About Us [email protected] Telephone 01522 338204
Can Students Apply For Universal Credit
Student Articles

Can Students Apply For Universal Credit

Written by Sam Temple-Baxter | June 12, 2020

Universal Credit if you’re studying full-time

You may be able to get Universal Credit if you’re studying full-time and any of the following apply:

  • you’re aged 21 or under, in full-time non-advanced education and do not have parental support
  • you’re responsible for a child
  • you live with your partner and they’re eligible for Universal Credit
  • you’ve reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit and live with a partner who is under that age
  • you’re disabled and have limited capability for work and are getting:
    • Personal Independence Payment
    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Armed Forces Independence Payment

Aged 21 or under, in non-advanced education and do not have parental support

This includes if you’ve left care provided by the local council or you’re without parental support.

You may be eligible for Universal Credit if:

  • you’re on a full-time course of non-advanced education or training that started before you reached age 21
  • you reach age 21 while you’re on the course

You can continue to get Universal Credit until:

  • the end of the academic year in which you reach age 21
  • the end of the course, if it ends before you reach age 21

You’re responsible for a child

The child may be adopted or a foster child.

For couples, one of you or both of you may be a student.

What counts as a full-time course

The education or training provider usually decides whether a course is full-time.

If you attend a full-time course on a part-time basis, you will be treated as studying full-time.

A course is an arrangement of study, tuition or training. It can be academic, practical, or a combination of both. It is usually done at, or by arrangement with, an education or training provider.

It will often lead to a qualification when it is completed. Some non-advanced study, tuition or training, may not lead to a qualification. This does not mean that it is not a course.

Examples of full-time courses of advanced education

Full-time courses of advanced education include those leading to:

  • a postgraduate degree or comparable qualification
  • a first degree or comparable qualification
  • a diploma of higher education
  • a higher national diploma
  • any other course of study of a standard above:
    • advanced GNVQ or equivalent
    • a Scottish higher or advanced higher national qualification

Examples of full-time courses of non-advanced education

Non-advanced education is any qualification up to A Level, or equivalent. Full-time courses include:

  • National Qualification Framework level 3 or the Scottish Qualification framework level 6
  • General Certificate of Education Advanced level (A Level)
  • AS Level
  • Advanced Diploma
  • National Diploma, Certificate or Award
  • Level 3 NVQ, Award, Certificate or Diploma

Other study including part-time study

If you are engaging in full time study other than the above, or if you’re studying part-time, you may be able to get Universal Credit as long as you can satisfy any work related requirements that apply to you.

You may be asked to provide proof/evidence of the course you are undertaking.

Student income and your Universal Credit

Your student income can affect how much Universal Credit you get.

Universal Credit is usually paid once a month and is based on your circumstances during that month. This is called your ‘assessment period’.

For each assessment period that you attend the course, an amount for any student income you get will be taken off your Universal Credit. The amount is worked out from the actual student income you get that month less a set amount for expenses.

However, no student income will be taken off your Universal Credit if:

  • the assessment period covers the first day of the summer holidays
  • you’re on summer holiday for the whole of a subsequent assessment period
  • your course ends during the assessment period

Student loans

You may be entitled to Universal Credit if you receive a student loan. There are different types of student loans and there are different rules depending on which loan you receive.

When working out your Universal Credit, any loan amount that is intended to cover tuition fees and other costs of study will be excluded.

Loans that cover maintenance, such as living expenses, rent and bills, will be deducted from your Universal Credit. Most loans pay tuition and maintenance in separate payments.

However, if you receive a Special Support Loan or Grant, this will not be deducted from your Universal Credit. This provides help towards costs of study, such as for books, equipment, travel etc.

Special Support Loan or Grant

You may get a Special Support Loan or Grant if you get or qualify for:

  • Income Support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • the housing element of Universal Credit

You may get the Special Support Loan or Grant if, for example, you’re a lone parent or have certain disabilities.

If you live in England the Special Support Grant was replaced by the Special Support Loan from the beginning of the 2016 to 2017 academic year. If you live in Wales, it is called a Special Support Grant.

You’ll be told if you can get the Loan or Grant when you apply for student finance.

If you receive a loan that pays maintenance and tuition in a single payment, for example a Postgraduate Master’s Degree Loan, a proportion of your loan will be excluded from your Universal Credit payment and the rest is deducted.

Articles That May Help

Discover. Trust. Review.