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Student income and Universal Credit

How your Universal Credit may be affected if you have student income

If you and/or your partner are in advanced education you must report all the student income you get, including:

  • student loans
  • student grants
  • bursaries, scholarships, studentships, exhibition allowances or any other maintenance awards, for example:
    • bursary or scholarship from a college or university
    • NHS bursary
    • social work bursary
    • teacher training bursary
  • payments from a charity or trust
  • payments from access funds (for example, Access to Learning)

Student loans

The maximum student loan available to you will be taken fully into account. This applies even if you have:

  • not applied
  • not accepted the loan
  • chosen not to take the full amount
  • received a reduced loan because someone has to contribute to your living costs, for example your parent or guardian or your partner

People with student loans can also get grants. You may get a grant if you have extra expenses, for example because you are a lone parent or a disabled person. These grants will be disregarded unless:

  • they are paid to cover rent and your Universal Credit includes the Housing element for this property
  • you are part of a joint claim and the grant is to help with the day to day living expenses of a partner (for example, the Adult Dependant's Grant)

Student grants, bursaries, scholarships, studentships, exhibition allowances or any other maintenance awards

Student grants for your day to day living expenses (maintenance grants) are taken fully into account.

Extra grants for the following are disregarded:

  • tuition or examination fees
  • expenses paid for a disability
  • extra costs due to term-time residential study away from your college or university
  • housing costs for a home other than where you live whilst attending your course (unless you are already getting the Housing Costs Element for this property)
  • living expenses for another person, but only if you're not getting Universal Credit for that person (including the Adult Dependant's Grant)
  • expenses for books and equipment (including the Parent's Learning Allowance)
  • travel expenses for attending the course
  • childcare costs (including the Childcare Grant)

Access Funds

These are urgent payments for help with domestic and other emergencies, for example if you need to repair essential household equipment. These payments will be disregarded unless they are for day to day living expenses.

How your student income affects Universal Credit

Your student income is taken into account in each Universal Credit assessment period in which you are required to attend your course:

  • starting with the assessment period in which you start the course or the academic year
  • ending with the assessment period in which your course finishes or the summer vacation starts
  • excluding any assessment period that falls wholly within the summer vacation

A set amount will be disregarded in each assessment period to cover expenses.

If your course is shorter than a full academic year, your student income will be taken into account during the actual number of complete months that the course lasts.