There’s a lot to think about when it comes to applying to university. We know that a lot of it might be brand new information to you, and it can sometimes seem a little complicated – especially if you’re going through Clearing, too.
Below you’ll find some information about funding your studies — from fees and student loans to scholarships and government grants.
You’ll be able to find the most up-to-date tuition fees for undergraduate courses on our Fees & Finance pages – they apply to both UK and EU applicants.
If you’re an international student, please check our International Fees & Finance page.
EU students starting in the next year will not be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU (‘Brexit’), and even if your course finishes after the exit has taken place, you’ll still be eligible to complete your course, apply for postgraduate courses and get advanced learner support if you need it.
The most common form of funding for an undergraduate degree is a loan, often accompanied by a separate maintenance loan.
The fees loan is paid directly from the finance company to the university, and pays for your course fees. The maintenance loan, however, is means-tested based on your family’s income, and helps you pay for the day-to-day things, like rent, food and socialising.
How to apply
If you haven’t applied for student finance yet, don’t worry. It’s not too late but you’ll need to do it as soon as you can.
Applications can take at least six weeks to process, so you might not get your first full payment straightaway, but UCAS will help to support you.
Depending where in the UK you’re from, you’ll need to find the right student finance company to apply through:
England: Student Finance England
Wales: Student Finance Wales
Scotland: Student Awards Agency Scotland
Northern Ireland: Student Finance Northern Ireland
To apply, visit the government website and you’ll find all the links you need for each student finance company, as well as information for EU students.
Don’t forget – the sooner you apply, the sooner you’ll receive your payment.
If you’ve already applied for a student loan, you’ll need to update your details with the student finance company you’re using once you know which course you’ll be studying.
You should have an online account to log in through and update the details that way – otherwise you can give them a call.
How do I repay my loans?
The tuition fee and maintenance loan are put together into one single loan, which you’ll only start paying back once you’re earning a minimum of £25,000 a year. You’ll pay back 9% of your income each year, and if you stop earning over £25,000, you’ll stop repaying your loan. If you haven’t paid your loan back after 30 years, it will be written off.
How does interest work on student loans?
Interest is charged from the day you receive your first loan payment, until the loan is either paid or written off, whichever comes first.
Alongside funding through student loans, if you’re eligible you can also apply for a variety of different schemes available from the government:
Alongside the funding already listed above from the government and student loans, we also offer scholarships to some students here at UCA.
To apply for any of the above or for more information, check our scholarships webpage.
The most important expense that you need to make sure you’re prepared for is your accommodation — whether you’re staying at university halls or renting privately, make sure you budget so that you can afford your rent as a priority.
For the most up-to-date pricing information about staying in UCA accommodation and how to apply, check our accommodation page.
We also have a Clearing Accommodation guide here.
Remember that if you’re renting privately, you may have to pay for your bills — gas, water and electricity — separately. Make sure you check with the landlord beforehand and include any bills in your monthly budget.
You’ll also need to consider contents insurance, to make sure your belongings are protected. You can expect to pay about £5 a month, basic contents insurance is included if you live in our halls of residence.
Food and socialising
You can probably expect to spend around £35 a week on food, plus any extra that you want to spend on socialising (clubs and societies memberships, going out with friends, etc.). It’s important to make sure you give yourself time to relax and spend time with your friends, so don’t forget to include this in your plans.
The nature of the courses that we offer at UCA means that, in many cases, you may have to buy materials and equipment for your projects. Because there’s a wide variation between each person’s requirements based on what project they are working on, it’s difficult to give an estimated cost for budget planning. However, we’ll let you know as soon as we can the minimum requirements that you’ll need to have in your Course Welcome Guide (which you’ll receive before you start your course).
A good habit which a lot of our students learn along the way is how to be thrifty and resourceful — where you can, buy things second-hand from other students, or in charity shops. Many of the most unusual and useful items can come from the most unlikely places!
For more information on funding your study at UCA, or if you have a question, take a look at the funding section of our website or contact our enquiries team:
T: 01252 892883
Speak to a member of our Clearing Team on 0800 068 0088
You can also fill in our contact form and we'll call you back: