What your award amount will be based on
The amount you can get depends on whether you're an independent or dependent student.
If you’re an independent student, the amount you receive will be based on the estimated annual gross income of you and your partner or spouse (if applicable) based on the year you’re starting your course.
If you’re a dependent student, the amount you receive will be based on the annual gross household income of the year before the year you’re starting your course.
Find out more about independent and dependent students below.
Who is eligible for student finance
How funding works
Funding is made up of maintenance grants and tuition fees.
The maintenance grant is capped at £5,500 for a standard course for the 2015 / 16 academic year.
This grant is to help towards living expenses, eg accommodation, travel, food and books.
Additional sums are allowed for periods in excess of the standard academic year.
The maximum we’ll contribute towards tuition fees per academic year will be £9,000.
You’ll have to contribute at least £1,500, but you can get a loan from NatWest to cover this cost.
Parents' payments towards tuition fees
If your household earns below £26,750, you’ll receive the maximum amount of help towards tuition fees for that academic year (£9,000 for 2015 / 16) and the maximum grant available.
If your household earns over £54,000, you'll be likely to receive the maximum amount of help to tuition fees, but you won't receive a maintenance grant.
To get an idea of what you’ll have to contribute, you can use the following calculation:
gross household income - £26,750 x 20.25% = parent contribution
If you have more than one child at college / university at the same time
If you have more than one child at university at the same time, the assessment is slightly adjusted.
Contact Student Finance for more information.
Maximum parental contribution
You’ll be treated as a maximum parental contributor if:
- you don’t complete or submit an income statement form
- your joint net capital assets (excluding your main residence, other properties, stocks, shares, bonds, good will of a business, tangible or moveable assets) are above £500,000
- your household income is above £98,355 (based on one student at university)
If you’re a maximum contributor, you’ll be responsible for your child’s living expenses and tuition fees.
As of 2015 / 16, the maximum we’ll pay towards tuition fees will be £9,000 (this is excluding any medical clinical based degrees).
Which parent's income will be considered?
Parental contributions are required from the actual or legally adoptive parents.
If a parent is divorced or legally separated and is now living with a partner or remarried, that partner's income will be taken into account when assessing the award.
You’ll need to tell us if you’d prefer the student's natural parent to declare their income instead of the partner's.
Income and assets used to determine funding
- gross income from all sources as used for income tax purposes, except that gross amounts are used in the case of income on which tax has already been paid
- income under a trust arrangement
- business profits (losses aren't taken into consideration)
- shares in either a public or private company
- any beneficial ownerships or holdings in a business
- any beneficiaries of any trusts
We'll request a copy of certified accounts or any other details that may be needed to assess an award.
We won’t grant awards based purely on an income basis if your capital assets and general financial position are considered good enough to meet the expenses involved.
In exceptional circumstances, eg where a parent dies, becomes seriously ill, is unable to work or has been made redundant through compulsory redundancy, we can take income for the current year into account if the income has been reduced by 20% or more.
Exceptional circumstances don’t include retirement or the decision to give up paid employment.
Scottish universities and those outside the UK
Funding for courses undertaken at Scottish universities or outside of the UK will be restricted to the equivalent level of funding for a similar course at an English university.