Higher education for service children

Key information about higher education for service children including funding, applying for university and top tips.



Funding higher education

There are considerable differences in the funding arrangements for higher education found in different parts of the United Kingdom. This may mean that while a service family may be living in one of the home locations at the time of application for student finance, it does not necessarily mean they will automatically benefit from the student finance arrangements associated with that area.

A common policy is applied across each of the 4 student finance organisations in the UK when considering applications for student finance from family members of serving armed forces personnel. This common policy has been developed in recognition of the mobile nature of service life and ensures applications for student finance support are processed by the administration in the appropriate UK territory. For example, where the applicant’s family was ordinarily resident in England prior to enlisting, the student’s application should be processed by Student Finance England (SFE) unless the applicant or their family have established permanent residence elsewhere.

Where an applicant’s family have not established a permanent residence in one of the home nations, and are living overseas or in the home nation on a posting, the Student Finance organisation of that country will check where in the UK the member of the armed forces was ordinarily resident when they enlisted; if this was deemed to be in either Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland, then the applicant would be directed to apply to the appropriate UK administration for their student support.

Resources to support service children’s progression onto higher education

Service Children’s Progression Alliance: a broad range of resources and information to support service children’s progression onto Higher Education; for students, parents, practitioners and a wide range of educational and other professionals.

Top tips for students applying to University

Naval Families Federation: advice on applying to University as a service child and top tips on how to write a Personal Statement.

UCAS: Applying to University: key information on how to apply for University, including step by step guides and tools.

Higher education in England

Student finance GOV.UK: information relating to student finance available for those students ordinarily resident in England.

Higher education in Scotland

Scottish government fact sheet: guidance for armed forces families about how the Student Awards Agency Scotland determines eligibility for student finance support from Scotland.

Student Awards Agency Scotland: information relating to student finance available for those students ordinarily resident in Scotland.

Higher education in Northern Ireland

Department for the Economy: information relating to student finance available for higher education for students ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland.

Higher education in Wales

Student finance Wales: information relating to student finance for higher education for those students ordinarily resident in Wales.

Updates to this page

Published 3 October 2018

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