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Financial help for uni students

  • 16/08/2018

This article is over a year old

Grants, benefits and schemes can help

A student holding books

Whether you are just about to start your first year at university or you are in your final year, being a student isn’t cheap, but financial help may be available.


Help may be available to you through bursaries or charitable grants to help with books, equipment and other educational costs.

Use the Turn2us Grants Search to find out what grants you are eligible for.

Other financial help may be available for course specific students, such as medical, social work or teaching training.

For example, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Horizons Bursaries can help engineering and technology students.


Student Support provides help with tuition fees and living expenses in the form of grants and loans from the Government. Students who are also parents or who are living with a disability could get extra financial help.

University and college hardship funds may be available directly from your university or college. You will need to contact them directly.

Disabled Students’ Allowances are there for students with a disability, long-term health condition or specific learning difficulty.

Help for students with children is available through the Childcare Grant, Parents’ Learning Allowance and Adult Dependents’ Grant.


Student benefit entitlements can be complicated and depends on your situation and whether you study part time or full time. For more information, read the Turn2us Your situation: Studying 16+ guide.

Jobseeker’s Allowance can’t usually be claimed by full-time students, unless you are a lone parent, you are in a couple and have a child and claim during the summer holidays or if you are on a special Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) related course.

Income Support may be available for students who are a lone parents of a child under five, a lone foster parent of a child under 16, receiving long-term Incapacity Benefit, a refuge learning English or under 21 (in non-advanced education) with no parental support. You may also be able to claim during the summer holidays in some cases.

Employment and Support Allowance (contribution based) is available to full-time students if you have previously worked and paid national insurance contributions, and fit the criteria. Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is only available to students who are also claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Education Maintenance Allowance is available to 16, 17, 18 or 19 year olds in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who are about to leave compulsory education and are carrying on with their studies.

Housing Benefit may be available if you fit the eligibility criteria.

Universal Credit may be available if you fit the eligibility criteria.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is available as normal as long as you fit the eligibility criteria.

Child Benefit is available as normal as long as you fit the eligibility criteria.

Tax Credits and Pensions Credit are available as normal as long as you fit the eligibility criteria.

If you take time out of study, your benefit entitlements may change. If your partner is not a student, either of you may be able to claim means-tested benefits for you both.

The Turn2us Benefits Calculator cannot accurately calculate benefit entitlement for students.

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