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  3. University Living Costs Calculator

University Parental Contribution Calculator

How much the government expects you to contribute to your child's student maintenance loan. Child not at uni yet? Use our How much should you save calc.

The amount of parental contribution needed varies depending on where you live.

Course length
Child not starting their course yet?
Use our parental contribution How much should I save calculator instead.
Where does (or will) your child live when they’re at uni?

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Your Parental Contribution

Why you might have to help your child with their living expenses at uni

This applies to those from and living in England, regardless of where in the UK they study.

  • This isn't about tuition fees. The Student Loans Company pays tuition fees for first-time UK undergraduates, and they're only repaid if you earn enough once you leave.
  • It is about the maintenance (living) loan. In England, students are given a loan for living costs (again, only repaid if you earn enough once you leave)
  • The size of the living loan is based on your family's income. The maximum loan available depends on whether students live at home or go away to study (with an uplift for those studying in London). Then, with that, the actual loan you'll get is means-tested based on your family's annual 'residual' income. The higher your family's income, the lower the loan. The loan amount starts reducing with family income of £25,000/year. The loan can be as little as £3,698/year, up to £13,022/year.
  • The system assumes parents will fill the gap. For most students, family income is a proxy for parental income. The fact the system is means tested, means implicitly it must be expecting parents to fill the gap. So our calculator works out how much less than the full loan your child will receive – and we define this as the expected (though not enforceable) ‘parental contribution’.
  • The parental contribution has been pretty hidden. After years of campaigning led by Martin, the Government has finally agreed to make it clearer from 2022. But while the loan letter now makes it clear if a student is going to get less than the maximum loan, the fact that parents are expected to make up the difference sadly still isn’t made explicit.

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