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How student finance awards are calculated

What your award amount will be based on

The amount you can get depends on whether you're an independent or dependent student. The maximum we’ll pay towards tuition fees will be £9,250. This is excluding any medical based degrees. The fee amount received will be reduced should a parent have received a Higher Child allowance for the previous year. The maximum for Higher Child Allowance is £2,340. If a parent received the maximum allowance, the tuition fees payable by the department in the table would be reduced by £2,340.

Independent students ​​

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 academic year in which your course starts.

Dependent students​​

If you’re a dependent student, the amount you receive will be based on the annual gross household income of the year before the academic year in which your course starts.

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. 

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 (eg ​other properties, stocks, shares, bonds, good will of a business, tangible or moveable assets) are above £500,000
  • your household income is above £200,000

If you’re a maximum contributor, you’ll be responsible for your child’s living expenses and tuition fees. 

The parental income we will consider​

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​

We assess:

  • gross income from all sources​
  • 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.

Exceptional circumstances​​​​​

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.​

Funding criteria

We reserve the right to decline, suspend or withdraw an award, in accordance with the published criteria.

This would include situations where Student Finance is not satisfied that the financial details provided are accurate, complete and made in good faith.

For detailed information on the criteria for higher education funding, download the guide.

Higher Education Funding Guide 2018/19

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