Undergraduate Funding for New Students

This page is for new undergraduate students living in England starting in the 2019/20 academic year.

Updated June 2019

Student Finance – Loan


  • Must be a UK national or have settled status, normally live in the UK and have been living in the UK for at least three years before the first day of the academic year
  • It be your first undergraduate course. As a rule Student Finance will only fund you for Length of your current course + one additional yearany previous study years
  • Study a qualifying course, e.g. A BSc, BA, Foundation Degree
  • You might also be eligible for some help from Student Finance if you are a refugee, have humanitarian protection, are the child of a Swiss national or Turkish worker, have lived in the UK for at least half of your life, are a stateless person, or an EEA Migrant Worker.

What you’ll get

As a UK student you can apply for help with your tuition fees and living costs. This information is for students applying in England: different processes are in place for students applying in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

As an EU student you are eligible for help with your tuition fees only. Some EU students might be eligible for more help depending on their situation. See our money advice pages for more information.

Impact of previous study on entitlement

Student Finance England will fund the ‘Length of your current course + one additional year – previous study’. This means that if you have enrolled onto a degree-level course before – even if you didn’t complete this course – then this may impact how many years of funding you are entitled to. If you are concerned that you are in this position, please seek advice from the Advice Service.

Tuition fee loan

  • To help with course fees. Student Finance will pay up to £9,250 per year.
  • The fees are paid directly to the University from Student Finance.
  • The University will charge 25% of your fees in Term 1, 25% in Term 2 and 50% in Term 3.
  • Currently, you have to pay this loan back when you start earning more than £25,000 annually.

Maintenance loan

  • To help with living costs including: rent; bills; travel and food.
  • The loan is paid directly to you over three installments (usually one each term).
  • The amount you receive depends on your household income, where you live and where you study (London or elsewhere)
  • You might be counted as an ‘Independent Student’ which means that Student Finance will only look at your income, not your household income. An independent student is someone who is estranged from their parents; has been supporting themselves financially for 3 years; has a child or is aged over 25.
  • You have to pay this loan back when you start earning more than £25,000 annually.

How much you’ll get

The amount you’ll receive depends on household income. Below is some guidance but further information can be found on the government student finance website.

Household income Living away from home Living at home
£25,000 or less £8,944 £7,529
£30,000 £8,303 £6,895
£35,000 £7,661 £6,260
£40,000 £7,019 £5,626
£45,000 £6,377 £4,991

Note: The current Maintenance Loan is unlikely to cover all the living costs students encounter in the UK, the government expects parents to cover any shortfall in funding. The precise amount parents are expected to contribute varies depending on household income.

Household income Maintenance loan* Expectected parental contribution*
£25,000 or less £8,944 £0
£30,000 £8,303 £641
£35,000 £7,661 £1,283
£40,000 £7,019 £1,925
£45,000 £6,377 £2,567

*estimate based on students living away from home outside of London

How to get it

  • Apply online: apply by the 24th May 2019 to ensure that your application is processed by the beginning of your course. You can still apply after this date and up to 9 months after the start of the course but this will delay you receiving your funding.
  • You can also call Student Finance England on 0300 100 0607.
  • Your parents/partner will be asked to fill in a form with their earnings for the 2017/18 tax year if you applying for a means-tested Maintenance Loan.
  • Complete the declaration form online.

Student Finance – Grants and support provision

Grant available Eligibility How much you’ll receive
Parents Learning Allowance You have a dependent child. Up to £1,716, depending on household income.
Childcare Grant Helps with Childcare costs if you have a child under 15 or under 17 if they have Special Educational Needs. Up to £169.31 per week for one child. £290.27 for two or more children, depending on household income.
Adult Dependent Grant If an adult is financially dependent on you. Up to £3,007 depending on household income.
Disabled Students Allowance If you need additional support to study due to a disability or illness. Depends on the individual needs of the student. See our ‘Funding for Disabled Students’ leaflet for more information.

Bursaries and Grants

Reading Bursary

Additional £1,100 Bursary for students with an assessed household income of less than £27,000. They must be getting support from Student Finance. Applied when financially assessed by Student Finance – no application form necessary. The £1,100 can either be a cash payment or a partial tuition fee reduction.

Pre-application Bursary

For disabled students visiting Reading University to discuss their disability/access needs. Speak to the Disability Advisory Team on 0118 378 8921 for more information.

Pre-entry travel Bursary

Available to students travelling to the University for Interviews and Visit Days (not Open Days).

RREF Bursary Fund

An award of up to £15,000 available for students within the Reading Real Estates Foundation School. This will be closed on the 5th April 2019.

Henley Business School Scholarships

For Henley Business School offer holders who have achieved academic excellence in their A-Levels or equivalent. See the Henley Busines School website for more information.

Welfare Benefits

Some students might be eligible for financial support from the Government depending on their situation. Please see our money advice pages for Disabled Students and Mature Students online or in the RUSU Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) for more information.

Benefit Eligibility
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Students with a disability which has a significant impact on their everyday life. Apply through the Department of Work and Pensions.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Students claiming PIP who cannot work can also claim certain types of ESA. Apply by calling the JobCentre Plus – speak to an Adviser or go online for more details.
Universal Credit (UC) Students may be able to get Universal Credit if they’re studying full-time, under 21 without parental support, are responsible for a child, live with a partner who is eligible for UC, or are disabled with limited capacity for work and claiming PIP. Apply through Department of Work and Pensions.

Key University Dates: 2019/20

Date What to do
April 2019 Student Finance applications open. Get your application in by 24th May 2018 to ensure funding by September 2019.
August 2019 Thursday 15th August – A-Level Results Day.
Decide on your University and Course – remember to update your UCAS application if you have changed your course or institution.
September 2019 Autumn Term starts! Welcome Week starts on the 23rd September, term starts on the 30th September
Your first Student Finance payment will be made*
December 2019 Autumn Term finishes on 13th December.
January 2020 Spring Term starts on 13th January.
Your second Student Finance payment will be made*
March 2020 Spring Term finishes on 27th March.
April 2020 Summer Term starts on 20th April.
Your third and final Student Finance payment will be made*
June 2020 Summer Term finishes on 12th June.

* This is the usual Student Finance schedule – however please check your Student Finance account for your exact payment schedule.

If you would like further advice or to speak with somebody in person then a Students’ Union Adviser may be able to help. The specialist advisers offer a confidential service, independent from the University so they can discuss your case with you in private.

Contact the Advice Service

Services which operate within the Advice Service have separate sessions: see their individual pages for further info on how and when to access them.

Following the current situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19), RUSU staff have been asked to work for remotely for the foreseeable future. This includes the staff within the Advice Service.

As a result, the Advice Service is unable to offer face-to-face appointment or a drop-in service at the current time, but we are still able to offer advice to students.

If you would like some support from the Advice Service then please complete our Talk to us form. Alternatively, you can email the service on advice@rusu.co.uk

Please be assured that an Adviser will get in touch with you as soon as possible, and that we can still offer appointments via other methods (for example, via telephone, Skype or Microsoft Teams).