Student Finance

What costs are involved in higher education study?

Students from Scotland who apply to study at a Scottish university or college do not need to pay any tuition fees.

These will be paid in full by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) – each student simply has to complete the relevant form on the SAAS website before they begin their studies.

However, many students do need additional help to cover their living expenses, particularly if they are moving into student accommodation.


Students from low income families may be eligible for a bursary. These are grants and do not need to be repaid. 

Students must submit their application to SAAS by JUNE 30th in order to ensure that they receive their first payment at the beginning of their course in August/September.

SAAS provides bursaries ranging from £500 to £2,000 a year depending on household income.

Colleges and universities may also offer additional bursaries. Their websites should offer this information.


Most students apply to SAAS for a student loan to help cover their living expenses. Every student, regardless of their household income, is able to apply for a loan of up to £4,750 a year.

Loans do not need to be repaid until the student has completed their course and is earning more than £25,000 a year.

Student Accommodation

The costs of student accommodation vary depending on the institution and the type of accommodation. Generally, student halls (‘halls of residence’) are the most affordable option. Rooms (including utility bills) are likely to cost around £100 a week.

Choosing a room in a private flat or in a shared apartment with more facilities is likely to cost more.

More detail:

  • For more information, including detail of financial support for college students, go to the SAAS website