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Undergraduate Student Finance

Student Finance

You may be able to access financial support to help pay for university or college tuition fees and to help with living costs.

The amount you can access depends on a variety of circumstances, such as where you live, your current income, the income of your household and more.

The funding you may be able to access also differs depending on whether you choose to study a full-time or part-time course.

You might get extra means tested support if you have dependent children or other adults who are financially dependent on you.

You would usually apply to the funding provider for where you are ordinarily resident prior to the start of the course e.g. Wales, England, Northern Ireland or Scotland.

Student Finance


Funding Available

When you are studying there will be two main costs:

  • your tuition fees and
  • your living costs (maintenance).

Eligible students can get student finance to help you with both costs.

Tuition Fee Loans are non-means tested and you can borrow up to the maximum amount to cover your fee charge each academic year (if you have previously studied this may affect your entitlement).

Some maintenance funding is based on the level of household income. This can be:

  • your parents
  • or if you are over 25 years old or meet other criteria (such as being estranged, a Care Leaver or being financially self-sufficient for 3 years before starting your course), you will be classed as an independent student and assessed on your own income. 
  • or if you are married or are over 25 and living with a partner as a couple, then your partner's income would usually be taken into account.

The amount of maintenance support you receive will also depend upon where you live during your studies, i.e. whether you live away from home or with your parents.

You will need to apply for your funding before stating your course, the earlier the better, and you will have to reapply for funding every academic year. 

To find out how to apply for your funding and the maximum support available from each funding provider please see our Student Funding information.


All eligible part-time students will be able to apply for a non-means tested Tuition Fee Loan.

Students may receive a loan up to £2,625 towards their fees for students living in Wales or £6,935 for students living in England, depending on their course intensity. 

Additional Support for Living Costs for Students Living in Wales

Eligible part time students living in Wales and commencing a course after 1 September 2024 will be eligible to apply for support for living costs via a Welsh Government Learning Grant and a Maintenance Loan. The level is based on the £1,000 minimum grant available to full-time students, so a part-time student studying at 50% of full-time hours would receive a minimum grant of £500.  The level of further grants and loans are dependent on the number of hours (i.e. the intensity) of study and household income. The maximum amount of combined loan and grant available to a student studying 75% intensity is £6,724.


Additional Support for Living Costs for Students Living in England

A part-time Maintenance Loan is available to those starting their course from September 2024 onwards, subject to intensity of study. The maximum available would be £10,227 for those living away from home (outside of London) and £8,610 for those living at home.

Applications for Welsh residents starting in 2024/25 will be available via Student Finance Wales from March 2024.

Applications for English residents starting in 2024/25 will be available via Student Finance England from March 2024


Fee Waiver Scheme

With the support of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) USW is offering a fee waiver scheme (subject to availability) to support students who would not otherwise have access to higher education who wish to study 30 credits or less on a part-time basis at undergraduate level.
Eligible students will have their course fees paid by HEFCW .

To be eligible for a fee waiver you:

  • must study under 30 credits per academic year
  • must be living in Wales

You must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • you are from an area of socio-economic deprivation or low participation in higher education (check your postcode online)
  • you receive qualifying benefits such as Universal Credit
  • you belong to a Black, Asian or minority ethnic group
  • you are a refugee or asylum seeker
  • you have a disability
  • you are a carer
  • you are a Care Leaver or Care Experienced
  • you identify as LGBTQ+
  • your Parents/guardians are not educated to higher education level

The fee waiver scheme is not applicable to students who repeat modules.

If you think you may be eligible for the part-time undergraduate fee waiver, please e-mail [email protected] and we'll send you an application form.

Please note that the fee waiver scheme is limited and is allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Previous study may impact on your eligibility for student finance support. Please find further information regarding previous study rules on our Previous Study page and we encourage you to Contact Us or your funding provider if you have any further queries.

  • If you have settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and have lived in the UK and Islands for 3 years before the start of your course you can apply for the tuition fee loan, maintenance loan, disabled students allowance, and dependants grant. You can apply for this funding through Student Finance Wales online.
  • If you have pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and a migrant worker (or family member of one) or a child of a Swiss national and have lived in the UK, the EU, the EAA, Gibraltar or Switzerland for 3 years before starting your course you can apply for the tuition fee loan, maintenance loan, disabled students allowance, and dependants grant. You can apply for this funding through Student Finance Wales online.
  • If you have pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and have lived in the UK, the EU, the EAA, Gibraltar or Switzerland for 3 years before starting course before you start your course you can apply for the Tuition Fee Loan by downloading a paper application form found on the Student Finance Wales website.

