How to Get Financial Aid For International Students in The UK

Are you an international student planning to study in the United Kingdom? Universities in the United Kingdom are one of the most expensive, considering that international students will need to pay for their tuition and living expenses including room & board, utilities, transportation, books, and supplies, as well as health insurance – and students may not have all that money on-hand.

Here, we will be looking at how to get financial aid for international students in the UK

What are the resources of financial aid available for international students in the UK?

There are several resources of financial aid available for international students, but we can divide them into three main categories:

  • Student loans
  • Scholarships
  • Private grants

1. Student loans

The United Kingdom shows a higher commitment to offering optimal conditions for study, maintaining a rich scheme of student loans and need-based or merit-based grants.

But, unfortunately, not all groups of international students in the United Kingdom are eligible for government student loan schemes. See Best  International Student Loans.

Presently, foreign students coming from EU countries enjoy the same treatment as home students. This means they enjoy the same benefits as resident students in the United Kingdom.

However, the case is different for students who originate from non-EU countries as they don’t enjoy such benefits including access to student loans.

The two types of state-governed student loans in the UK for citizens and EU countries include: tuition fee loans and maintenance loans.

Tuition fee loans are issued to cover your university fees, whereas maintenance loans are awarded to cover household spending. Read Student Loan Forgiveness.

In addition, tuition fee loans are directly paid to your university while a maintenance loan is deposited in your bank each at the beginning of each university term (or every month in Scotland).

The amount of money you can borrow changes depending on what tuition fees your university applies and the academic level of the chosen course.

It is important to note that student loans must be paid back, in contrast to other forms of financial aid for international students like scholarships or merit-based grants.

But that will be after you have graduated from school and already have a good paying job coupled with a small interest rate.

If you’re a non-EU student it’s unlikely you will find a student loan in the UK granted by the governmental authorities. 

The only option left to you is the University of your choice. Universities are permitted to establish their own student loan schemes for talented students, including those coming here from other countries than EU countries.

For this, we highly suggest you mail your university and see if they run a student loan scheme on their own and ask what the terms and conditions are.

A second chance for you can be the financial resources in your home country. Often education authorities support students abroad by awarding student loans or similar grants.

If there are no funds you can ask private companies to provide funds to study in the UK while giving them something in reward.

Commonly, such a reward can be a repayment with an interest rate or an agreement that obligates you to return home after graduation and work in that company for a certain time period.

2. Scholarships

These are good resources for financial aid for international students in the UK. There’s a wide range of them and chances are higher you’re going to find something suitable. Just take your time and find one.

The Two types of scholarships for international students in the UK are:

  • Governmental scholarships.
  • University scholarships.

Governmental scholarships

There are several scholarships funded by the British government awarded to talented international students. The following are the two main  state-governed scholarship schemes in the UK

  • Chevening Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Scholarships

University scholarships

UK universities are home to a large portion of foreign students and to maintain their attractiveness at higher levels they have established a wide range of scholarship programs.

In addition to governmental scholarships, numerous non-governmental organizations and universities provide financial aid for international students in the UK.

Some of the non-governmental scholarships offered in the UK are shown below

  • Royal Society grants
  • The Newton Fund
  • S. Hornby Trust Scholarship Programme
  • Scotland’s Saltire Scholarships
  • Young Cell Scheme
  • International Atomic Energy Agency Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
  • Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust Scholarships
  • UK-China HE Research Partnership for PhD Studies
  • Great China Scholarships
  • Great India Scholarships
  • Marshall Scholarships
  • Marshall Sheffield Fellowships

3. Private grants

Aside from scholarships and student loans, private grants are another alternative resource of financial aid for international students in the UK.

Often there are companies or non-governmental organizations that are ready to finance your education in the UK.


That is all we have for you on how to get financial aid for international students in the UK. Did you find it helpful? You can send your response to us via the comment box.

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