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New students

Before you receive any funding for your higher education course at university or college you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria.

Where you live (your nationality and residency status)

You can apply if you meet all of the following three conditions:

  • you're a UK national or have 'settled status' (no restrictions on how long you can stay);
  • you normally live in Wales on the first day of the first academic year of the course (usually before 1 September); and
  • you've been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course.

If you do not meet all of the three conditions, you can still apply for support if you meet the requirements of one of the other UK residency categories listed:

  • you're an EU national, or family member of an EU national;
  • you're a refugee;
  • you're under humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for Asylum);
  • you're a migrant worker;
  • you're a child of a Swiss national; or
  • you're a child of a Turkish worker

You must also normally be living in Wales on the first day of the first academic year of the course.

Your course

Your course must lead to a qualification in one of the following:

  • First Degree eg Bachelor of Arts, Science or Education (BA, BSc or BEd)
  • Foundation Degree
  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • Higher National Diploma (HND)
  • a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE)
  • Initial Teacher Training (ITT).

Postgraduate courses

Postgraduate courses are not funded by Student Finance Wales unless they lead to a qualification in Initial Teacher Training. You may be able to receive a grant from a research council to fund your postgraduate course. To find out more information on research councils contact the student support team at your university or college.

If you are planning on applying for a second undergraduate degree, funding is available for some courses, in subjects such as medicine or dentistry.

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are available for certain postgraduate students that have a disability.

For more information, download this guide to Disabled Students’ Allowances:

Your university or college

You must be studying a designated course at a publicly-funded university or college, unless you are studying a ‘specifically designated course’ at a private university or college.

Private universities and colleges can set their own tuition fee level and there is no restriction on the amount they can charge.  A course at a private university or college needs to have been specifically designated by the Welsh Government in order to attract student support.  You can apply to Student Finance Wales for a maximum Tuition Fee Loan of £6,000 but you won’t be eligible for a Fee Grant.

Your age

To qualify for a Maintenance Loan you need to be under the age of 60 when you start your course.

There's no upper age limit to qualify for grants or a Tuition Fee Loan.

The rules around eligibility can be complex, so if you’re not sure if you qualify, you can contact us on 0300 200 4050.

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