Student Tuition Fee Charges 2012

It’s likely that you’ve seen in the news the various protests that occurred due to the increases in student tuition fees.

As of September 2012 the new fees will be coming into force for all undergraduates – so make sure you take note of the new fee structures, and take time to learn how the fees will affect you.

How much will I pay?

Previously universities charged £3,375 per year in tuition fees, however this has risen across the board as universities are now allowed to charge up to £6,000 per year. Some universities will be charging up to £9,000 per year (although these institutions have to make special arrangements such as bursaries available to poorer students wishing to study with them). The absolute maximum fee for part time students has been capped at £6,750 per year.

How will I afford that?

Don’t worry – you don’t need to come up with all that cash in one go. If you’re not in a position to pay for your tuition fees up front, that’s absolutely fine. Instead you can take out a tuition fee loan, which you’ll pay back upon graduation, providing you earn a minimum of £21,000. This means that most students will pay back their loan once they’ve graduated, although those who don’t go on to earn £21,000 will have their debt wiped after 30 years.

Although student tuition fees have increased, paying them back is still an affordable exercise. Students who took tuition fee loans prior to September 2012 had to make repayments on any earnings over £15,000 – so the threshold has actually be pulled up by a considerable sum.

Don’t forget that your student loan repayments are only made whilst you’re earning £21,000 or over. If you take a pay cut and fall below the threshold your repayments will stop. Likewise if you lose your job for any reason, the repayments will also cease.

The fact is that repayments will be around £540 per year lower than before, thanks to the new loans and tuition fee structure. The only thing that you need to know is that you could end up owing more money, over a longer period of time. All things considered though, the debt will still be wiped after 30 years if you’re still paying it off.

Repayments remain the same no matter how much you borrow

Some students worry that attending a university that charges the full £9,000 per year will leave them making higher loan repayments after graduation. This is not the case; repayments are determined by a percentage of your earnings, not a percentage of the amount borrowed.

What about part timers?

As stated above, the tuition fees that part time students can expect to pay have also been increased. These are now capped at £6,750 per year. This may sound prohibitive but you have to bear in mind that finance provisions are now in place for part time students, for the first time. The loans to part time students are handed out by the Student Loans Company – on the same terms as loans provided to full time students.

You may also be entitled to grants

Don’t forget that student loans aren’t the only form of funding available to students. Those students who come from a household with a combined income of less than £25,000 will be able to claim for maintenance grants of up to £3,250. You should bear in mind that if you’re entitled to a maintenance grant, the maximum loan you can take out is reduced. This is smart though, because it means you get the same amount of funding, but you have to pay back less.