Paying your living costs

Paying your living costs

Maintenance loan and grants

If you're a full-time student, you can get money from the government to help with your living costs as well as your fees. The main sources of help are:

  • Maintenance loan: up to £4,375 if you live at home, £5,500 if you move away and £7,675 if you live in London
  • Maintenance grant: up to £3,354, which doesn't have to be paid back.

How much you can get depends on your household income. The Student Calculator will ask you some questions to estimate how much you will get. If you already know, you can skip the 'Entitlements' section of the Calculator and include the amount in the 'Income' section.

From 2016, new students will no longer be able to get the maintenance grant. Instead, the maintenance loan will be larger.

Bursaries and scholarships

Universities offer money to students based on household income, academic performance and other criteria. What's on offer depends on the particular university, so check with each university you are thinking of applying to. Remember that some bursaries and scholarships are only available to a limited number of people, so even if you meet the criteria you're not guaranteed to get them.


Degree sponsorship is when an employer supports you through your studies, usually because they think you'll make a good employee for them once you graduate. The benefits will vary, but could include:

  • your fees paid in full
  • money to help with living costs
  • work during the holidays
  • equipment, such as a laptop

You'll also have a good chance of a job when you graduate.

Employers might also offer sponsorship for part-time study, especially if you're already employed there.


A part-time or holiday job can help you to cover your costs at university. However, you need to be realistic about how long you can work without affecting your studies. Pay can vary across the country, so take a look at job adverts in the area you will be studying to see how much you can expect to earn.

If you take a gap year, you could also choose to spend some of it working and save up for when you start your course.

The Student Calculator has options for both term-time and holiday work. If you enter how much you will earn per week or per month, it will estimate how much that adds up to in a year for you.