DURING a time of crisis, many students will face financial difficulties and mental health concerns as prices continue soaring. 

In a survey conducted by the website ‘Save The Student’, four in five students considered dropping out of university, with half of those blaming worries over money. 

Rent is the most expensive cost for students, followed by groceries. Living costs have risen by 14% since last year’s survey, with the average student now spending £924 per month.

This is higher than the official inflation rate of 9.9%, which measures changes in the cost of living over time. According to  Save The Student, a typical maintenance loan in England falls approximately £439 short of covering these monthly costs.

Many students relied on parents, part-time jobs, or savings to make ends meet, but the survey found that one in every ten students had used a food bank in the previous academic year.

The Welsh Government believes living costs should not be a barrier to studying at university, which is why Wales provides the most generous living costs grants in the UK.

Whether you are heading off to university for the first time, returning for another year, or thinking about applying, here’s the support you could be entitled to.

Maintenance support

If you are a full-time undergraduate student, you can apply for maintenance grants and loans to help with your living costs whilst studying. The amount of grant and loan you could receive depends on your household income.

If you are a part-time undergraduate student, you can apply for similar maintenance grants and loans. The amount of grant and loan you could receive will depend on your household income and intensity of study.

If you are a postgraduate Master’s student, you can apply for grants and loans as a contribution towards your study costs.  The amount you could receive in grant and loan depends on your household income.

If you are a doctoral student can apply for a doctoral loan as a contribution towards your study costs. The loan is not based on your household income.

Support for student parents

If you are an undergraduate student who has children, you could receive a Childcare Grant. The amount you could receive depends on your household income. This is available if you are studying at an intensity of 50% or more.

You could also get help with extra costs through Parents’ Learning Allowance. You could get up to £1,862 per year, depending on your household income and course intensity.

Adult Dependants’ Grant

If you are an undergraduate student with an adult who is financially dependant on you, you could apply for help with extra costs. You could get up to £3,262 per year, depending on your household income and course intensity.

Disabled Students’ Grant

Grants are available to support you with extra study-related costs you might have as a direct result of a disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. The grants are the same for full-time, part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

The amount you get is based on your individual needs, not your household income.

Partial Cancellation Scheme

The Welsh Government could cancel up to £1,500 from your undergraduate student loan if you took out a full-time Maintenance Loan from the academic year 2010-2011. The cancellation will be applied when you start repaying your loan.

This includes voluntary repayments, so you could repay a small amount during your course and see some of your debt cancelled. Find out more.

Travel Grant

You can apply for a Travel Grant to cover the extra travel costs you might have if you’re studying abroad or if you’re a healthcare student on a placement in the UK.

How much you get depends on your household income and when you started your full-time undergraduate course.

NHS and social care bursaries

You might be able to get a bursary from the NHS to cover the cost of your course if it leads to a qualification in medicine, dentistry, or healthcare. Find out more.

If you’re studying an approved undergraduate degree or Master’s degree course in social work, you could get a bursary from Social Care Wales.

Bursaries and scholarships

Some universities and colleges may offer discretionary bursaries or scholarships. You can talk to your Student Support Service to see what additional financial help may be available to you.

Council Tax Exemptions for Students

If you are a student, you are exempt from paying Council Tax if you live:

  • in a flat, house or bedsit on your own
  • in a flat, house or bedsit with other students only
  • in a room in halls of residence

If you live with someone who is not a student, you will not be counted towards the Council Tax bill for the property.

Get in touch with your local authority Council Tax department to claim.