Student Finance would ideally be nice and simple, but with different rules for Scottish students, students from the rest of the UK, some European students but not others and a totally different kettle of fish for International students the only way to make the information simple is to cut down to the basics.
Our ASK quick guide can be downloaded at the bottom of this page, and provides a very simplified version of Student Funding, coded so you can see what you might be able to apply for depending on whether you’re Scottish, from the rest of the UK, from the EU or an International Student.
While it isn't possible to go into detail about all the student funding options here, the following sections contain links to sources of further information on student funding for:
- Scottish students
- Students from the rest of the UK
- European nationals studying in Scotland
- International students
Student funding for Scottish residents is through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Information on the types of support available through SAAS, and the criteria for eligibility for support, can be found on the SAAS website at http://www.saas.gov.uk/
Student finance rules have been pretty stable for the last three years, which means we're past due for a shake-up!
There are important changes to SAAS funding this year, for both new and existing students, so be sure to familiarise yourself with the new rules to minimise the impact on you!
From 2011, there will no longer be a separate means tested travel grant. Instead, there will be an extra £350 available as part of the means-tested element of the student loan.
If you think you may be affected by this change, you can contact ASK for further advice, and/ or apply to the Discretionary Fund for assistance in making up any shortfall in your funding that is a result of this change.
Lone Parent Childcare Grant
From 2011, you will no longer apply to SAAS for this grant. Instead, it will be administrated by the University. If you would normally have been eligible for the full £1215 grant, this will be guaranteed to be maintained as a minimum payment for 2011 to try to minimise any financial hardship as a result of the change.
The Lone Parent Grant will still be administered by SAAS. It will therefore be vital that students who qualify for the Lone Parent Childcare Grant have their student funding letter from SAAS by the start of their course so that their claim can be processed by the University at the start of the academic year.
SAAS guarantee that correct claims received by the 30th June will be processed in time for the start of the academic year.
Tuition Fee differential
Self-funding students currently receive a subsidy from SAAS to cover the increase in tuition fees that was applied in 2006. Continuing students will continue to receive this fee subsidy until the end of their current course.
From 2011, SAAS will no longer pay this subsidy for new students, who will need to pay the full rate of fees to the University.
(NB: For 2011 only, self-funding students who can show they made enquiries about fees before applying for a course, and were advised they would be eligible for the fee differential may be eligible to receive the payments. Students who made enquiries will need to follow the SAAS appeals process to request the payments)
The ILA500 is being abolished from 2011. This will be replaced with a part-time fee grant, administered by SAAS.
To qualify for the Fee Grant, students must:
- Be studying in Scotland;
- Meet the normal residency rules for SAAS funding;
- Be on a course at HNC - PgDip level.
There will be transitional protection for students who are already on courses or at institutions that would otherwise no longer qualify for funding.
There will not be transitional protection for students currently receiving the ILA500 who did/do not meet the normal SAAS residency rules.
Independent Student status
Students who separate from a spouse or partner, and who do not meet any of the other criteria for being an independent student and who move back in with their parent(s), will be reassessed as dependent students for the purposes of SAAS support.
Financial support for students from the rest of the UK is provided by Student Finance companies for each region. The websites and contact details for these organisations are:
Wales: Student Finance Wales
If you have a specific question about funding pop in for a chat or send us an e-mail and we’ll see what we can do for you.
EU/ EEA nationals who come to Scotland to study can apply to have their tuition fees paid to the University by SAAS.
Most EU/ EEA students are not entitled to other student support, for example the maintenance loan or additional grants.
There are also changes to EU/EEA funding from 2011 as follows:
EU students - previous study
Previous publicly funded study will be taken into account in determining whether EU/EEA students qualify for tuition fee payments from SAAS.
Degree level qualifications (as defined by the awarding institution) for which the student received public funds (as defined by SAAS) will mean that the student is not eligible for SAAS support.
This only applies to new applicants, at both Postgraduate and Undergraduate level.
There are very few courses or institutions in the EU/EEA that do not, according to SAAS' criteria, involve public funding in some form.
EU/EEA Migrant Workers
Continuing students will be assessed under current (i.e. 2010/11) rules until the end of their current course. They do not have to have previously applied for migrant worker status for this to be the case.
New students who wish to receive maintenance support from SAAS as a migrant worker must:
- Be ordinarily resident in Scotland in the relevant date (usually 1st August before the start of the course); and
- Have been ordinarily resident in the EU/EEA or Switzerland for the three years preceeding the relevant date; and either
- Have been made involuntarily unemployed; or
- Have a link between their education and employment (NB: employment must not have been a requirement of entry onto the course).
There is no public funds/ Government financial support available to International students studying in the UK.
University Discretionary funds and Emergency Aid funds are not available to International students.
It is expected that International students will have the full funding and financial support required for their course in place before arriving in the UK.
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