically by their local education authority but they also received a means-tested grant to cover their living expenses which didn’t have to be repaid. 

Nowadays, undergraduates apply for a student funding package from the Student Loans Company for their country as soon as they’ve received a confirmed place at a university.  The provision varies in different parts of the UK (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland), but students will receive funding from the Loan Company where they reside, irrespective of which part of the UK they study.

Student funding consists of two parts.  The first part is their loan for tuition fees.  This is received by all students no matter their household income and is paid directly to their university.  The UK government has set the threshold for tuition fees at …