4. Eligibility

Whether you qualify for student finance depends on:

  • your university or college
  • your course
  • if you’ve studied a higher education course before
  • your age
  • your nationality or residency status

Your university or college

This should be a university, college or other institution that offers a qualifying course.

Your course

This must be in the UK and one of the following:

  • a first degree, eg BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • Initial Teacher Training

Check with your university or college that your course is recognised.

Part-time students

Part-time students need to study their courses at a rate of at least 25% of an equivalent full-time course in each academic year.

This is known as ‘course intensity’. You can check course intensity with your university or college.

You studied before

Generally, you’ll only get student finance if you’re doing your first higher education qualification. This is true even if your previous course was self-funded.

However, you may still get it if, for example:

  • you change course
  • you leave your course but decide to start again
  • you’re ‘topping up’ a higher education qualification, eg you’ve finished an HNC, HND or foundation degree and now want to do an honours degree

Age

There’s no upper age limit for Tuition Fee Loans or grants. To apply for a Maintenance Loan you have to be under 60 at the start of the course.

Nationality or residency status

You can only apply if:

  • you’re a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (no restrictions on how long you can stay)
  • you normally live in England
  • you’ve been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course

You may also be eligible if your residency status is one of the following:

  • EU national, or family member of one
  • refugee
  • humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum)
  • migrant worker
  • child of a Swiss national
  • child of a Turkish worker

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