Eligibility for Home Fee Status and Student Support (2023 Update)

Navigating the complexities of eligibility for home fee status and student support is essential for students pursuing higher education in England. Educational institutions play a pivotal role in determining fee status, and Student Finance England further assesses eligibility for financial support. This article delves into the key factors that determine eligibility and provides insights into recent changes, including those post-Brexit.

home fee status

Table of Contents

How to Determine who is Eligible?

Higher education providers allocate students into ‘home‘ or ‘overseas/international‘ fee status categories. Government-capped undergraduate home fees at £9,250, while overseas fees vary widely. While providers follow Department for Education regulations, some discretion exists. Publicly funded student support, including tuition and maintenance loans, requires home status from Student Finance England, which adheres strictly to regulations.

Regulations and Categories: Eligibility hinges on regulations like:

  1. The Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 (as amended)
  2. The Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 (as amended)
  3. The Higher Education (Fee Limit Condition) (England) Regulations 2017 (as amended)

Eligibility Criteria: Generally, eligibility for home student status entails:

  • Residency and ‘settled’ status in the UK on the academic year’s first day.
  • ‘Ordinarily resident’ in the UK for the three years preceding that date.
  • Consideration of age, previous study, course, and higher education provider for student support eligibility.

Key Terms Explained:

Here are some of the key terms that may come in handy: 

  1. Settled‘: Ordinarily residing in the UK without immigration restrictions.
  2. Ordinarily Resident‘: Lawfully living in an area by choice.
  3. The First Day of the First Academic Year‘: Linked to course start date, typically September, January, April, or July.

Brexit's Impact on Home Fee Status

Post-Brexit, there were several new eligibility categories for courses beginning after August 1, 2021:

  • EEA/Swiss nationals with settled/pre-settled status maintain eligibility.
  • UK nationals in the EEA/Switzerland may be eligible based on certain conditions.
  • Exceptional categories (e.g., refugees, stateless persons) offer further eligibility avenues.

However, there are also some exceptions and special categories: 

  • Refugees and family members;
  • Persons granted humanitarian protection and family members;
  • Persons granted stateless leave and family members;
  • Persons with section 67 leave;
  • Persons granted Calais leave to remain;
  • Persons granted indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence or abuse;
  • Persons granted indefinite leave to remain as a bereaved partner;
  • Persons granted leave under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy or the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme and family members, and British nationals evacuated or assisted in leaving Afghanistan;
  • Persons granted leave under the Ukraine schemes and family members.

Frequently Asked Questions

Home fee status refers to the classification of a student as a resident of the UK for the purpose of charging lower tuition fees at universities and colleges. It also determines eligibility for publicly funded student support.

Higher education providers follow regulations set by the Department for Education to determine a student’s fee status. They consider factors like residency and settled status, along with their own discretion.

Being ‘settled’ means being ordinarily resident in the UK without immigration restrictions on the length of stay. It’s a crucial factor in determining home fee status and eligibility for student support.

Yes, certain categories such as refugees, stateless persons, and individuals granted humanitarian protection may be eligible for home fee status and student support. There are also provisions for long residence and specific overseas territories.

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