If you are planning to go to college or university it is essential that you know about all the types of student funding that are available and how to apply for your financial support.
Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)
The Student Awards Agency for Scotland is the national agency that gives financial support to eligible students doing a course of higher education in the UK.
Tuition Fees and Loans (2017-18)
If you are going to university in Scotland: You can be charged up to £1,820 per year for tuition. The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will pay this in full if you are eligible. You must reapply to SAAS every year of your course.
If you are going to university in England, Northern Ireland or Wales: At English and Northern Irish universities, you can be charged up to £9,250 per year for tuition. At Welsh universities you can be charged up to £9,000. You will not have to pay upfront for this. You will need to reapply online to SAAS every year for a loan to help with your fees.
All students: There is a deadline for applications to SAAS, usually around mid-spring before your course. This is to ensure that your university has been paid when you begin your course.
Funding your living costs
Young students: If you are a ‘young’ student studying in Scotland (under age 25), you can apply online to SAAS for a loan. The loan you can receive can be a maximum of £5,750 (means-assessed) and a minimum (non-means-tested) of £4,750. You will have to pay this back.
You may also be able to apply for the Young Students’ Bursary. This is non-repayable. The table below shows what young students are entitled to.
|If your household income is:||£0 – £18,999||£19,000 – £23,999||£24,000 – £33,999||£34,000 +|
|You can receive a loan of up to:||£5,750||£5,750||£5,750||£4,750|
|You can receive a bursary of up to:||£1,875||£1,125||£500||£0|
Independent students: If you are an ‘independent’ student you can apply online to SAAS for a loan. You can receive a maximum (means-assessed) loan of £6,750 and a minimum (non-means-tested) loan of £4,750. You will have to pay this back.
You may also be able to apply for the Independent Students’ Bursary. This is non-repayable. The table below shows what independent students are entitled to.
|If your household income is:||£0-£18,999||£19,000-£23,999||£24,000-£33,999||£34,000 +|
|You can receive a loan of up to:||£6,750||£6,750||£6,250||£4,750|
|You can receive a bursary of up to:||£875||£0||£0||£0|
All students: The loan is paid into your bank account at the start of each term, once you’ve registered on your course.
There is a deadline for applications to SAAS, which is usually around mid-summer. This is to guarantee funds are in place for the beginning of the academic year. The final date for applications is nine months after the first day of your entire course.
SAAS also provides living cost grants. This may be if you have an adult dependent you care for, or you are a lone parent. If you are eligible you can receive up to £2,640. There is also help for those leaving care.
Extra support may also be available if you meet a particular set of criteria. For example, if you have dependants or a disability. Read about what other financial support may be available to you.
Repaying your loan
Loan repayments will begin the April after you have left your course. You will also need to be earning over a certain amount each year. You pay a percentage of your income when you reach the threshold. Read more about loan repayments here.
How to Manage Your Money