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Higher education fees

You could get support for funding your higher education programme.

Higher education students on a university-level programme need to pay tuition fees.

However, you do NOT need to pay everything upfront.

You may be able to pay in instalments, or you can apply for a loan to help spread the costs.

Read on to find out about:

  • student loans
  • tuition fee loans and common questions
  • other financial information

If you’re studying full time, you can take out two student loans per academic year:

  • a tuition fee loan to cover your annual tuition fees in full
  • a maintenance loan to help with accommodation and other living costs (dependent on your household income)

When you are assessed for your fees, you are also assessed for a student loan.

Tuition fee loans

These are available to cover tuition fees for HNDs, Foundation Degrees or BA (Hons) Degrees. Part-time students can apply for a tuition fee loan too.

When do I have to pay it back?

You only start to pay the loan back when you earn over £26,575 per year, £2,214 a month, or £511 a week.

The earliest you'll start repaying is either:

  • the April after you leave your course
  • the April 4 years after the course started, if you're studying part-time

Your repayments automatically stop if either:

  • you stop working
  • your income goes below the threshold

How much do I pay each month?

You repay 9% of your income above £26,575 only. So, if your salary was £28,800 and you are paid a regular monthly wage. This means that each month your income is £2,400 (£28,800 divided by 12). This is over the monthly threshold of £2,214.

Your income is £186 over the threshold (£2,400 minus £2,214). You will pay back £16 (9% of £186) each month.

What if my salary drops after I’ve started paying?

If your salary falls below £26,575 (you take a career break, for example) your repayments stop. Repayments only start again when you earn over that amount.

What if I reach retirement age before I’ve paid it off?

All loans are cleared after 30 years. If you have not repaid by then, it is written off.

Payment without loans

The Higher Education bursary is available to a limited number of students studying a Degree Level programme at Merrist Wood College. Students must meet the following eligibility criteria:


a)    Be on the first year of a foundation degree, honours degree, HNC or HND programme

b)    Full-time learners must be in receipt of the full maintenance loan or

c)    Part-time learners must provide evidence of family income under £25,000 or

d)    Students who studied their Level 3 programme at Guildford College, Merrist Wood College or Farnham Sixth Form College who have progressed on to one of the programmes above must provide evidence that they are in receipt of the full maintenance loan and have a family income of less than £42,620.

Students who have received the bursary before are not eligible.  



Activate Learning have made available for eligible HE students to apply for.




Higher Education Bursary

The Higher Education bursary is available to a limited number of students studying a degree level programme at Guildford College or Merrist Wood College. For more information or to download an application form visit this page: Higher Education Bursary: Guildford/Merrist Wood. 

Higher Education bursary application form

Care Leavers / Estranged Student Bursary


We are dedicated to supporting HE students who have been in care prior to coming to study with us. This bursary is available to care leavers studying on HE courses as well as HE students who are estranged from their family. For more information please contact

Higher Education Work Experience Bursary


Based on student feedback, we have introduced this bursary to help support current, registered, full-time HE undergraduate students on either the FdSc or BSc programmes based at Merrist Wood. This offers these students financial support enabling them to take up work experience or placements. . For more information please contact 

Work experience bursary application form 

Higher Education Study Bursary

This is available to students who require financial support to support specific aspects of their studies this could include but is not limited to travel arrangements for an event or project directly linked to their course of study ie such as field trips, off-site research etc; purchasing IT equipment/software; or accessing journal articles. A bursary of up to £500 is available. 

Higher Education study bursary application form


Higher Education Support Fund 

This is a fund granted to provide financial assistance quickly to students in times of unforeseen financial difficulty. Up to £250 will be granted on any one occasion. We also offer additional support on managing money if you would like advice. 

Higher Education support fund application form

If you are on a university franchised HE course, you should approach your relevant awarding Higher Education Institution for information regarding bursaries.

If you want to find out more about any of these schemes, please email:

Financial information

If you are a new student, or you need any further advice, visit the government’s student finance website.

If you have any other questions, contact us for up to date tuition fee information.

Please note tuition fees may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by the government.