Financial support is available through grants and bursaries (which you don’t have to pay back) and loans (which you do). Check with your university either via their prospectus or website to find out how much your course will cost. This will vary across all universities and by subject.
The maximum tuition fee a university can charge is:
£3,290 for 2010/11
£3,375 for 2011/12
£9,000 for 2012/13
Students starting for the first time in September 2012 will be affected by the maximum tuition fee rate to £9,000. However, not all universities or colleges will charge the maximum amount.
If you take a gap year and delay your entry from 2011/12 to 2012/13, your tuition fees will be at the 2012/13 rates.
Up-to-date information about tuition fees is available on the Directgov website. Another good source of information is the student finance section of the UCAS web site (click on the "student finance" button).
Students starting in 2010/11 or 2011/12
Full-time students have the following financial help available:
a Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant - worth up to £2,906
a Tuition Fee Loan to cover your fees in full (up to £3,290 for 2010/11 or up to £3,375 for 2011/12)
a Maintenance Loan - worth up to £4,950 if you live away from home, or more if you study in London (although the maximum you can get is reduced if you’re getting help through the Maintenance Grant)
a bursary from your university or college
Directgov's Student Finance Calculator is a useful tool for estimating how much you’re likely to get.
Students registered on a university course are eligible to apply for a loan, which is repaid at a low rate of interest over a period of several years after graduating. Student loans are from the government to help with costs of higher education. You’ll be able to take out a student loan each year of your course: a Tuition Fee Loan to cover your fees in full, and a Maintenance Loan to help with your accommodation and other living costs.
Visit the Student Loans Company website for more information. You can apply for a student loan through the university or directly at DirectGov website.
You may consider looking for part-time work if you are unable to receive enough financial support. Contact your university JobShop for latest jobs. These are typically student bar work or work needed to be done around the Student Union campus. You could also look in the local newspapers and notices in shop windows or supermarkets for work. Recruitment agencies can also help you find part-time work.
University rented accommodation will probably be cheaper (less expensive) than private rented accommodation. All accommodation in the center of large cities is likely to be more expensive than accommodation elsewhere. Day-to-day traveling expenses might be considerable (perhaps buy a bike?). General food-and-drink expenses might be more than you expect. You have to have enough clothes to keep dry and warm. Any maybe, just once every two or three months, you might want to go to a party, disco or club.
First year students are usually guaranteed accommodation and this is organised by the university. All universities have residential accommodation available in Halls of Residence or University Flats.
If you apply late of there is no room in Halls of Residence, you may be placed in private rented accommodation instead.
More information about costs and accommodation available to you should be available from the university's prospectus and/or website. Also you can ask questions at an open day or interview. Try to find out also what happens after the first year. You should also enquire whether rooms in residential accommodation have internet included as well as whether it is self-catered or catered.
Government departments and agencies provide information on websites as follows: