Lifelong Learning Centre

Living and study costs support from the government for full-time students from England

What about my living and study costs while I’m at university?

You can apply for a government loan for ‘maintenance’ while you are studying; money for items such as rent, food, books, travel etc.  How much maintenance you will get depends on your personal circumstances, including where you live while you study, your household income and your eligibility for benefits.  Find out more here .  Please note that interest is charged on all government loans.  More information about interest here.

I’ve got a family to support – can I get any extra help?

Yes, depending on your personal circumstances you may be able to get help with the costs of caring responsibilities for people who are financially dependent on you, through the Childcare Grant, the Parents’ Learning Allowance and the Adult Dependants’ Grant.  All of these awards are non-repayable and means-tested (dependent on household income).  More information is available here.

I have a disability – can I get any extra help?

Yes, you may be able to get financial support with your study costs if you have a disability, long term health condition or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.  Help is provided through Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) from the government.  To get DSA, you need to have a disability, long term health condition or specific learning difficulty which affects your ability to study and provide medical evidence of this. DSA is not means-tested and does not affect other benefits.

It is vital that you apply for DSA as soon as you know you will be going to university in 2019 to ensure that support can be in place when you start your course. You should also contact the Disabled Students’ Assessment and Support Service at the earliest opportunity to discuss your support needs: 0113 343 3927 or email

How much financial support will I get?

There is no ‘one size fits all’ for student finance, because what you will get depends on your personal circumstances.  You can ‘model’ the support you will get by going to the government’s Student Finance Calculator  You put in all your personal details and it will work out how much you could get.

How and when do I apply for financial support?

You need to apply online.  You can apply from February 2019 onwards.  Apply as early as possible – you do not need to have a place at a particular university or on a particular course to do this.  Put in the details of the course you hope to do in September 2019; you can easily go back into your account at any time and change this.  In any event, you should apply by the 24 May 2019 at the latest to be sure that your finance will be in place by the time you start university (applications are accepted after this but it cannot be guaranteed that your finance will be in place by September).

You must apply for government financial support by 1 June 2020.

How will being a full-time student affect my benefits?

This is a complex issue where a single answer cannot apply, as it depends on individual circumstances.  Full-time students cannot usually claim income-related benefits in addition to the financial support they receive as a student.  However, in certain circumstances you may be able to claim; for example if you are a lone parent, if your partner is also a student and one/both of you has a child, or you have a disability.  However, please be aware that the funds provided for your study may be counted as income and therefore may change your personal circumstances.  For more information, check the NUS website or the Turn2Us website.

Please note: Full-time students are eligible for Council Tax exemptions or discounts. The amount you pay will depend on your living arrangements.  More information here.

All prospective students; please read this important information about applying for government support.