Funding of studies
Below you will find a number of popular questions and detailed answers about getting student funding
What does a student loan mean? Is it guaranteed? What exactly is the loan I will receive and what are the repayment terms?
A student loan is not required in all cases. If, for example, a student chooses one of the universities in Scotland, then tuition is completely FREE. The case of Wales is also proving to be extremely inexpensive. The cost for the tuition is only £4.500, the student loan fully covers this amount and is guaranteed for all students who will be accepted.
For the rest of the UK, university tuition is set at £6.000 to £9.000 a year. The equivalent in euros is around €7.000 to €10.000. Undergraduate programs in the UK are usually three years long. This practically means that a Greek student is expected to receive €27.000-30.000 for the period of their undergraduate studies.
All students can easily cover their tuition by taking out a government loan. The loan is given directly to all students upon enrollment in the university. The loan will be repaid as soon as the university graduate works and receives an annual salary of over £21.000 (€24.000). In case the graduate receives less money, they do NOT repay the loan, which is wiped out after a reasonable period of time.
The calculation of the annual installment of the loan in case the graduate works and receives more than £21.000 is calculated with 9% of the money they receives above this limit. E.g. if a graduate works and receives £24.000 a year then the annual installment is 9% of £3.000 (i.e. the difference of £24.000 – £21.000). So the annual installment in this case would be just £270 (£22 a month)!
It is worth emphasising at this point that the total cost of studying in the United Kingdom does not exceed the cost of studying a Greek student whose place of study is far from their permanent residence. In this case, it is worthwhile to choose the universities of Great Britain, not only for the prestige they enjoy internationally, but mainly for the guaranteed prospects of professional training and development that they offer.
What exactly applies to postgraduate programs in the UK?
Statistics have shown that postgraduate study in the UK is considered to be the most reliable study program in the world. Regarding the Greek reality, Greek postgraduate students in Great Britain constitute the main volume of Greeks who go abroad. In general, the same financial terms apply as undergraduate programs, i.e. full funding of studies in the form of a student loan is guaranteed.
What is the monetary value of postgraduate loans?
The maximum amount received for a postgraduate loan is £11.222. One can borrow less money from them, but no more. Basic financial terms for the loan are the following:
• A loan of up to £11.222 is given
• Payments will be made directly to students
• The loan will be repaid in three installments during the academic year
Do I have to borrow the full amount of £11.222?
No, £11.222 is the highest amount you can borrow for a postgraduate loan, but you do not have to borrow that much. There is no minimum loan amount. However, it is possible to borrow a smaller amount to cover any needs at your discretion.
If I am a student of the European Union (EU), do I have the opportunity for such a postgraduate loan?
Yes! New postgraduate loans are subject to eligibility criteria based on age, nationality and residence.
The candidate must have been a resident of the European Union for at least three years before the start of their degree. As a student of the European Union the interested party is subject to the same loan and repayment offer as the domestic British candidates.
It is noted that students of the European Union are able to receive the loan for a Master’s degree in universities of England only. This includes the cases of regular study but also the methods of distance learning. Exceptions may apply (e.g. for a loan in Scotland) if you are a resident of England for three years before the start of your studies. If so, you will be considered a UK-based student and will be able to get a loan to study anywhere in the UK.
What is the age limit for the loan?
To be eligible for a postgraduate loan, you must be under 60 at the beginning of the academic year you are required to start your postgraduate course.
In case I already have a Master's degree, is it possible to apply to study in a different direction?
Unfortunately, no. The main purpose of the new loans is to expand access to postgraduate education for those who have not yet been able to study for a Master’s degree. Therefore, holders of a postgraduate degree can not take out the loan.
Can I get a loan to attend an MBA?
Yes. All taught, research and professional postgraduate programs have the opportunity to receive a postgraduate loan. These include MBA programs.
Keep in mind, however, that the total cost of an MBA program will often be higher than the £11.222, which is the maximum amount available through the graduate loan.
Can I get a loan to attend a MPhil?
Yes. The MPhil (Master of Philosophy) is considered a postgraduate-level research degree, level 7, of the British Certification Framework. This means that there is a right to a loan for MPhil. Note that this only applies to “individual” MPhils. If someone enrolls as an MPhil student with the intention of pursuing a PhD, they may not receive the postgraduate loan.
Will the loan cover the total cost of a graduate program?
The government offers the loan as a “contribution to the cost of a selected postgraduate degree”. One can use the loan to pay the tuition, or for the living expenses or for anything he deems suitable for the facilitation of the postgraduate. In practice, however, £11.222, which is the highest amount, is usually enough to cover tuition in several postgraduate programs.
Is the financial situation of the family examined in the loans?
No, this does not affect the granting of a postgraduate loan. You can apply regardless of your current income or savings.
Will my credit rating or credit history be taken into account?
No, the decision to offer a postgraduate loan is not based on personal credit rating or credit. The only exception is when a student is late with their financial contributions to the postgraduate loan organisation for an existing undergraduate loan.
Can I apply for a graduate loan if I already have an undergraduate loan?
Yes. The new system is designed in such a way that it is an affordable solution for those students who want to continue their studies.
How will the installments for the postgraduate student loans be regulated?
Your loan will be divided and given in three installments per academic year:
• Students in one year, full-time, graduate program will receive £11.222 in three installments. These will be divided into 33%, 33% and 34% of the total borrowed amount.
• Students in longer-term, full-time, or part-time programs will receive £5.000 in the first year and second year of their program, which is to be paid in three installments per year.
How will the loan be paid into a bank account?
Loan installment payments will be made directly to the student’s bank account. The student is responsible for using the money to cover tuition and other expenses as they sees fit. They will receive the first installment of their loan payment when the university confirms the enrollment and attendance of the studies. Anyone can apply for a loan without having a bank account in the UK, but will have to open one there afterwards.
What will happen if I stop studying or fail to complete my Master's degree?
The payment of the postgraduate loan is subject to a attendance confirmation provided by each University institution. Loan installments will stop if the student leaves the program early or is transferred to a different program that is not eligible for a graduate loan (transfers between suitable programs may be allowed). If someone leaves the program early, they are still responsible for the loan and must repay any amount borrowed.
What are the repayment terms of the postgraduate loan?
The British Government has instituted favorable repayment terms. The main terms are:
• Loan repayment begins when the graduate’s annual income is over £21.000 (about €24.000)
• In case the graduate’s income is below than that amount, they are not obliged to start repaying the loan
• When the graduate is working and their income exceeds £21.000, they will have to pay 6% of what they earn above £21.000 a year. E.g. in case a graduate receives an annual income of £24.000, then the annual installment will be calculated as 6% of £3.000, i.e. the difference from £21.000. This way the annual installment will be £180 (£15 a month)!
Do I have to repay the postgraduate loan in full?
Yes. The current postgraduate lending plan is designed on the principle that the borrowers will repay their loans in full. This represents the government’s confidence in the financial value of a graduate and the future profitable power of graduate students. The student loan will expire only after 30 years and if it turns out that the graduate is unable to repay it.