EU Nationals and Student Finance in England

29 May 2019

The following statement applies to EU nationals who currently receive student loans and/or grants from Student Finance England (SFE), and to EU nationals applying to start courses in England in the 2020/21 Academic Year.

Under current student finance rules in England, EU nationals (including relevant family members) must meet the following requirements.

For tuition fee loans, EU nationals must be ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance support, EU nationals must be ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. Where the period of ordinary five year residency was mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education, the student must have previously been ordinarily resident in the EEA/Switzerland.

EU nationals are also currently eligible for home fee status, meaning they must be charged the same tuition fees at publicly funded institutions as domestic students in England.

Current students including those that will start courses in the 2019/20 academic year or before)

EU nationals (or their family members) currently in higher or further education or starting in the 2019/20 academic year, and who are eligible to receive loans and/or grants from Student Finance England will continue to remain eligible for these loans and grants until they finish their course (even if the course ends after the UK has left the EU).

EEA/EFTA and Swiss nationals

EEA/EFTA and Swiss nationals (and their family members) who are migrant or frontier workers or self-employed in the UK can access tuition fee loans, maintenance support and home-fee status on the basis of three years residence in the EEA/Switzerland immediately prior to the start of their course. Children of Swiss nationals will remain eligible for support on the same basis as now.