Living Expenses Support Scheme (LESS)

If you’ve been classed as a UK Home student and are normally eligible for Student Finance England funding, you can apply to the Living Expenses Support Scheme (LESS). To be eligible for this you must meet the application requirements.

More information can be found on the Living Expenses Support Scheme (LESS) page.

The 125 Fund awards

The 125 Fund awards allows you the opportunity to take on a project or buy some important equipment with the help of additional funding. Funds are awarded between £150 and £1,500 and are decided on a case-by-case basis. For more information visit our 125 Fund awards page.

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

If you have a long-term condition or disability, you may be eligible to apply for the Disabled Students' Allowance grant, provided by Student Finance England.

For more information, visit our Funding for students with disabilities page.

If you receive the Disability Living Allowance or the Personal Independence Payment, please contact Student Advice to discuss your state benefit entitlement.

Charities and trusts

Charities and trusts offer financial support to people in need. Each one has its own eligibility criteria and application process, for example, you may need to live in a certain area and be under a certain age or have an unexpected financial difficulty during your studies. This is a useful option to investigate, but should not be viewed as a way to meet all your study needs, as the sums involved can be quite small.

The Turn2Us website has a free online trust fund search.

Alternatively, you could look in the Educational Grants Directory, published annually by the Directory of Social Change. The Student Advice Team have a reference copy or check with your local library.

The following sites are also useful resources for funding information:

If you're a current undergraduate student considering postgraduate study, masterscompare has information about funding opportunities for a number of universities.

Grants for dependents

Grants for dependents, eg for a child or partner, are assessed using household income and financial dependence on you and do not need to be repaid. These are paid directly to you in three instalments at the beginning of each term. The financial assessment used to calculate your entitlement to these grants differs from the one used for the Maintenance Loan, so receipt of this loan does not guarantee you will also receive these grants.

The following grants are available:

  • A Parents' Learning Allowance of up to £1,669 to help with additional costs for your child
  • A Childcare Grant towards the cost of Ofsted-registered or Ofsted-approved childcare. This grant can cover up to 85% of your childcare costs, up to a maximum of £164.70 for one child and £282.36 for two or more children. It will never cover 100% of your childcare costs. When you first apply, you declare your expected costs for the year on form CCG1 and three times a year, your Childcare provider confirms the actual costs accrued on a CCG2 form. Tip: always keep receipts/evidence for each childcare payment in case SFE request further evidence during your course
  • An Adult Dependent Grant of up to £2,926 paid for an adult who is dependent on you financially, for example, a partner with little or no income

For more information about the additional grants available, visit Student Finance England.

If you are responsible for a child or young person please contact Student Advice to discuss your state benefit entitlement.

Tax credits

Tax credits may be an option to top up your income and/or help pay for childcare costs if relevant. To check the eligibility rules visit the gov.uk website.

Contact Student Advice if you're on a Tier 4 or any other type of visa, as you may not be eligible to claim tax credits or state benefits and claiming could break your visa conditions.

Claiming Social Security benefits

Not all full–time students can claim or continue to claim benefits while they study. For information about who can claim and how income affects benefits, please visit our Benefit pages.

Part-time study does not exclude you from claiming Social Security benefits and you can claim under the usual benefit rules. The part-time Tuition Fee Loan and the Disabled Students' Allowance do not count as income and do not reduce the amount of benefit payable to you.

We are waiting for clarification on how the new Maintenance Loan will affect and/or reduce benefit entitlements and will update this once information becomes available.

Funding for architecture students

If you're an architecture student, have a look at the RIBA Hardship Funds.

Funding for postgraduate students

Professional studies loan

Some banks operate loan schemes for postgraduates taking professional courses such as law or accountancy. Interest rates and repayments will vary. Check availability with your bank or other financial organisation. Always make sure you check the interest rates applied and read the terms and conditions carefully.