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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Student finance based on household income

If you apply for the higher level Maintenance Loan or the Maintenance Grant you need to give details of your household income. Student Finance England decide how much finance you can get based on your household income and your family circumstances. Find out how household income is assessed.

What finance is income assessed

Tuition Fee Loans and the lower level Maintenance Loan (65 per cent of the full loan) are not income assessed in 2012/13

If you want to apply for any of the following your household income (your income and that of your parents or partner) will need to be assessed:

  • higher-level Maintenance Loan (35 per cent is income assessed for 2012/13)
  • Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant
  • Childcare Grant
  • Adult Dependants’ Grant

For income-assessed finance, you’re also asked for details of your family circumstances, such as the number of children or adults who depend on you financially.

What is household income?

Your household income is the total amount your family earns each year before tax and National Insurance. Household income is usually based on earnings for the previous tax year (2010-11 if you’re applying to study in 2012/13).

Whose income is assessed?

Whose income is assessed depends on whether you are classified as a dependent or independent student.

Dependent students

If you’re a dependent student your income and your parents’ income is assessed.

You’re classed as a dependent student if you’re under 25 years old and depend on your parents’ financial support.

Independent students

If you’re an independent student your income and your partner’s income is assessed.

You’re classed as an independent student if:

  • you’re 25 or older
  • you have a child
  • you have no living parents
  • you are or have been married or in a civil partnership
  • you’ve supported yourself for three years
  • you’re estranged from your parents

How your household income is assessed

Parents or partners can either enter their details when the student completes the online application or in a separate session.

If you’re a new student applying online for 2012/13 or 2011/12, your household income can usually be worked out using your parents’ or partner’s National Insurance number.

If your household income drops

If a parent or partner is expecting a 15 per cent drop or more in their income, they can ask to be assessed on the current tax year. But they still need to complete the online application as well as completing a current year income assessment form.

You can now apply for 2012/13 finance. You can still apply for finance for 2011/12.

Continuing students: current year income

If a parent or partner gave an estimate of their current year income for a 2011/12 student finance application, this estimate will be used to assess the student’s finance for 2012/13.

If there is more than one student in your family

If you have a brother, sister or parent who is also getting student support, different assessment rules apply.

The amount your parents are asked to give to support you may change. In most cases your parents’ contribution will be divided equally between you and the other student family member.

If the amount your parents contribute changes the amount of maintenance loans you get may also change (if you started your course after September 2006).

You’ll get a letter telling you that the amount of your loans or grants has changed.

Part-time students

Part-time students applying in 2012/13 will not need to have their household income assessed as they can only apply for a Tuition Fee Loan.

Part-time students applying in 2011/12 will need to have their household income assessed, see ‘Fee Grant and Course Grant for part-time students’.

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