Studying a masters degree is a big undertaking. From the outset, you should thoroughly research your course options and consider how you will cover the cost of your tuition fees. Traditionally, this has often resulted in a foot race for scholarships, bursaries and sponsorships to help students afford their future.
The good news for all eligible UK and EU students is that you have access to the new funding from the UK Government.
How much can you get from a postgraduate loan?
UK and EU students starting courses from August 2017 onwards are now able to apply for a £10,280 postgraduate loan through the UK government website to help them afford course fees and living costs. UCAS currently states that the average cost of a masters degree is £11,000 a year, which makes this a considerable contribution to the overall cost of a course.
You also have the ability to choose how much you wish to borrow – this can be any amount between £1 and the maximum £10,280. Unlike undergraduate tuition loans, the funds are paid directly to you, not your university.
In short, if you have studied a masters before, you are not eligible. Here are the most critical factors that will help you qualify for a loan:
- You must be under 60 years old at the beginning of your course
- The Masters course you are applying for must be in the UK
- You need to be a UK or EU national, normally living in England
These requirements are explained in more detail on the Government website.
Student Finance England has confirmed that all EU students that have lived in the EU for at least three years for non-educational purposes, can apply for the loan for courses in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 academic years. Full guidance is available on the SFE website.
Postgraduate loan repayment
The plan is very similar to the UK undergraduate finance scheme. You will pay 6% of your income over £21,000 every month. If you were a UK undergraduate, this is on top of the 9% you pay back on your undergraduate loan, although only on the income you earn over £21,000.
What about interest rates? The rate is the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%. At the moment, the interest rate on the loan would be 4.6%, but it can change depending on RPI in the future.
For more information on postgraduate loans, contact our student advice team.