Universities are expanding their course offerings and companies are upskilling their employees, which has resulted in a higher number of mature students enrolling in universities. However, there are several myths related to student finance, such as the myth that mature students accumulate unmanageable debt after graduation. This article aims to dispel these myths and provide you with crucial information on student loans as a mature student.
There is no official definition of a ‘Mature Student’ – this term is usually used to refer to older students, particularly students over 25 or have been financially independent of their parents for at least three years at the start of an undergraduate degree course.
If you’re a mature student, you may have more responsibilities to consider while attending university. Your income may also be at risk. Student Finance England covers a majority of (UK/home) students and students can apply for student loans to cover.
Undergraduate Tuition fees – Tuition fee loans cover the cost of your undergraduate course fees and are paid directly to the university or college. There is no age limit for applying for tuition fees loans, so anyone can apply, as long as they plan to study for their first undergraduate degree. British students (or those with ‘settled status’) can pay up to £9,250 a year for undergraduate tuition fees at universities and colleges. Depending on whether you study at home or abroad, the amount set by the government in each country can vary. If you are over 60 when you start your course, you can only get a loan for tuition fees.
Postgraduate Loan – During a postgraduate master’s course, you can borrow a Postgraduate Master’s Loan to help you pay for living expenses and course fees. You can get up to:
Most full-time and some part-time students are eligible for maintenance loans. This will help you pay for some living expenses during your studies, and it will be paid in three instalments per year. According to your household income, your maintenance loan could range between £3,516 and £9,488 for full-time study and between £6,935 and £8,275 for part-time study (if you commence studying in September 2021). You will receive a maintenance loan based on your household income each year.
Spend some time searching through scholarships and bursaries especially those available directly from your university as they are usually open to a wide range of students. Applying to scholarships often requires writing a personal statement and providing grade transcripts throughout your studies.