Student Finance

We know that student finance can be tricky to navigate and at the SU we can help you get the best out of Student Finance England. 

If you are a UK resident, you may be able to apply for loans that will help you pay tuition and maintenance costs.  Some EU nationals also qualify.

These include:

Tuition Fee Loan

Student Finance England offers loans to eligible home students and qualifying EU students only. You will not need to start re-paying these loans until you are earning over £27,295 a year (from April 2021). 

Maintenance Loan

You can apply for a Maintenance Loan to cover living expenses. The amount of this loan depends on whether you plan to live at home or elsewhere, how old you are, your household income and other factors. The calculator on the website will help you estimate how much you could receive.

Additional funding is available for those in receipt of means tested benefits and other qualifying factors.

More Information regarding Student Finance England - How You Are Assessed and Paid - Guide 2023/24 can be found here. 

Information on How and When to apply can be found at:



*QI have applied for SFE funding but dont think I am receiving the correct amouth of ML. What should I do?

*ASFE will pay students a minimum amount known as the "non means tested" Maintenance Loan. Students with independent status will receive the full "means tested" Maintenance Loan. Dependent students will need to provide SFE with details of their household income for a previous tax year to qualify for the "means tested" Maintenance Loan. Usually this forms part of the application process, but you can apply later by completing a PFF2 form.

*QI am a dependent student but my parent(s) do not want to provide their household income details to SFE as they cannot afford to give me any money.

*AProviding household income details to SFE does not mean your parents are obliged to give you additional financial support. It does however mean that SFE will undertake a household income assessment to determine how much maintenance loan you will receive. If household income details are not provided, you will only receive the non-means assessed maintenance loan. If details are provided, it could result in you receving a higher amount of maintenance loan.

*QI've not been able to sort my student finance with SFE. Are you able to speak to them for me?

*AIf you have not been able to resolve matters yourself, you should speak with us first as it may be that we are able to help. If necessary, we will ask you to set up "Consent to Share" with SFE so that we can call them on your behalf to find out what the problem is.

*QI have had a change in circumstances what should I do?

*AYou may be able to change your application on your SFE on-line account if you have not already started your course. If you need to change your application after starting your course, you will need to send a Change of Circumstance form to SFE. You may need to ring SFE to request this form if you are unable to access it through your online SFE account.

*QMy parents income has changed this year. Does this mean I can apply for more student finance?

*AIf your partners/parent(s) household income has decreased by more than 15% in the current tax year, you can ask SFE to do a new assessment. You should ask your partner/parent(s) to complete a CYI form and return to SFE with it with a cover letter asking for your student finance package to be reassessed, which you can find here.

*QI am thinking of interrupting and am concerned about what effect this will have on my student finance. What is is the position?

*AIt is important that you seek advice on your particular circumstances as interrupting your studies has an impact on your Tuition Fee liability to the University, your current year student finance entitlement and future student finance entitlement.

*QI will be doing an extended referral without attendance. What are my funding options?

*AThis is a difficult situation for students. SFE will only pay Maintenance Loan when a student is in attendance. And the DWP will not normally accept a claim for welfare benefits from a student who has not completed their studies. So if you are not able to work to fund your living costs during the referral period, we would suggest you speak to a Student Adviser.

*QWill I get a student loan if I start a new course?

*AAs a general rule, SFE will fund you for the number of years of your course, plus one gift year, minus the number of years of previous study. Funding for some courses, such as nursing, do not take previous study into account when calculating student finance entitlement. We suggest you seek advice before taking the decision to change course.

*QI’d like to apply to the University's financial support fund. What do I need to do?

*ADetails of the University's Financial Support Fund can be found on their website.

*QHow do I set up "Consent To Share" so you can speak to SFE about my student finance account?

*AYou will need to ring SFE and ask to set up consent to share. You will then need to let us know the exact answer to each of the questions SFE ask you. SFE are working on a simplified system and details will be posted here as soon as they are available.

*QI have heard that I am entitled to 4 years funding from SFE. Is this correct?

*ANo, this is not the case. SFE have a specific formula for funding entitlement and takes into account the length of a course as well as the number of years of previous study and whether there are any compelling personal reasons which can be considered. If you are looking to change course, please speak to a Student Adviser before making a decision.

*QMy parents don't want to provide their income details to SFE in support of my application. What can I do?

*AUnfortunately, if your parents won't cooperate and you don't qualify as an independent student, there's nothing you can do to increase your entitlement. You'll still get a loan for your tuition fees and a non-means assessed maintenance loan, but your applcation will not be household income assessed so will not qualify for the higher maintenance loan amount.

*QI have received my PG Loan which will be enough for me to live on. Will SFE pay my tuition fees direct to the University?

*ANo. The PG Loan offered by SFE is a fixed amount for students to use as they wish, either to cover their tuition fees or their living costs. Students should ensure they have sufficient funding in place to cover their tuition fees and their living costs before they enrol on their course.

*QI haven't received my student funding yet and my account says that it is "awaiting confirmation". What does this mean and what should I do?

*ASFE will not release any funding to you until the University has confirmed that you are actually enrolled on your course and attending University. You should ask Student Services to confirm your attendance. SFE will then release your funding in 3-5 working days.

*QI have not yet applied for my student funding. Have I missed the deadline?

*AYou have 9 months from start of the academic quarter in which your course starts to apply. For most students, this is 31 May. If you are having difficulties with your application, please contact us

*QI have appied for student finance on the basis that I will be living in Plymouth but I am thinking that I may remain at home with my family instead. Do I need to tell SFE?

*AYou are obliged to inform SFE of any change of circumstances and failure to do so may result in an investigation for fraud and all student finance, past, present and future, being withdrawn.

*QCan university students get their tuition fee refunded for disruptions to teaching because of Covid-19?

*AThe Department for Education has indicated that it is possible for students to get their fees back. In a statement, it said that if universities are “unable to facilitate adequate online tuition then it would be unacceptable for students to be charged for any additional terms”. To claim a refund, students first need to complain directly to their university. If that is unsuccessful then students in England or Wales can lodge an appeal with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

*Q I am a EEA Migrant Worker and get full funding from SFE including a Maintenance Loan. Will SFE require any further evidence of my employment during the academic year?

*A Yes, SFE have changed their procedures and will randomly ask students to provide evidence of their continued employment from the start of the academic year to date. This means that you must keep evidence of your employment, such as your payslips. If there are any gaps in employment, we strongly advise students to contact the Advice Centre before responding to SFE.