You can also apply:

  • If you are an Irish Citizen who will be living and studying in Wales and have been living in the UK, Islands and/or Ireland for the three years prior to the first day of the first AY of your course or have been living in the UK since 31 December 2020 or earlier, and living in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA and Switzerland for the three years prior to the first day of the first AY of your course
  • If you’re a family member of an Irish Citizen or a Person of Northern Ireland you need to have pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme and have also have been living in the UK since 31 December 2020 or earlier, and living in the UK, Gibraltar, the EEA and Switzerland for the three years prior to the first day of the first AY of your course

There are other status's which would also make you eligible for some funding for example if you are  child of a Turkish Worker, have been granted 'Calais Leave' etc.  For more information on this, see your funding provider's website.

A number of our nursing courses have been commissioned by Health Education Improvement Wales (HEIW) and are specifically designed to support individuals' progress to registration in their chosen healthcare profession. 

There are potentially two different funding options for Healthcare degrees offered by USW. 

There are a number of ways that you can be classed as an Independent Student by your funding body, and therefore assessed on your income alone. Below are details of some of these ways.

Age

If you are over 25 and single at the start of the academic year, you will automatically be assessed as independent.

Financially Supported Yourself

If you are under 25 and can evidence that you have been financially supporting your self for three years prior to the start of the course you may be able to be classed as an independent student. You would usually have to provide Student Finance with payslips, P60s and /or evidence of benefits claims and possibly evidence of rental agreements to evidence that you had enough independent income to support yourself and your living costs throughout these three years.

Estranged from your Parents

If you are under 25 and have become permanently estranged from both parents, then you may be able to be assessed as an independent student when applying for student funding. This could mean that you would receive more support or more grants than you otherwise would have done, as you can be assessed as an independent student.

You will need to provide evidence to Student Finance from an independent person e.g. social worker, school teacher, doctor etc. who can confirm the estrangement and that this estrangement has been for a considerable period of time and would be considered permanent. You may be required to provide evidence that this situation is continuing every academic year.

There is a helpful guide for estranged students who are applying for independent status and there is further advice and support available through Stand Alone.

If you would like more help and support in applying for this, please contact us.

In addition to the support offered through your funding body, the University of South Wales is committed to providing support for students who are estranged from their parents or become estranged during their studies. 

Care Leaver

As a Care Leaver, you can be assessed as independent.

In addition to the support offered through your funding body, the University of South Wales is committed to providing support for students from care and those leaving care who want to go on to higher education.

We at the University of South Wales can help you at every stage of your university experience, with specialist help and advice before, during and after you are a student with us – leaving you to concentrate on your studies and enjoy university life. 

To ask further questions and start to access the support available to you as a Care Leaver please contact the Care Leaver Coordinator

If you not quite sure if you qualify as a Care Leaver please contact us and we can advise you further. If you are a social worker or work on behalf of an organisation such as Barnardos please feel free to contact us also. 


For further information on being assessed as an independent student, please see your Student Finance provider's website.

Wales

England

Scotland

Northern Ireland

You may be able to get extra funding if you have adults or children who are financially dependent on you. This extra funding can include:-

  • Adult Dependants’ Grant (ADG)
  • Childcare Grant (CCG)
  • Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA)

The maximum amount available will depend on your course intensity. 

You will need to apply to your funding provider for further information.

Details regarding how and when you will repay any student loans can be found on the Government website.

Whether you are eligible for a Social Work Bursary will depend on whether you have been nominated for a bursary by the University and where you are ordinarily resident.

If you qualify for a Social Work Bursary, this would be paid in addition to the statutory funding you may receive, e.g. Tuition Fee Support (if you do not already hold an honours degree), Maintenance Loan (and Grants, if applicable). Please note there are a limited number of bursaries available and not all students will be eligible to receive the bursary.

If you are ordinarily resident in England or Wales please see more information via the links below:

Wales -  Social Care Wales

England - NHSBSA Social Work Bursary website

There are a variety of sources of funding and support available to you as a student teacher while you complete your course. 

What you’ll be eligible to receive will vary according to the type of ITT course you are on, where you normally live, the subject you’re training to teach and where you’re training, as well as your personal circumstances.