Student Finance

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Student Finance

Student Finance

Scottish students studying in Scotland full time for a first degree, or equivalent, are not required to pay tuition fees. This means that you will not need to take out a student loan to cover the cost of any of your tuition for your time at college or university. You still have to apply to SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland) to have your tuition fees paid every year and you can find the 2019-2020 SAAS Funding Guide here.

Living Costs & Loans

Though you won’t have tuition fees to pay, you might still need to think about how you will cover your living costs whilst you are a college or university student – accommodation, food, transportation, study materials etc! You could apply for a bursary and a loan though SAAS to help with these costs. The amount you can receive depends on your household income, find out more here.

​​What is a SAAS Bursary?

You may apply for money in the form of a bursary, to help with your costs whilst you are studying. The bursary is paid monthly and it is up to you what to spend it on. You do not have to pay a bursary back. If you think you can claim a bursary, you should apply!  

​What is a student loan?

You can apply to borrow money in the form of a loan to help you with your costs whilst you are studying. The loan is paid monthly and it is up to you what you spend it on. The important thing to remember is that it’s up to you to decide how much you want to borrow. For example, you might decide that you want to take a loan for your travel costs only and so you can decide on the amount. If you apply for a loan, you will have to repay it. You can find out more about student loan repayments here.

What is a SAAS Grant?

Some students may be able to apply for a living cost grant. People who may be eligible to receive a grant are lone parents, carers and care experienced students (find the SAAS care-experienced funding guide here). Contact SAAS for more information.

Nursing & Midwifery Students

Information on funding arrangements for nursing and midwifery students can be found here.

Studying Outside of Scotland

If you choose to study in England or Wales, you’ll have to pay the full tuition fees. The exact figure will vary depending on your chosen university. To help you pay this, you can apply for a non income-assessed loan of up to £9,250 a year. The loan system to help with living costs works in exactly the same way as it would if you choose to go to university in Scotland.

Bursary Support

If your family income is below £34,000, you can also receive bursary support of up to £2000 a year (depending on the income level of your family). You’ll receive this on top of your student loan, and you won’t have to pay it back. In certain cases you may also be eligible for extra funding. There are a variety of educational trusts and organisations – check with SAAS or university websites. Universities also offer a range of bursaries which can be subject specific or can help support your accommodation costs.

College and university scholarships and other sources of funding

​In certain cases, you may also be eligible for extra funding in the form of bursaries or scholarships – these are financial awards that do not have to be paid back. These are available from lots of different organisations, including universities and educational trusts.

Often, applicants need to meet particular criteria to be eligible (for example, study a specific subject, have a connection to certain area or family name) but it is definitely worth looking into them – you never know what you might be able to apply for!

We've put together some useful links below to help you begin your search.

Support for Care Experienced Learners, or Young and Student Carers

If you are a Care Experienced learner, or a Young or Student carer, there may be specific funding that you are eligible for. Find out more on our S6 blog post for Care Experienced Learners here and our S6 blog for Young and Student Carers here.

Studying Part-time

Financial support is also available for Scottish students studying part-time in Scotland, find out more about that on the SAAS website here.

Useful Links

For tuition fees and student loans:

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

SAAS is an agency of the Scottish Government giving financial support to eligible students doing a course of higher education in the UK.

Student Loans Company

Student Loans Company is a non-profit making, government-owned, organisation set up to provide loans and grants to students in universities and colleges in the UK.


Bursary advice from Scottish universities:
University of Aberdeen
Abertay  University  
University of Dundee    
University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh Napier University
University of Glasgow
Glasgow Caledonian University
Glasgow School of Art
Heriot-Watt University
University of the Highlands and Islands
Queen Margaret University
Robert Gordon University
Royal Conservatoire Scotland
Scotland's Rural College
University of St Andrews
University of Stirling
University of Strathclyde
University of the West of Scotland

Funding advice from Scottish colleges:
Borders College
Edinburgh College
Fife College
Forth Valley College
Glasgow Clyde College
South Lanarkshire Council
West College Scotland
West Lothian College

Other options to explore:
SAAS Register of Education Endowments
The Buttle Trust
Uni Grants UK

Spend some time searching on university and college websites to see what financial support might be available.