Students studying at university or college can have different living costs depending on where and what they will be studying, their lifestyle and any financial commitments they might have.

Discover Uni offer guidance on other things to consider that may help cover some of your living costs, including tips on budgeting. Why not check out their budget calculators to find out what your living costs at university or college might add up to?

If you’re unsure about what additional costs may be involved as a result of your studies, you should ask your university or college for more information. Examples could include:

  • accommodation costs – such as rent

  • travel

  • course materials

  • food and drink

  • utilities – such as gas and electricity bills

What you could get as a minimum

Student Finance England (SFE) provide a Maintenance Loan to help you with your living costs. All eligible students qualify for a non-income assessed minimum amount of Maintenance Loan to help with these costs. The minimum amount you can get is:

Living arrangements Minimum Maintenance Loan
Living at home £3,516
Living away from home, outside London £4,422
Living away from home, in London £6,166

Most students can get a higher amount of Maintenance Loan by providing details of their household income.

What you could get as a maximum

If you apply for student finance based on your household income then you may be entitled to even more Maintenance Loan to help with your living costs.

For example, full-time undergraduate students with a household income of £25,000 or less would get the maximum additional Maintenance Loan. Students with a household income above £25,000 would get a lower amount of loan based on their household income.

The tables below show some examples of what the difference is between the maximum Maintenance Loan and the amount you could get based on your household income.

Student living at home

Household Income Maximum Maintenance Loan Amount available to you Difference from maximum
£25,000 £7,987 £7,987 £0
£35,000 £7,987 £6,642 £1,345
£45,000 £7,987 £5,296 £2,691
£55,000 £7,987 £3,950 £4,037
£65,000 £7,987 £3,516 (only eligible for minimum amount) £4,471
£75,000 £7,987 £3,516 (only eligible for minimum amount) £4,471

Student living away from home, outside London

Household Income Maximum Maintenance Loan Amount available to you Difference from maximum
£25,000 £9,488 £9,488 £0
£35,000 £9,488 £8,130 £1,358
£45,000 £9,488 £6,771 £2,717
£55,000 £9,488 £5,412 £4,076
£65,000 £9,488 £4,422 (only eligible for minimum amount) £5,066
£75,000 £9,488 £4,422 (only eligible for minimum amount) £5,066

There are different rates for students living in London and for other circumstances such as other students living in your household, or if you receive benefits. Use the student finance calculator to get an estimate on the amount of Maintenance Loan available to you based on your specific circumstances.

For some students even the maximum amount of Maintenance Loan may not be enough to cover all their living costs.

Making up the difference

Students are expected to make up the difference between the Maintenance Loan amount available to them and their total living costs.

Financial support may be provided by the student’s parents or partner. But there are several other sources of funding available for students who don’t have access to household support, or for students who need more funding because even the maximum Maintenance Loan available isn’t enough. These could be:

  • part-time employment

  • savings

  • university bursaries and scholarships

  • Local Authority support such as the Higher Education Bursary

You can find more information about some of the alternative sources of funding, and guidance on how to budget for university, at Discover Uni.


Olivia is going to be studying at Newcastle University and will be living in student accommodation. She automatically qualifies for £4,422 minimum Maintenance Loan but decides to ask her parents to provide their income details to see if she can get more funding.

Her total household income is £35,000 which means she will qualify for an additional £3,708 of Maintenance Loan, making a total loan of £8,130.

However, she has estimated that she will need around £12,000 to cover her accommodation and living costs which means she will need to find an additional £3,870 to cover all her living costs.

To make up the difference, Olivia will ask her parents for financial support and look for part-time work.

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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

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Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

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Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

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FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

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We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

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FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

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The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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