How do I apply for student finance in Northern Ireland?

This is based on your household income. If this is below ?41,065, you’ll be eligible to receive something, whether the full or partial grant:

  • household income is ?19,203 or less full grant of ?3,475
  • household income is between ?19,204 and ?41,065 partial grant depending on income.

Special support grant

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You may qualify for a special support grant if you meet one of the circumstances outlined by Student Finance NI. This includes being a lone parent of someone under 20 years old in full-time education (below higher education) or where your partner is also studying and responsible for someone like this.

How much you receive is based on the same household income criteria as the maintenance grant, with the same maximum amount of ?3,475 available.

You’ll receive whatever maintenance support you’re deemed eligible for, at the start of each term. You must apply for this each year of your course, not just in your first year.

Extra funding in Northern Ireland

As well as any bursaries and scholarships that your university provides plus those offered by relevant organisations, companies, charities and groups , it’s well worth exploring extra funding available for students in particular circumstances.

These are the key ones, none of which have to be repaid. Apart from the Disabled Students’ Allowance, you may have to provide information about your household income (and in the case of the Childcare Grant, initially estimate your costs before confirming these later):

Extra help is available for additional costs you may incur while studying because of a disability or learning difficulty. You’ll be assessed on your individual needs to ensure you get the support you need, before you begin your course.

You can claim for everyday expenses up to ?1,759 per payday loans with no credit check in Auburn year under the General Allowance; up to ?5,266 under the Specialist Equipment Allowance (eg computer hardware, recording devices); and up to ?20,938 per year under the Non-Medical Personal Allowance (eg interpreters).

If you have children, you can claim between ?50-?1,538 for everyday costs. This won’t affect any benefits or tax credits you get.

If you require childcare while studying, you can claim up to ? per week for one child – this goes up to ? per week for two or more children. Children must be under 15 years old (or 17 years old if they have special educational needs).

If you’re responsible or a carer for another adult, you can claim for an income-assessed grant of up to ?2,695 per year towards everyday costs. Note, this will affect any income-related benefits and tax credits you receive.

It’s recommended that you apply by the end of May to guarantee your finance arrives in time for the start of your course (though you can apply up to nine months after your course begins).

How do student loan repayments in Northern Ireland work?

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Repayments for student loans in Northern Ireland work the same way as they do in Scotland, as both are Plan 1 student loans.

One key difference is that student loans in Northern Ireland are written off after 25 years, even if you didn’t pay anything during some or all of that time (ie because you weren’t earning above the repayment threshold).

Now you know the difference between the maintenance grant and special support grant, plus what you’ll pay in tuition fees, learn more about budgeting at university and making your cash stretch far enough.

Our student budget calculator can help break down all of those key expenses and costs you’ll need to think about, including giving you a rough monthly figure to budget towards.

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