Student finance in 2017/18

While at university or college you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. To help cover these costs, the main types of finance are Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans (which need to be paid back) and grants and bursaries (which don’t).

Most students will therefore not have to pay anything upfront for their course.

What you can get

There are loans and grants available to help you through your course.

Tuition fee support

Universities and colleges can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year in tuition fees.

A Tuition Fee Loan can be taken out to cover the first £4,296 of tuition fees, and you can apply for a Fee Grant of up to £4,954 to cover the difference.

There are no restrictions on the amount private universities or colleges can charge. If your chosen course at a private university is ‘designated’ by the Welsh Government you can apply for a maximum Tuition Fee Loan of £6,165 but you won’t be eligible for a Fee Grant.

Tuition Fee Loans and Fee Grants are not based on your household income.

Maintenance Loan

The amount you can get depends on where you’ll be living during term-time. It is also affected by your income and that of your parents or partner.

The maximum amount of Maintenance Loan available to final year students is less than shown here.

Where you’ll be livingMaximum Maintenance Loan available
Living with your parents £5,358
Living away from home and studying at a university or college in London £9,697
Living away from home and studying at a university or college outside London £6,922
Living and studying abroad £8,253

Welsh Government Learning Grant

The maximum amount of Welsh Government Learning Grant is £5,161. You will get the full amount if your household income is £18,370 or less.

No grant is available if your household income is over £50,020. If you’re entitled to the Welsh Government Learning Grant, we’ll reduce the amount of income assessed Maintenance Loan you’re entitled to.

Special Support Grant

The maximum amount of Special Support Grant you can get is £5,161 per year.

The Special Support Grant is based on your eligibility for income support or other means-tested benefits such as Housing Benefit. For example, if:

  • you're a single parent;
  • your partner is a student and one or both of you are responsible for a child or young person under 20 who is in full-time non-advanced education; or
  • you have certain disabilities.

The Special Support Grant won’t reduce how much Maintenance Loan you may be entitled to. Additionally, it doesn’t count as income when working out income related benefits.

You’ll only be entitled to either the Welsh Government Learning Grant or Special Support Grant.

Childcare Grant

You can receive a Childcare Grant (CCG) of up to 85% of the cost of your childcare if you have children in registered or approved childcare. You won’t qualify for this grant if either you or your partner claims the childcare element of Working Tax Credits, Universal Credit, Tax-Free Childcare from HM Revenue & Customs or NHS funded childcare grants.

The maximum amount of Childcare Grant available is:

  • £161.50 a week for one child; or
  • £274.55 a week for two or more children.

Your entitlement to Childcare Grant depends on your income, that of your partner, children and any other dependants.

Parents’ Learning Allowance

Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA) is help with course-related costs if you have dependent children.

The maximum amount you can get for PLA is £1,557 per year. You can only apply for PLA if you have one or more children who depend on you, regardless of their age.

Adult Dependants' Grant

The maximum amount of Adult Dependants’ Grant you can get is £2,732 per year. You can only apply for Adult Dependants’ Grant if you have a partner or another adult who is financially dependent on you. You can only apply for this grant once even if you have more than one adult who financially depends on you.

The amount of Adult Dependants' Grant available to you depends on your income, that of your partner and any other dependants. The income of the adult that is dependent on you must be no more than £3,923.

Disabled Students’ Allowances

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are available if you have a disability, long-term health condition, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs are additional funding available for students who may otherwise not have been able to attend a higher education course.

There are four different types of DSAs available:

Allowance:Maximum amount available (£):
Non-medical helper £21,181 per year
Specialist equipment £5,332 for the whole course
General allowance £1,785 per year
Disability-related travel Reasonable spending on extra travel costs incurred as a result of the student’s condition

All 2017/18 figures are subject to approval by the National Assembly for Wales.

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