Help and Advice

Support relating to student finances including loans, fees and funding, and advice on budgeting and managing debt.

Support for New Students

This page contains information on:

Fee Loans

The University of Leeds charges £9,000 yearly fees for full time undergraduate courses. You can apply for a loan of the maximum tuition fee amount to pay for these fees. This is not means tested, so your household income is not taken into account.You can download Martin Lewis' leaflet 'You can afford to go to Uni' here.There is no longer a requirement to pay fees up-front, but you must remember to apply for this loan. Your fees are paid directly to the University by the Student Loans Company and the loan is repaid, along with the loan for living costs after you graduate and are earning over £21,000 per annum.

A new addition to the fees structure is that part time students are now eligible to apply for tuition fee loans (up to £6,750) through student finance as well. For the University of Leeds part time tuition fees are charged proportionate to your rate of study.

Applying for Student Finance

Apply for Student Finance early to avoid delays. You don't need a confirmed place to apply. There is usually a deadline in spring each year. You can apply after this date however it may not processed in time for you to receive payment in September. You need to re-apply for your student loan each year.  The latest you can apply for your Student Finance is usually 9 months from the start of the academic year. Only full-time students can get Maintenance Loans and Maintenance Grants for their living costs.

Muslim students.

Islamic Sharia law prohibits "Riba", which means the paying and receiving of interest for profit. This means some Islamic students opt to not take out any loan  for their student education. The University has a useful page on this here. 
Aside from the loan for maintenance or for fees you may still be interested in applying for Student Finance grants that are means tested which will open you up for Leeds University means tested support. More information is liste below.The Government is currently looking to put together Shariah compliant Student Finance funding and more information on this should be available soon. 


Maintenance Grant

This is a means tested grant for students. This means Student Loans Company will look at your household income and work out how much money you get for your Maintenance Grant.You can apply for a Maintenance Grant if your family income is below the threshold set out for your start year. You can check the chart below for yours.
A partial grant will be payable where household income is between £25,000 and the top threshold.  Your household income is your parents’ or partner’s income.

Year started University.



2014 and 2015 

Full grant amount (if household income is under £25,000)




Household income range for partial grant







Amount of partial grant available when household income falls between relevant range




These grants are paid into your bank account at the start of each term, once you've registered on your course.
If you get a Maintenance Grant your Maintenance Loan will be reduced. This has the affect of deducing your overall student debt.
You can only get a Maintenance Grant if your household income is assessed.

Special Support Grant

If you get or qualify for Income Support or Housing Benefit you may get the Special Support Grant instead of the Maintenance Grant. The amount you can get through the Special Support Grant is the same as that available through the Maintenance Grant but it won’t reduce how much you get for your Maintenance Loan.
You are likely to qualify for the Special Support Grant if:
  • you’re a single parent
  • you have certain disabilities


Student Loans

The above tool is from the Student Finance site and may help you work out what to apply for in your circumstances.
Your maintenance loan is a means tested loan, similar to the maintenance grant. How much you receive is dependent on your household income. Since September 2012 the maximum loan amounts will be as follows:


2012 figures

2014 figures

2015 figures

Living at parental home




Living elsewhere




Maintenance loan entitlement for maintenance grant recipients will be reduced by the amount of the grant. Full-time students can apply for a Maintenance Loan to help with living costs. Maintenance Loans are paid into your bank account at the start of each term. Part-time students can’t apply for a Maintenance Loan.

The exact amount full-time students can borrow depends on:
·          your family’s income
·          where you live
·          what year of study you’re in
·          what help you get through the Maintenance Grant
Repaying the Student Loan
The Student Loan Company will start requesting payment the April following graduation. If you are earning under £21,000 per year you will not have to begin repayment, but you will have to complete a deferment form. Payments are deducted from earnings by HMRC, who pay the SLC. The loan can be paid off sooner if you can afford it.
The below tool is from the Student Finance website and may help you understand repayments once you graduate- this is only for Students starting their degree from 2012.

There is a variety of University of Leeds based funding on top of any loans and grants from Student Finance. Information in this section can be looked at in more detail here.

For an introduction you can download the University money guide for 2014 starters here. 

You are eligible for some level of University of Leeds financial support if you are:

  • a UK student from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or an EU student, and
  • have a household income of up to £42,600, and
  • are studying for your first degree, and
  • are studying full-time or part-time (if you are studying part time your payment will be proportionate)

If you're an eligible UK student from England, you can choose between:

  • a tuition fee discount
  • a discount on University-owned accommodation
  • a cash sum

The information below is for 2012 and 13 starters only for 2014 starters and after, see below

Household income

Year 1 Support

Years 2 and above


£4,000 or less. (for 2012 starters this is £0 household income).




In year 1, you can take a maximum of £1,000 as a cash sum - you must take the remaining £5,000 as a fee discount or accommodation discount. 

