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View frequently asked questions for Fee loans - England:

Will I have to repay my Tuition Fee Loan sooner if I stop studying for my qualification within four years or if I decide I don't wish to continue?

If your course lasts less than four years or you stop studying, you will become liable to repay from the April after you have finished studying, and will begin to repay once you are earning more than £21,000. As new systems need to be set up, no repayments will be due until April 2016 even if you are liable to repay during this period.


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When do I have to start repaying my Tuition Fee Loan?

You won't begin to make any repayments until April 2017 (April 2016 if your course is less than four years or you stop studying) and then only if your income is more than £21,000 per annum. Repayments will begin to be deducted through your employer's Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system if you are employed or through your self-assessment if you are self-employed. If your pay dips below £21,000, repayments will stop until your salary rises above £21,000 again.


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How long will it take me to repay a Tuition Fee Loan?

This depends on how much you earn. You will only start to repay your fee loan after four years of study AND if you are earning more than £21,000. The fee loan repayments will be nine per cent of your salary above £21,000. Your payments will stop if your salary goes below £21,000 and restart if it goes above. After 30 years, any outstanding loan will be written off.


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If I currently earn more than £21,000 a year, will I still be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan?

Yes, you'll still be eligible to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan as fee loans are not means tested.


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I have an undergraduate/postgraduate qualification, but want to study towards a second qualification. Can I apply for a Tuition Fee Loan?

Tuition Fee Loans through Student Finance England are only available for students who want to study their first undergraduate degree or a PGCE. If you are a graduate in England and want to study another undergraduate degree or a postgraduate qualification other than a PGCE, you may wish to talk to your employer about sponsoring your studies.

If you hold an undergraduate qualification that isn't a full degree (for example, a certificate of higher education, a diploma or a foundation degree) you may be eligible to continue your studies up to full degree level with the support of a fee loan. To find out more about fee loans please visit our Ways to pay website.


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Is there support available to help with my living costs while I study with the OU?

In general the answer is no. Tuition Fee Loans are available for undergraduate study and PGCE. Part-time students do not qualify for a maintenance loan to cover living costs. Students in England may however be eligible for some means-tested support from the Access to Learning Fund to help cover the costs associated with study, such as childcare or internet costs.


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How can I find out more about Tuition Fee Loans?

You can find out more about Tuition Fee Loans on our Ways to Pay website.

You can also watch our Ways To Pay video, which tells you more about ways to pay for your study with The Open University.


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I'm planning to study for a Postgraduate Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Can I get a Tuition Fee Loan?

If you are ordinarily resident in England then yes, you will be able to apply to Student Finance England to pay your PGCE fees with a Tuition Fee Loan.


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What is the maximum loan amount I can apply for?

The maximum part-time Tuition Fee Loan you can receive from Student Finance England (SFE) is £6750 in a single academic year. We recommend you ask Student Finance England for the maximum loan available to you when you apply as this gives you the flexibility to pay for additional modules by loan without submitting more paperwork to SFE.


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I don't want to get into debt through a Tuition Fee Loan; how else can I pay?

You can pay your fees upfront with a credit/debit card. For more information please see our Ways to pay website.


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Can I still pay my fees upfront or do I have to get a Tuition Fee Loan? Could I pay some through a fee loan and some by other means?

Yes, you can choose to pay your fees upfront, and you will not be obliged to take out the fee loan. If you are eligible for a fee loan, you don't have to draw on the full amount that you are entitled to and can instead opt to pay some of your fees upfront and the rest via a fee loan. For more information please see our Ways to pay website.


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Can I use my Tuition Fee Loan to pay online for a short module (worth less than 30 credits)?

Yes, but you must first have enrolled on a 30- or 60-credit module in the same academic year that the loan from Student Finance England is covering. If you then withdraw from the 30- or 60-credit module(s) paid for with your fee loan, you'll no longer be able to cover the cost of your short module with your fee loan, and you'll need to offer an alternative payment method.

If you haven't already enrolled on a 30- or 60-credit module in the same academic year that your fee loan is covering, and you want to use your fee loan to pay for a short module, you won't be able to proceed online. Please call us on 0845 300 60 90.


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Can I get a Tuition Fee Loan for a module?

If you are a new undergraduate student who is ordinarily resident in England and you want to count your standalone module towards a qualification, you may be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan. If you do not count your module/s towards a qualification then you will be unable to apply for a fee loan. Eligibility for a fee loan is based on your residency, study history and whether you have had previous support. You can use our Eligibility Checker to see if you may be eligible. Full eligibility criteria can be found at Student Finance England website.


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How do I apply for my first Tuition Fee Loan?

When you decide to use a fee loan as payment for your qualification we will check your eligibility based on the information you provide (online or by phone). Please note that this is just a check and does not guarantee that you are eligible for a fee loan; you will still need to make a formal application to Student Finance England (SFE). SFE is now open for a Tuition Fee Loan applications for the 2013/14 academic year. We are currently preparing detailed guidance to help support you in your application and complete your enrolment, we will publish this shortly. Once you have applied to Student Finance England for your fee loan, you will be provided with a Customer Reference Number (CRN) which you must submit to the OU via Student Home so that you can complete your registration.


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How can I pay my OU tuition fees?

If you live in England:
If you are studying towards an undergraduate qualification that's higher than any you already have you may be able to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan to pay all or part of your module fees.

You apply for a fee loan directly from Student Finance England. When you reserve on your module tell us that you are applying for a fee loan and we will hold your place while you apply. You can find more information about Tuition Fee Loans on the www.studentfinanceengland.co.uk [Student Finance England website].

If you are studying towards a standalone module or a postgraduate qualification, or if you do not wish to apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and are paying all or some of the fees yourself, you can pay when you register by credit or debit card or OU gift vouchers.

You might also want to consider sponsorship from your employer if the module or qualification you've chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career.

You can find out more about all of these options on our Ways to Pay site.

If you are registering late, not all these payment methods will be available.

Please contact us on +44 (0) 845 300 60 90 to check that your chosen method of payment will be accepted.


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