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Student Finance NI

Student Finance NI is a partnership between the Education Authority (EA) and the Student Loans Company (SLC). Your local EA Regional Office Student Finance Section are responsible for the processing of your full time higher education Student Finance NI application.

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Student Finance NI is a partnership between the Education Authority (EA) and the Student Loans Company (SLC). Your local EA Regional Office Student Finance Section are responsible for the processing of your full time higher education Student Finance NI application. The College has no involvement in this process.

Students undertaking their first higher education course e.g. foundation degree, HNC or HND should apply to Student Finance NI for financial support. The following support is available:

  • Tuition Fee Loan
  • Maintenance Loan
  • Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant
  • Childcare Grant
  • Parents’ Learning Allowance
  • Adult Dependants’ Grant
  • Disabled Students’ Allowance

Further details can be found on the Student Finance NI Website

Eligibility Criteria

Students undertaking their first higher education course e.g. foundation degree, HNC or HND should apply to Student Finance NI for financial support. Support is available in the form of Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loans and Grants and Bursaries including Childcare, Disabled Students’ Allowance, Parents’ Learning Allowance and Adult Dependants’ Grant.

There are three main conditions students must meet to qualify for student finance:

  • Personal Eligibility
  • Course Eligibility
  • University or College Eligibility

Tuition Fee Loan

If eligible for student finance you can receive a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of your College tuition fees. You will only commence repaying this loan when you have left your course and are earning over the student loan repayment threshold.

Further Information

Maintenance Loan

A maintenance loan can help cover your living costs throughout the academic year. Any full time student who is eligible for student finance is eligible to receive a Maintenance Loan. The amount you can get depends on your household income.

A maintenance loan will have to be paid back but not until you have left your course and are earning over £17,495 a year. Students who are receiving a maintenance grant will receive a reduced maintenance loan.

Further Information

Maintenance Grant & Special Support Grant

A, non-repayable, maintenance grant to assist with living costs throughout the academic year is available for households with an income of up to £41,065. Households with an income of £19,203 or less will receive the full grant of £3,475. Households with an income between £19,204 and £41,065 will receive a partial grant.

In certain circumstances the Special Support Grant will replace the Maintenance Grant. The Special Support Grant is based on a student's eligibility for income support or other means-tested benefits such as Housing Benefit.

Please note if you are if you are eligible to receive a Special Support Grant you will not be eligible for a Maintenance Grant.

Further Information on Maintenance Grant Further Information on Special Support Grant

Additional or Supplementary Support


Childcare Grant

Help for childcare costs if you have dependent children aged under 15 (or 17 if they have special educational needs) in registered or approved childcare. You can receive up to £148.75 a week for one child or up to £255 if you have two or more children.

Further Information

Parents' Learning Allowance

Help with course-related costs if you have dependent children. You can receive up to £1,538 a year, depending on your income and that of your dependants.

Further Information

Adult Dependants' Grant

Help if an adult depends on you financially. You can receive up to £2,695 a year, depending on your income and that of your dependants.

Further Information

Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)

These are available to students who have extra costs because of a disability, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSA's do not depend on household income. How much a student receives depends entirely on their circumstances and can help pay for specialist equipment, a non-medical helper, travel or other extra costs.

Further Information

When to Apply

You should apply for funding at the same time as you apply for your course. To be sure that you have your money when you start your course you should submit your application by 13 April 2018. Late applications will be accepted.

Tuition Fee Liability

If you are not able to provide your Student Finance Award letter at enrolment you will be required to sign a fees liability form and complete a direct debit mandate. Confirmation of your funding must then be submitted to Customer Services as soon as it is received.

If you have not requested a tuition fee loan to cover your full tuition fee the amount of the award will be deducted from the total fee and you will be invoiced for the remaining fee.

In all circumstances the student is responsible for the payment of the fee whether they complete the course or not.  In the event of Student Loans Company not releasing the full amount of the award the student will be required to pay the remaining balance.  For further information on Fee Liability for HE students please refer to the Fees Policy Appendix C.

Further Information & Contact Details

Student Finance Student Support Helpline: Tel: 0300 100 0077 Web: www.studentfinanceni.co.uk

The Education Authority Finder will also provide you with contact details for the Student Finance Section of your Local Education Authority.

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