Your financial options for university level study

One of your biggest concerns about applying for university is probably the cost. Tuition fees must be paid each year and then there is the cost of living. How can you afford it with no savings or magic money tree?

The good news is that you have a number of financial options, with the non-profit making, government-owned Student Loans Company offering financial support throughout your time studying for a degree at The Sheffield College.

As more and more students for all walk of life study degrees each year, here’s how they afford it…

Tuition fees

The first thing that you can access through the Student Loans Company is a tuition fee loan. This loan will cover the cost of your tuition fees and be paid direct to The Sheffield College.

You only need to apply for this once, not on a yearly basis.

Top tip: our tuition fees are up to £3,000 less than at a traditional university so you are already making a saving on repayments!

Maintenance loan

The Student Loans Company can also provide you with a maintenance loan which will be paid directly in to your specified bank account. This is the loan that can be used to cover your cost of living during study, including accommodation, bills and food

How much you receive is based on the household income of you/your parents, but a general rule of thumb is that the lower the income, the higher the maintenance loan.

Paying it back

When it comes to paying your loan back, you will pay 9% of your income:

  • the April after you finish your degree
  • when you are earning over £25,000 per year

Payments will be made monthly and directly to the Students Loan Company. No need to set up a standing order or worry about spending what you owe, you’ll not even notice it coming out!

For example, if you earn £27,000 a year you’ll only pay back £15 a month.

Top tip: if you studied an access to university level course and complete a degree, your 19+ Advanced Learner Loan will be wiped.

Financial support

If you are struggling for money during your degree, you may be eligible for support from our HE bursary scheme. We try to support as many students as possible who qualify within our Access and Participation Plan. We will contact all students after enrolment with details of how to apply.

Part-time work

There are lots of part-time jobs which you can fit in around your studies and it’s an option that many university students take up for a bit of spending money.

If you get a part-time job and earn under £11,850 a year, you won't even have to pay a penny of tax as it’s below the threshold!


Being a university level student also entitles you to discounts and, including:

  • Council tax discounts
  • Free prescriptions
  • Student bank accounts and 0% overdrafts
  • Shopping discounts, for example ASOS, Amazon and Spotify
  • Access to NUS Totem Card
  • Free Microsoft Office

If you want to discuss your financial options with us further, please give us a call on 0114 260 2600 for more information.

For independent financial advice, please visit www.gov.uk/student-finance