Undergraduate Student Funding: Loans and Grants
My student funding is currently assessed based on my parents’ income – will having a baby change this?
Becoming a parent is grounds for being assessed as an independent student regardless of your age. However, this change will not occur until the first day of the following academic year (1st September for most courses). You will then be assessed as an independent student.
If you have a partner, their income will only be assessed if you are living together as a couple AND you are either:
- Married, or
- In a civil relationship, or
- After you become 25.
I am already an independent student – will having my first baby change the way I am assessed?
You will continue to be assessed on the same basis as before, i.e. as an independent student or based on partner’s income if applicable. Your partner’s income can only be assessed if you are married or in a civil relationship unless you are over 25 and living together as a couple.
What extra funding can I receive once my baby has been born?
Childcare Grant. Both these allowances are fully means-tested based on either:
- Your parents’ income for the remainder of the academic year if still dependent upon them. If so, this will change from the start of the academic year following your baby’s birth (1st September in most cases), or
- Your partner’s income if applicable (see above), or
- Your own income if you will be living as a lone parent. (If you have no independent income, not counting paid work alongside your studies - e.g. from investments, pensions etc. - you will normally qualify for maximum funding).
For further information see the booklet: ‘ childcare grant and other support for full-time student parents’
Maintenance Grant (MG) vs Special Support Grant (SSG)
The MG is a fully means-tested grant payable by Student Finance England to any full-time student where assessed income is below certain thresholds. The maximum payable during the 2011/2012 academic year is £2,906 where income being assessed is £25,000 or less. Assessed income of £50,020 or less will allow you to qualify for a partial grant.
Some students qualify to have their MG converted to an SSG because of their personal circumstances; being a lone parent is one such qualifier. There are two benefits to receiving the SSG:
<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.If applying for any means-tested state benefits the MG is taken into account as income, the SSG is disregarded leading to a greater chance of receiving relevant benefits, such as Housing Benefit.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2. If applying for a student maintenance loan, the amount of loan available is partially reduced when the MG is paid; no such reduction is made for students in receipt of the SSG.
Further information on student funding:
How Do I apply for the additional funding?
The relevant authority if from Northern Ireland, Wales or Scotland.
For further advice/information contact a Student Finance Adviser at the University.