Finance

Does talk of finance leave you in a cloud of confusion? Worried about living on a student budget? The ARU Team have collected and answered some of the common questions we hear about student finance.

Finance

Can I afford to go to university?

If you're considering going to university, seeing the course fees and estimating the cost of moving out can be very overwhelming. However, the important thing to remember is that there are lots of different types of financial support available.

Undergraduate study can be funded by using a combination of student loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries. Your entitlement to these is calculated on an individual basis. However, the tuition fee loan is available to anyone applying for an undergraduate course at a publicly-funded institution. This will cover the full cost of your course, so there's no need to worry about paying for the course itself.

There is also a loan available to cover your living costs whilst you are at university. The amount you are entitled to depends on your household income and where you choose to live whilst studying. You can use the Government’s student finance calculator to find out how much you maintenance loan you are entitled to each year.

Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to additional grants and allowances. These are typically income or needs assessed and have been created to ensure that higher education is accessible to all. You can read more about time in our grants and allowances section.

Most universities offer scholarships and bursaries, which change from institution from institution. For example, at ARU we offer a Merit Scholarship that is available to any undergraduate students that have earned BBB or above. This could entitle the applicant to an extra £1,000 worth of funds. It’s worth finding out if there are any scholarships or bursaries you can apply for that will help with the cost of studying.

There are plenty of options when it comes to making university affordable. Make sure you find out what exactly you are entitled during the application process.

I’m worried about the cost of university and graduating with debt.

The cost of university is one of the most common concerns amongst applicants. At ARU we have a range of scholarship and bursary programmes that can help you get the financial support you need to complete your studies.

If you’re taking out a student loan with Student Finance England, you won’t have to repay anything until the April after you graduate. Even then you’ll only pay 9% of any earnings over £25,000 a year. After 30 years any outstanding loan will be wiped regardless. It’s a system designed to ensure that you contribute to the repayment in line with what you earn after university.

I might have to get a part-time job while I study.

It's common for students to need to work part-time during their studies in order to cover their living costs. That's why ARU has an on-campus recruitment agency called ARU Temps, which can help to find you paid part-time work opportunities that fit around your studies. Our job vacancies board features a wide variety of internal and external roles that could complement your studies or just earn you a bit of cash.

How does Student Finance work if you've applied through Clearing?

There's no need to worry. If you've already applied for finance, but you've confirmed a place at a university through Clearing, you won't need reapply again. All you need to do is change the course provider details on your student finance application. Student Finance England and Student Finance Northern Ireland let you do this online, but Student Awards Agency for Scotland and Student Finance Wales require you to get in touch.

Will I get charged interest on my student loan?

Yes, you will pay interest on your student loan.

During your studies, your interest rate will be 6.3%. This is calculated by using the Retail Price Index (RPI), then adding another 3%. The current RPI is set at 3.3%.

This is the interest rate you will pay until the 5 April after you have finished or leave your course, unless the RPI changes in that time. 

Once you have graduated, your interest rate depends on your income within each tax year. 

There is more information about repaying your student loan on the Government website.

Do I have to pay the tuition fees upfront?

There's no need to pay the tuition fees upfront. Students can get a tuition fee loan that will cover the full cost, paid directly to the university or college. The student loan has been created so that the borrower will not have to repay until they are earning at least £25,000 per annum.

To find out more about student finance and fees, you can find lots of information on our help with finances pages.

I’ve never had to budget my own money before.

Being able to effectively budget your money is an invaluable skill that you’re likely to learn whilst you’re studying, so don’t worry if you aren’t sure how to do it yet. At ARU we have a fantastic Money Advice Service who offer specialist, impartial and confidential advice to help you with budgeting and money management. You can drop into the iCentre in Lord Ashcroft Building. You can even visit the team before you start at university.