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New Students

Before you receive any funding for your higher education course at university or college you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Find out if you qualify for student finance.

Where you live (your nationality and residency status)

You can apply if you meet all of the following three conditions:

  • you're a UK national or have 'settled status' (no restrictions on how long you can stay);
  • you normally live in Wales on the first day of the first academic year of the course (usually before 1 September); and
  • you've been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course.

If you’re unable to be in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course, you’ll be considered as ‘temporarily absent’. You’ll still be eligible for student finance so long as you meet all other eligibility criteria.

This exception has only been put in place due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, you should travel to the UK to attend your course once it is safe to do so.

If you don't meet all three conditions, you can still apply for support if you meet the requirements of one of the other UK residency categories listed:

  • you're an EU national, or family member of an EU national;
  • you're a refugee;
  • you're under humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for Asylum);
  • you’re granted leave to remain on the grounds of family or private life, or a relative of someone granted leave to remain on the grounds of family or private life;
  • you're a migrant worker;
  • you're a child of a Swiss national;
  • you're a child of a Turkish worker; or
  • you’re a stateless person or a family member of a stateless person; or
  • you're granted leave to remain (or enter and remain depending on domicile) under section 67 of the immigration Act 2016.

You must also normally be living in Wales on the first day of the first academic year of the course.

If you’re unable to be in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of your course, you’ll be considered as ‘temporarily absent’. You’ll still be eligible for student finance so long as you meet all other eligibility criteria.

This exception has only been put in place due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19, you should travel to the UK to attend your course once it is safe to do so.

Your course

Your course must lead to a qualification in one of the following:

  • First Degree e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Science or Education (BA, BSc or BEd)
  • Foundation Degree
  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
  • Initial Teacher Education (ITE).

Your university or college

Your university or college must be:

  • publicly funded (paid for by the government), or
  • privately funded but running individual courses that are approved for funding by the Welsh Government.

Private universities and colleges can set their own tuition fee level and there is no restriction on the amount they can charge. A course at a private university or college needs to have been specifically designated by the Welsh Government for you to be able to get student finance.

Your age

To qualify for a Maintenance Loan you need to be aged under 60 on the first day of the first academic year of your course. There's no upper age limit to qualify for grants or a Tuition Fee Loan.



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