Living Costs

Understandably the biggest concern for many parents & carers is financing university. Simply, your child can get money to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

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How much will it cost?

When it comes to making big decisions, such as choosing GCSEs, A-levels, or whether to take the route of an apprenticeship or a degree, offering guidance can be difficult.

Higher education qualifications can help young people into successful careers and stable jobs in East Anglia and beyond. The different paths fall into three broad categories – academic, vocational and work-based.

Tuition fee loan

For UK students a tuition fee loan covers the full cost of tuition and goes straight to the university so your child will never see the money. Universities and colleges can charge a full-time student up to £9,250 a year for courses starting in 2018.

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Maintenance loan

Students can apply for a maintenance loan to help with living costs, such as accommodation, food, travel, going out etc. The amount your child can borrow depends on where they will be studying and your family’s household income.

This means children from lower income families receive more financial support.

Student Finance will let your child know how much they can borrow once their application is complete. This is calculated on the household income and the amount each student will get is different.

Where are you living and studying? Maximum maintenance loan 2018/19
Living at home £7324
Living away from home outside London £8700
from £11,354

This table gives you an idea of how much a student living away from home outside London should receive and how much the government anticipates parents & carers to contribute:

A family with a household income of… Will get a student loan of… Anticipated parent contribution is…
£25,000 or less £8700 £0
£30,000 £8076 £624
£35,000 £7452 £1248
£40,000 £6828 £1872
£45,000 £6204 £2496
£50,000 £5579 £3121
£55,000 £4955 £3745
£60,000 £4331 £4369
£62,187 £4054 £4646

Harvey is about to start his first year at university

He has a tuition fee loan to pay for his education of up to £9250 each year he is at university. Based on his parent’s household income of £30,000 and living away from home outside London, he has a maintenance loan of £8076 per year.

Harvey’s rent per university year £5510
Harvey’s living costs Harvey’s living costs are £83.95 per week for 38 weeks of the university term (£3190/38). £3190
Harvey’s total outgoings £8700

Harvey’s parents pay £624 per year to help Harvey with living costs (including food, transport costs, social events, household goods, clothes, books).

Harvey’s university accommodation is £145* per week for 38* weeks of the university year. This includes bills such as electricity, gas and contents insurance (against theft and damage).*

*The accommodation amount, what’s included and term length will vary by university.

Maintenance loan

Judy studied at a local college and starts a graduate job as an accountant. She earns £22,500. She pays back £0 towards her tuition and maintenance loan.

Haseena has been working as a designer for two years, she earns £30,000. She pays back £37 per month in student loan repayments. The repayments will pay off both tuition and maintenance loans. Haseena's employer takes repayments directly from her salary.

On top of student loans, your child might be able to claim extra financial help through a scholarship or bursary, a fee waiver or hardship funds. These are awarded on merit and some are based on household income.

Additional support is also available for children with a disability and if you are studying a particular type of course (e.g. medicine and dentistry). Your child should apply with their preferred university or college as it may be a factor in choosing where your child goes.

“We understand that the cost of university can be off putting but it’s important to remember that your young person doesn’t need to pay anything up front and their student loan repayments are linked to how much they earn once they graduate rather than how much they owe. They’ll never have to repay more than they can afford.”

Stefanie Copsey, Outreach Manager, University of East Anglia

Scholarships and bursaries

Help is available - universities and colleges may have scholarships (usually awarded on merit) and bursaries (usually awarded on personal circumstances such as income) listed on their website and information at Open Days.

For more general information, go to:

The Complete University Guide, who also provide a list of university scholarships and bursaries with other sources of funding

The Scholarship Hub gives an overview and provides a list of scholarships and bursaries available.

Disabled Students’ Allowance

The Disabled Students’ Allowance is a grant to cover additional costs incurred by a student as a result of their disability. To apply, students will need to complete an application form.


For student budgeting calculators to help you manage your money while studying look at: Student calculator provide student budgeting calculators to help you manage your money while studying.


Paying it Back

Your child will only start paying their loans back when they are earning above £25,000 (from April 2018),

  • They will repay 9% on income above £25,000
  • The repayment is automatically deducted from pay cheques in the same way as taxes, so there’s no need to worry about missing payments
  • If their earnings drop below £25,000, payments won’t be deducted
  • After 30 years any remaining balance is written off
  • A student loan is not regarded like regular loans and won’t Impact on credit scores, getting a loan, travelling etc