Student Finance

Grants and Allowances

Student Finance

Grants and Allowances

Piggy bank on money

Students can receive educational grants and allowances to cover the cost of tuition fees and maintenance (living expenses) towards their studies in the UK.

Grants and allowances are offered by the government for students with specific circumstances or needs, as well as potential grants from charities and trusts. Remember that these grants are free money that you do not need to pay back so make sure you know what’s out there and whether you are eligible to apply.

Financial Support

Grants and Allowances

If you get funding from Student Finance England Or Student Finance NIStudent Awards Agency for Scotland or Student Finance Wales if you live in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. you may be able to apply for some additional grants and allowances. Some of these are income assessed.

Adult Dependent Grant

This is a grant if you have a partner or other adult depending on you financially (doesn’t include grown up children) and is worth up to £2,757 a year depending on your household income.

Any amount you are entitled to is paid to you in addition to your main student finance package. It’s paid directly into your bank account in three instalments, at the same time as any Maintenance Loan or other grants you get.

You can not get this grant if the dependent adult is also a student receiving student finance funding.

Childcare Grant

You can apply for help with childcare costs, up to £159.59 per week for one child or up to £273.60 per week for two or more children.

You will need to complete the main application for student finance from Student Finance England, and then an additional Childcare Grant application form (CCG1) that you can download from your student finance account.

Parents’ Learning Allowance

This allowance is to help with course-related costs like books, study materials and travel if you have dependent children. You can get up to £1,573 per year depending on your income and that of those you live with.

Any amount you are entitled to is paid in addition to your main student finance package. It’s paid directly into your bank account in three instalments, at the same time as any Maintenance Loan or Grant you get.

Disabled Students’ Allowance

If you have a disability we encourage you to get in touch during your application process so we can discuss what support you can receive from your university or college.

These grants help to pay the essential extra costs you may have as a direct result of your disability including a mental-health condition, or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.

What you are entitled to depends on your needs assessment, this is an informal meeting to discuss what equipment and support will help you. It can go towards essential extra costs like human support, travel, assistive technology and training, and it doesn’t have to be paid back.

If you are going to study full-time and are applying for a loan you can process your DSA with your application to Student Finance England. If you are not applying for a loan or you are studying part-time you can still complete a DSA1 form with Student Finance England.

Learning Support Fund for NHS students

The NHS Learning Support Fund is available to students starting a course in midwifery, nursing or operating department practice from 1 August 2017 onwards.

For more details, watch the video guide or visit the NHS Business Services Authority website. You can set up a Learning Support Fund (LSF) account on the website, and use this to apply for funding.

The Council of Deans of Health has a useful factsheet about funding for healthcare students.

The Funding Clinic is also a useful resource and will give you information tailored to your circumstances.

Social Work Bursary

If you are studying Undergraduate Social Work you can apply for the Student Finance England Maintenance Loan.

During your second and third years of study you might meet the criteria to access the income-assessed NHS Social Work Bursary, introduced by the Department of Health as an incentive to train in social work. Bursaries are allocated according to your interview score and passing the preparation for practice module, which reflects current Department of Health guidance.

The Social Work Bursary is available if you:

  • don’t get funding from your employer
  • are studying an approved undergraduate course in social work
  • don’t already have a higher education social work qualification
  • are nominated by your university.

Your bursary will be paid in three instalments, at the start of each semester.

You can check your eligibility and apply for an undergraduate bursary on the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Tax credits

There are two types of tax credits: Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. You may be eligible for one or both. They are both income-based, but some types of postgraduate student income are not counted. For more information see HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Council tax

If you are a registered full-time student you don’t have to pay a council tax bill unless you live with someone who is not a student. If you do live with non-students you may still be able to get a discount on the total cost.

To get a discount you may need to get proof that you are a registered student from your university or college after you have started your course.

You can find out more and apply for a council tax discount on

Help with healthcare costs

You might be eligible for help with health costs such as prescriptions, glasses and dental treatment through the NHS Low Income Scheme. Being a student does not mean you are entitled to help with these costs, each claim is assessed individually and depends on your financial circumstances.

You will need an HC1 claim form to apply. You can get this from Student Services on the campus you are studying at or from any benefits office, NHS hospital, dentist, doctor or optician. You can also request an HC1 form and get more information on the Low Income Scheme from the National Health Business Services Authority.

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