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The other major cost at university is living costs – this includes accommodation, utilities, travel, food, stationery and any course materials. If there are additional costs associated with your son or daughter’s particular course of study, such as specialist equipment or membership of professional bodies, this will be outlined on our course finder pages. To support with meeting these costs, students are entitled to apply for a maintenance loan. This is a means-tested loan and will take a number of factors into consideration including:

  • Household income – this means the total gross income of the student’s parent(s), care giver(s) or spouse living in the household where the student lives.
  • Living arrangements – students living away from home are entitled to a higher maintenance loan than those staying in the family home.
  • Dependents – students with a dependent child(ren) or spouse may also be entitled to extra funding to support them, such as a Childcare Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance or an Adult Dependants’ Grant.

There is a handy calculator on the Student Finance website which you can use to check eligibility for student loans, visit

Students apply for their maintenance loan at the same time as their tuition fee loan and it is paid directly into the student’s bank account in three instalments. 

The first instalment will be paid once the student’s attendance has been confirmed – we use the student’s collection of their ID card as the confirmation of attendance and it can take up to five working days after this before the monies are released.

All students should be prepared for this to take a bit of time at the start of the year and it’s recommended that they have an alternative source of funds available to use until they receive their loan. The second instalment is in January and the final at Easter time.