Higher Education

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Higher Education Funding

The College of North West London offers a range of university level qualifications. There are many financial options to support students with the cost of the fees and living costs (full-time only). Most funding for both tuition fees and living costs can be applied for via Student Finance England (SFE). We recommend that learners apply for Student Finance as soon as possible. It is possible to do this even before the college confirms a place on the course.


All students must pay the full fee for HE courses. A student loan facility is available for Higher Education courses. Further information can be found below or at https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-student-finance or www.slc.co.uk, along with how to apply.

Student loans & grants

If you are a UK student planning to study a full-time or part-time higher education course you may be eligible for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of your course. If you study full-time you may also be eligible to receive a maintenance loan and a grant to assist you with living costs.

These loans do not require repayment until you have finished your course and you are earning more than £25,000 per year, although you can start repaying them sooner if you wish.

Full-time students

Tuition fee loan

The amount paid to the College will be the actual cost of your course for each year of study up to a maximum of £9000. You can apply online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance

Interest on your student loans

You’re charged interest on your loan from the time the first payment is made to the College until you pay your loan back in full. The amount of interest you’re charged varies (see table below). The actual interest rates depend on the rate of inflation. 

Your income per yearInterest rate on your loan
While you're studying
Rate of inflation plus 3%
£21,000 or less
Rate of inflation
£21,000 to £41,000
Varies between the rate of inflation and the rate of inflation plus 3 per cent depending on your income
£41,000 or above
Rate of inflation plus 3%

Maintenance loan

  • You can receive up to £7675 if living outside of your parental home and up to £4375 if you live with your parent(s).
  • You must be under 60 at the start of your course.
  • If you qualify for a Maintenance Grant the loan you receive will be reduced by up to £1625.
  • 65% of the loan is non-means tested, and the remaining 35% is means –tested. Apply online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance/.

Maintenance Grant for living costs (full-time students only)

You can apply for a Maintenance Grant to help with your living costs. Maintenance Grants are available to students whose household income is £42,875 or less. Your household income is your parents’ or partner’s income and your own.

The maximum Maintenance Grant is £3,250 a year if your household income is under £25,000.

Part-time students

The amount paid to the College will be the actual cost of your course to a maximum of £6750 per year.

Your course needs to be at least 25% of a full-time course to qualify for a loan. Further information is available on the Student Finance England website.

Further information for students from England

For information about the finance package on offer for students from England starting higher education in, please see the BIS student finance page www.bis.gov.uk/studentfinance

For further details please see www.direct.gov.uk/yourfuture which will help you understand the application process cycle.

Higher Education fee myths

Myth: I can’t afford to do an HE Course, it’s too expensive:

Not True: there are no upfront costs if you meet residential requirements and you don’t already have a degree.

Myth: all universities/colleges are charging £9,000:

Not true: some universities are charging less and many FE Colleges charge less than £6,000. Financial help is also available through loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

Myth: the loan repayments will be massive:

Not true: you only start repaying when you’re earning over £21,000 and if you earn less you don’t pay anything back.

Myth: student debt will stop me getting a mortgage:

Not true: student loans are unsecured loans from the government and are not like credit cards of commercial loans.