Student Finance – Eligibility

Studying for any higher level qualification can be difficult at the best of times and financing your studies can often be a challenge. Many people often underestimate the effect that a lack of money can have on your ultimate academic success.

The financial strain can often be as much a cause for students dropping-out as the usual academic demands.
Even if you are working and studying part-time the cost of travelling, books and, in some cases, childcare can be quite high.

So if you are about to embark upon a course of study what financial help is there?

In order to qualify for financial assistance you must satisfy a number of conditions. These are based upon the type of qualification you are studying for, where you live and what other income you have.

Eligibility for Financial Help

Your eligibility for student finance is based upon your own circumstances, the type of course you are enrolling upon and the institution running the course.

Personal Eligibility

Factors considered will include your age, your immigration status (if you are not a British National) and residence status. You will also only be granted financial assistance for your first higher education qualification or if you are ‘topping-up’ a lower level qualification.

Courses and Institutions

You can apply for student finance if you are studying either part-time or full-time on a recognised course.

Types of course eligible include Degrees, Foundation Degrees, Certificates and Diplomas of Higher Education, HNC and HND courses. Qualifying part-time courses will usually have to last for at least one year.

Qualifying Educational Institutions

To be awarded financial assistance your course must be organised by a recognised institution such as a College or University. Some private colleges and other institutions may also qualify.


Further education and Postgraduate courses are dealt with separately and generally do not qualify for the standard student finance scheme.

Some postgraduate courses have funding already attached and these are termed as Studentships. Some teacher training courses and social work studies qualify for funding.