Financial assistance to part-time undergraduate students

From AY 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will for the first time provide a tuition fee loan of up to £3,022.50 per academic year for new and continuing students studying on undergraduate part-time courses or full-time distance learning courses. The current fee grant support will also remain in place unchanged.

The tuition fee loan will be:

  1. non-means tested;
  2. reduced by the amount of fee grant entitlement;
  3. paid directly to the student’s Higher Education Provider (HEP).

If you are a part-time undergraduate student, studying at least 50% of an equivalent full-time course, you may be entitled to a grant towards fees and course costs.

Your entitlement will depend on your income and that of your spouse/partner. Your local Student Finance NI office will work out how much support you can get.

There are three different rates of fee grant depending on the intensity of your course. For example, if you study at a rate equivalent to 75% of a full-time course, you could qualify for a higher fee grant than a student studying at a rate equivalent to 50% of a full-time course.

The table below set out the maximum fee grant and course grant you may get, depending on the intensity of your course.

Intensity of Study Maximum fee grant Maximum course grant Maximum Total support available
Equivalent to 50% to 59% of the full time course £820 £265 £1,085
Equivalent to 60% to 74% of the full time course £985 £265 £1250
Equivalent to 75% or more of the full time course £1,230 £265 £1,495

The fee grant is paid directly to your university or college and the course grant directly to you. Both are issued as a single payment and you do not have to repay this help.

You are not entitled to apply for this help if:

  • You already have a degree
  • You are on a part-time teacher-training course (although you may qualify for full-time support).

Applications from part-time EU students, who are not considered to be migrant workers, will be processed by the local Education Authority.