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Funding for EU nationals

WHAT TYPE OF STUDENT AM I?

It is important to work out what ‘type’ of student you are.  Read the following statements and see which one best describes you.  If you have any doubt about this, contact the Student Money Advice Service.

  • I’m an EU national who has been ordinarily resident in the UK for more than three years before the start of the course.  You’re a Home student.
  • I’m an EU national who has moved here in order to study.  You’re an EU student.
  • I’m an EU national who has lived in the UK for less than three years and I moved here to work.  I intend to continue to work throughout my studies.  You are an EEA Migrant Worker.

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF BEING A PARTICULAR TYPE OF STUDENT?

  • Home students can apply for the same funding as students who are from the UK. 
  • EU students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan which will cover 100% of the Tuition Fee.  You cannot apply for help with the cost of living.
  • EEA Migrant Workers can apply for the same funding as Home/UK students.  However, in our experience, EEA Migrant workers experience the most difficulty with proving their eligibility for funding:
    • in theory, EEA Migrant Workers just need to send proof that they are in employment (e.g. their wage slips) throughout their course, in order to continue to receive payments.  There are no hard and fast rules about how much money you have to earn or how many hours you have to work.
    • in practise, EEA Migrant Workers are usually expected to earn at least £7,000 per year.  Students are rarely told this before they begin their course and sometimes the rule is not applied so harshly and students that are earning less have been granted EEA Migrant Worker status.  However, these students often face long delays and a great deal of uncertainty with no guarantee that they will succeed. 

It is our recommendation that if you are an EEA Migrant Worker, you:

  • earn at least £7,000 per year
  • keep copies of all paperwork relating to your pay and employment
  • send evidence to Student Finance England as soon as they ask for it.  Write your name and Customer Reference Number on it and keep a spare copy of everything.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR FUNDING?

Home students can apply online before their course starts. 

Student Finance England usually opens applications for full-time students in the January before the start of the course and over the summer for part-time students. 

See the Funding from Student Finance England for full-time students or Funding from Student Finance England for part-time students pages..

EU students can’t apply online.  The form can be downloaded from a student finance website.

Full-time students can usually apply from the January before the start of the course and part-time students from the summer.

EEA Migrant Workers can apply online before their course starts.  You will complete the same forms that the Home students complete.  

WHAT EVIDENCE WILL I NEED TO SEND AS PART OF MY APPLICATION?

Home students will need to send their original passport and evidence that they have been ordinarily resident within the UK for at least three years before the start of the course. 

You can contact us for more details about the kind of evidence that is (and is not) acceptable.  This evidence is usually only needed at the beginning of the course. 

If you want your funding to be based on household income (means-tested*), you may also need to send financial information from parents/partner.  This would need to be done each year.

EU students will need to send their original passport at the beginning of the course.

EEA Migrant Workers will need to send their original passport and evidence of their pay and employment. 

The passport should only need to be sent at the beginning of the course but evidence relating to pay and employment will need to be sent throughout the course (SFE will send regular letters to ask for this evidence). 

Also, if you want the funding to be based on household income (means-tested*), you may also need to send financial information from parents/partner.  This would need to be done each year. 

*Home students can get a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan which is non means-tested (not based on household income). 

The Maintenance Loan is paid to the student to help with the cost of living. 

However, some students will be able to get more funding (a higher Maintenance Loan and/or non-repayable Grants) if the household income is taken into account (means-testing). 

If you’re not sure what funding you are entitled to as a Home student, contact the Student Money Advice Service. 

HOW IS THE FUNDING PAID?

Home students will need to send their original passport and evidence that they have been ordinarily resident within the UK for at least three years before the start of the course. 

You can contact us for more details about the kind of evidence that is (and is not) acceptable.  This evidence is usually only needed at the beginning of the course. 

If you want your funding to be based on household income (means-tested*), you may also need to send financial information from parents/partner.  This would need to be done each year.

EU students will need to send their original passport at the beginning of the course.

EEA Migrant Workers will need to send their original passport and evidence of their pay and employment. 

The passport should only need to be sent at the beginning of the course but evidence relating to pay and employment will need to be sent throughout the course (SFE will send regular letters to ask for this evidence). 

Also, if you want the funding to be based on household income (means-tested*), you may also need to send financial information from parents/partner.  This would need to be done each year. 

*Home students can get a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan which is non means-tested (not based on household income). 

The Maintenance Loan is paid to the student to help with the cost of living. 

However, some students will be able to get more funding (a higher Maintenance Loan and/or non-repayable Grants) if the household income is taken into account (means-testing). 

If you’re not sure what funding you are entitled to as a Home student, contact the Student Money Advice Service. 

EEA MIGRANT WORKERS

EEA Migrant Workers - What happens if I stop working?

If part way through the year you chose to give up work then Student Finance England will only asses your full level of funding to the date recorded on your P45.

You will be able to keep any maintenance payments up until then, but you will not receive any further maintenance funding. It is likely that if there has been an overpayment, SFE will ask for this back.

If you continue not to work, when you re-apply for funding the following year, you will only be able to apply as an EU student.

If however your work stops before you start University in September and you chose not to find any more work then your EEA Migrant Worker application will be cancelled.

Your case is then transferred over to the EU team and you are asked to re-apply using the EU Tuition Fee Loan application.

HOW DO I REPAY MY LOAN?

The repayments start the April after you leave the course as long as you are earning above £21,000 per year. 

You will still need to make repayments if you move abroad after you leave University and the income threshold (above which repayments are made) will vary according to which country you are living in. 

You can find out more about repayments from the ‘Repayments’ link. 

Please note that this is intended to provide a brief overview of the funding that EU nationals can get depending on their circumstances. 

The ‘type’ of student you are and what funding you are entitled to will only be confirmed once you have applied and received a Notification of Entitlement letter.