The following information includes figures for students who intend to start a course in September 2020.
Funding available from Student Finance Wales (SFW) for starting a course in September 2020
If you live in Wales then you can apply to Student Finance Wales (SFW) for funding for academic year 2020/21. The funding available from Student Finance Wales is made up of tuition fee funding and funding for living costs.
Tuition fee loan
Subject to terms and conditions, students who live in Wales and are studying towards their first degree will not have to pay their tuition fees upfront. Instead they could be eligible for a repayable tuition fee loan of up to £9,000 per year to meet the cost of their tuition fees (fees in Wales are capped at £9,000 rather than £9,250 in England). This funding would be paid directly to your University after you have enrolled.
You will only start to repay this loan when you have finished your studies and are earning more than £26,575* per year (subject to terms and conditions).
*This figure is reviewed annually
Funding for living costs
All eligible students who are ordinarily resident in Wales before starting their course will have access to a maximum of £9,810 per year maintenance funding (if living away from their parental home) to help them meet their living costs.
The first £1,000 of this maintenance funding will be available as a non-repayable, non-means tested maintenance grant. This means, irrespective of household income details, all eligible students will receive a grant of £1000.
The remaining £8,810 will be available as either a maintenance grant, a maintenance loan or a combination of both, depending on the means test that will be carried out on household income details.
This means all eligible students, living away from their parental home, will have access to up to a total of £9,810 maintenance funding. This loan is expected to help students meet the cost of their accommodation, food, travel and general living expenses.
The following table demonstrates examples of funding available from SFW depending on household income and where a student is living while they study:
Maintenance support for a full-time undergraduate living away from home in 2020/21
Total maintenance support
If you will be living within the parental home while you study the total maintenance funding available is £8,335. The first £1,000 will still be available as a grant, irrespective of household income, and the remaining £7,335 will be available as either a maintenance grant, a maintenance loan or a combination of both, depending on the means test that will be carried out on household income details.
Maintenance funding is paid directly to students, normally in three instalments; one at the start of each term. The first instalment is normally released to you within 3-5 working days after you have completed enrolment and collected your ID card. Therefore it is important to arrive at University with funding for at least two weeks available to you.
Please note that if you change any details about your course or place of study, please inform Student Finance Wales before you come to University otherwise payment of your funding could be delayed.
Additional funding from Student Finance Wales
Depending on your personal circumstances there may be additional funding available to you. For example, if you have a disability, or if you have children or an adult dependent. Please visit Student Finance Wales for more information.
Additional funding from Cardiff University
In addition to the above funding you may qualify for a Cardiff University Bursary.
Cost of living in Cardiff
Cardiff is considered to be one of the most affordable UK cities to live in while you study. See our living cost calculator for the average cost of living in Cardiff as a full time, undergraduate student.
Repaying the loans
If you take a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan, these are combined to form one amount that you repay after you have left your course. You become liable to repay any loans you have taken in the April after you leave your course.
You’ll only start making repayments when your income is over the repayment threshold, which is currently £26,575 a year, £2,214 a month or £511 a week in the UK. If your income falls below the repayment threshold, repayments will stop and only restart when your income is over the threshold again. You can also make additional voluntary repayments to SLC at any time.
All students are liable for 30 years from the April after they have finished their course to repay any loans borrowed. If there is an outstanding balance at the end of 30 years, this will be written off.
If you receive a maintenance grant, you do not need to repay this.
Interest on your loans
You are charged interest on any loan taken from the time it is paid to you (maintenance loan) or on your behalf (tuition fee loan) until you pay your loan back in full, or any balance is written off.
The interest rate is currently RPI (Retail Price Index) + up to 3%. The amount you are charged also depends on whether you are studying or working, and if you are working, how much you are earning.
You can find more details about how interest is applied to your student loan from the Student Loans Company.
Cost of repayments
Currently repayments on undergraduate loans are set at a rate of 9% of your income over £26,575 per year. Repayments will normally be deducted from your salary through the tax system. You can also make voluntary repayments.
Please see the table below for an indication of what monthly repayments would be:
Your annual income (before tax)
£0 - salary is below the threshold
Welsh Loan Cancellation Scheme
If you borrowed a Maintenance Loan from Student Finance Wales anytime from academic year 2010/11 onwards, the Welsh Government could cancel up to £1,500 from your student loan balance when you start repaying. Please visit the Student Loans Company for further details.
How to apply for funding
Students who are ordinarily resident in Wales will apply to Student Finance Wales for their funding. The application process for students who intend to start a course in September 2020 is expected to open in March 2020.
If you have any questions please get in touch with the Student Funding and Advice Team:
Advice and Money Team
Press option 5 when calling.