Paying for the cost of your HE course

You will find the tuition fees for your course listed in the individual course information, under ‘Browse Subjects’.

The majority of students studying in Higher Education pay for their tuition fees with a Student Loan from the Student Loans CompanySometimes employers are willing to pay for courses if it is of benefit directly to the organisation. These students are referred to as ‘sponsored’ students and are usually on part-time HE courses. 

Student Loans can be applied for online and are available to full and part-time UK students. These loans are paid directly to the course provider, not to the student. First year students can also find student loans information through UCAS.

In addition to Tuition Fee Loans all full-time students can apply for Maintenance Loans to help with other costs associated with studying such as equipment, books and living costs. Maintenance Loans are paid direct to the student in 3 instalments. New part-time students whose course starts in September 2020 can also apply for a Maintenance Loan. You can find out about your eligibility via the Student Finance Calculator.

Students from the EU may also be eligible for tuition fee loans subject to some conditions. 


Additional costs for your course

The fees you pay us to deliver your course are Tuition Fees. These do not cover the additional things you might need to buy or pay for during your studies which you should consider, such as:

  • Stationery
  • Core text books 
  • Printing/binding 
  • Bench fees and art consumables (beyond those routinely provided)
  • Costs of additional specialised materials which you have identified in order to produce an individual assessment outcome (usually practical assessment in Art subjects i.e. Products for wig-making etc.) 
  • DBS checks 
  • Uniform or protective clothing
  • Trips- which may include travel, entry fees, accommodation and associated insurance if applicable (where trips are optional and do not link directly to the Module/Unit outcomes, full costs to the student may be incurred; some trips are linked to teaching and learning and these may be cost free or subsidised by the college; please check details with your course teams) 
  • Costs associated with exhibiting work, or professional presentation 
  • Professional body memberships 
  • Graduation- gown hire, photography, tickets (Graduation attendance is optional)
  • Travel to and from College and parking charges


Additional fees for tuition 

Your Tuition fees cover one delivery of the specified Modules/Units in accordance with your Programme of Study.

Should you be in a positon where you have not met the minimum mark at the first attempt or following a reassessment opportunity, you may be offered a retake of the Module/Unit, which will incur additional tuition fees to be paid in order to access the teaching of the Module/Unit once more, unless there are exceptional circumstances which the College has been made aware of, to be considered.

For additional information, please see the individual course pages, or contact us


Repaying your loan

The earliest you will have to start repaying your loan is 6thApril in the year after you graduate from university or college.

Repayments only start once you’ve started earning over a certain amount (threshold). The earnings threshold to start repaying your loans has increased from £21,000 to £25,000.  

Repaying your student loan is easy as the repayments are automatically deducted from your salary by your employer. If you stop working or start earning less than the £25,000 threshold, the deductions will stop, and will only start again when you start earning over that amount again. 

There is also some really easy to understand information on The Student Room about repaying your finance.

  **Please note that you can only access The Student Room in college using Internet Explorer or you can download an app onto your phone.


Other financial support 

If you have a disability recognised under the Equality Act 2010, such as a long-term health condition, mental health condition, or a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you can apply for some funding to support you while you study. This is known as Disabled Student Allowance or DSA, and it is designed to help with costs you may have because of your disability. It is not means tested, but based on individual need and is paid on top of your other financial help. 

If you are a full-time Undergraduate student and another adult is dependent on you financially, you may be able to get extra help via the Adult Dependants Grant which is paid on top of any other student finance you may receive. 

Full-time students can also apply for help through the Childcare Grant for up to 85% of your childcare costs, providing your children are under 15, or under 17 if they have a Special Educational Need. Income-related, unemployment and housing benefits are not affected by a Childcare Grant. You may be eligible for Parents Learning Allowance to help with the cost of studying, if you are a student with children who is studying full-time. This allowance is based on household income and won’t affect benefits or tax credits. And, like grants, it doesn’t have to be paid back. 

If you have been in Local Authority Care, you can claim a one off bursary payment of £2,000 from your Local Authority. 


Hardship Funding 

If you are a student studying on a HNC or HND programme at the college, and you experience short term hardship, or have an emergency or crisis which puts you in sudden or temporary financial difficulty, you can apply for a hardship grant (non-repayable) or loan* (for which you will agree terms of repayment) in addition to other financial benefits you may receive.

We will ask you to provide evidence of the circumstances, your income and expenditure, and provide details of your Student Finance entitlement (this is shown on the letter sent out to each student by Student Finance England entitled ‘Payment Schedule’) in order for an assessment of need to be made; however smaller discretionary crisis payments (such as travel fare) can be made straight away in an emergency, depending on the circumstances.

You can download and print an application form or pick up a paper copy from the Higher Education office. 

Please return signed applications, together with supporting evidence to the Higher Education Office, Swindon College, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1DY.

*If you are due to receive payment from Student Finance England (SFE) but need immediate support, a loan may be offered and can be re-paid when the SFE payment is made to you. In this case you must sign an agreement which sets out the terms of repayment before a payment will be authorised.

For students studying at Swindon College on an Oxford Brookes programme, you can apply for Financial Aid which is very similar to our Hardship Fund and requires an application and evidence to be submitted. For specific enquiries relating to funding or finance you can contact the University as below:

Oxford Brookes University   
Student Finance Tel(01865) 483373                                          Web:  Email:


Advice and Guidance  

If you are encountering financial difficulties which are having an impact on your ability to study, you might want to talk to someone. Our Student Engagement Team can discuss ways in which you might be able to access further support either within the College or through external services. Please call in or email the HE Office in the first instance and with your permission, we can put you in touch for further support. 

The HE Office is open to students daily and we can signpost general advice on financial matters, and act as liaison between you and our University partners. We also have staff in college who can provide support with Student Finance England applications and issues relating to finance, including setting up payment plans if you intend to self-fund your studies.