£4,001 - £25,000

(for 2012 starters this is beween £0 and £25,000)



In year 1, you can choose between a cash sum, fee discount or accommodation discount

£25,001 - £30,000



See above

£30,001 - £36,000



See above

£36,001 - £42,600



See above

*£3,000 from the University and £3,000 from the National Scholarship Programme

For 2014 starters

Leeds Financial Support packages available for 2014 starters. Please note that after 16/12/13 these amounts may be different following changes in Government allocation.If your starting University in 2015 see below 

Household Income Award in first year of study Award in second and subsequent years
£25,000 or below


£25,001 - £30,000 £2000 £1500
£30,001- £36,000 £1500 £1000
£36,001 - £42,600 £1000 £500


2015 starters.

This information is for people starting at the University of Leeds in Septermber 2015. This does not apply to students on foundation years. 

Household Income Award amount each year
£25,000 or below  £2500
£25,001 - £30,000 £1500
£30,001 - £36,000 £1000
£36,001 - £42,600 £500


Scholarships from the University of Leeds.

There are also a number of other scholarships and bursaries available including funds for people from specific areas or studying specific subjects. There is more info on this here. 

Supplementary grants for certain students

Certain students are eligible for additional support for their particular needs. These are outlined below.
Disabled Students Allowance

Financial assistance is available for disabled students to help with additional costs incurred in attending your course as a direct result of your disability. This can cover equipment, travel and cost of non medical helpers. DSA is available for full and part time students. It is not means tested and does not have to be repaid. If you are coming to the University of Leeds, you are strongly advised to contact the Disabled Students Assessment and Support team well in advance of the start of your studies. They can assist with your application for DSA.Go to the Disabled Students Assessment and Support website for more information.

Help for students with children
Help is available for students who have children both through the Student Finance in the form of the Parents Leaning allowance and the Childcare Grant and also through HMRC in the form of Child Tax Credit. Have a look at our page Financial Assistance for those with families.
Other supplementary grants
Help is also available if you have an adult dependant or if you are a care leaver. For information on these supplementary grants please contact Student Finance or the Student Advice Centre.

Calculation of household income

Parental income
If you live with only one of your natural parents, the income of step-parents will be taken into account in assessing the household income. The income considered by Student Finance is your parents' 'residual income'. This is their gross income minus certain disregards such as payments into a pension scheme which qualify for tax relief, and allowances for other dependents or if a parent is also a student. Anything that is considered taxable under Inland Revenue Taxation Acts is counted as your parents' income, such as their salary, taxable income from their self employed business and interest on any stocks and shares.

Student Finance will usually look at your parents' income for the tax year before the start of your course. If your parents' income has fallen significantly since the previous tax year your parents can ask Student Finance to consider looking at their income for the current year.
Your own income
Certain income you have is taken into account when calculating household income. This does not include income from casual work during the course, but may include certain benefits.
Independent students
If you are classed as an independent student your parents' income is not taken into account when assessing the award. Generally you are independent if:
  • You are above 25 years old before the start of your program of study; or
  • You have fully supported yourself for three years; or
  • You are married or in a civil partnership; or
  • You have care of a child; or
  • You have no living parents.
You can also be classed as an independent student if your Student Finance consider you to be irreconcilably estranged from your parents. This rule is only used in exceptional circumstances and the onus is on the student to show this is the case and provide evidence (such as a social worker report or a letter from a counsellor or therapist).

For new system Independent students your residual income is assessed with the same thresholds as household income in other cases. If you have a partner their income will be also taken into account when calculating the residual income.

Other Sources of Income

Part time work
Many students do part-time work alongside their studies. Leeds University Union has a job shop, Joblink, advertises appropriate part-time jobs with local employers.
Parental contribution
If your parents are able to assist consider asking them to set up a standing order - avoid lump sums to help you budget. 
State benefits
Very few students are eligible for these, however, if you have a disability or dependants you should check your entitlement. Contact The Student Advice Centre for details.
Access to Learning Fund
HE institutions usually have a budget for students in hardship. Further details available from our page on ALF .
Bank overdrafts
Banks are very keen to get student custom. Incentives such as railcards, cash and money-off vouchers are useful. However, good interest rates, low charges and facilities for graduates are better in the long term.

Useful Contacts

LUU Student Advice Centre

Leeds University Union, PO Box 157, Leeds, LS1 1UH, tele: 0113 380 1290, email:

Student Loans Company Limited,
100 Bothwell Street, GLASGOW, G2 7JD, General Enquiries tel: 0845 026 2019, website:
University of Leeds Student Finance (fees office)
  • 0113 343 6700  

This information was last checked on 12/01/2015. This information is updated as often as possible. Leeds University Union can not be held responsible if the information here is incorrect.


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