The student finance myths

throwing mortarboards in air

Heard a few rumours about student finance? Struggling to separate the fact from the fiction? We’re here to help you work out what’s what, with our student finance truths.


MYTH: “I have to pay for my course upfront”

TRUTH: The Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan are paid once you have completed your course and are earning over £21,000. If you are applying for Student Finance the tuition fee is paid direct to your college or uni on your behalf.


MYTH: “If I work part time I won’t get the full amount of Student Finance”

TRUTH: Many students will need to work in order to boost their income whilst studying. Student Finance will not take earnings you get from part time work into account.


MYTH: “I am 18 and don’t live at home therefore I don’t need to give my parents details”

TRUTH: Student Finance considers you a dependant student until you are over 25 years of age. Therefore, even if you do not live at home, Student Finance will still take into account your parents earnings. The exceptions to this are if you are estranged from your family and do not have contact twitch them, or if you are a parent yourself.


MYTH: “The Maintenance loan does cover my living costs, so I cannot afford to go to uni”

TRUTH: If you think your Maintenance Loan is not going to cover your living costs, think of ways you can maximise your income. Can you work during the summer in order to save some money and/or get part time work whilst on course? Can your parents help with some of your costs like a contribution to food? Can you live at home to save money?


Remember, you may also be able to get some help from your university through bursaries or scholarships, so contact them ASAP.

It will also help if you make a budget to get a clear picture of how much you need to cover your costs whilst studying.

More information

  • The Student Room is the largest student community in the world with a range of online resources to help you get through university.
  • Go to Money Advice Service for free and impartial money advice.