Students with children
Students with children and other dependants
If you are a full-time student with children or other dependants, you might qualify for extra help on top of your main student finance package. Find out if you are eligible for the following funding.
Special Support Grant (pre-2016 students only)
The Special Support Grant is available to students who starting their course before 1st September 2016. It is means tested and non-repayable, and is available to students who are eligible to receive means-tested benefits such as Income Support, Housing Benefit, or disability benefits such as Personal Independence Payment. This grant is not taken into account as income when working out entitlement to means-tested benefits. Students in receipt of the Special Support Grant are entitled to a higher amount of Maintenance Loan.
Special Support Element of Maintenance Loan (post-2016 students only)
The Special Support Element of Maintenance loan is available to students who started their course after 1st September 2016. It is available to students who are eligible to receive means-tested benefits such as Income Support, Housing Benefit, or disability benefits such as Personal Independence Payment. Eligible students receive an uplift on their Maintenance Loan. The Special Support Element of Maintenance Loan is not taken into account as income when working out entitlement to means-tested benefits.
Parents' Learning Allowance
If you are a full-time home undergraduate student with dependent children you may be eligible for the non-repayable Parents’ Learning Allowance. The maximum entitlement is £1,716 for the 2019/20 academic year and £1,669 for the 2018/19 academic year. How much you get depends on your income and that of your partner, spouse and any other dependants. It is not counted as income when assessing your social security benefit entitlement.
If you are a full-time home undergraduate student with responsibility for a child under the age of 15 (or 17 if they have special educational needs) and you use registered or approved childcare, you can apply for the Childcare Grant. You cannot receive the childcare grant if you claim the childcare element of working tax credits, but you can choose to change your funding from working tax credit to the childcare grant if you wish.
You can get up to 85 percent of your actual childcare costs during term-time and holidays from this grant. Your maximum payment will be:
2019/20 academic year
- £169.31 a week if you have one child
- £290.27 a week if you have two or more children
2018/19 academic year
- £164.70 a week if you have one child
- £282.36 a week if you have two or more children
Your eligibility and the amount you receive will be means-tested and dependent upon the cost of your childcare. You will receive this money on top of the standard student finance package and you do not have to pay it back.
It is very important that you do not overestimate your childcare costs. Your National Student Finance Service will request confirmation of your actual costs throughout the academic year and will reassess your entitlement accordingly. If you have been overpaid, they will deduct the overpayment from your future grant entitlement.
Adult Dependants' Grant
You may be eligible for the Adult Dependants' Grant if you are both of the following:
- You are a full-time home undergraduate student.
- You have an adult dependant who is wholly or mainly financially dependent on you.
Eligible adult dependants include your spouse or civil partner or, if you are 25 and over, a cohabiting partner. Your grant amount will be dependent upon your situation and the income of your dependant. The maximum grant is £3,007 for the 2019/20 academic year and £2,925 for the 2018/19 academic year. The amount you receive depends on your situation and the income of your dependant.
Am I able to claim benefits?
Your entitlement to benefits may change when you become a full-time student, as your student income may be regarded as income when your benefits are being calculated. You will find our Guide to Funding for Students with Dependants useful when checking your eligibility. The National Union of Students has put together a useful guide on student parents and benefits.
Summer Vacation Fund
The University has set aside limited funds primarily to assist students who are unable to work over the summer vacation period due to illness or disability. The Summer Vacation Fund can also assist lone parents with dependent children during the period when there is no benefit entitlement. Please note that due to the limitations of the fund we are unable to cover all living costs.
Forms are available on request from the following locations:
- City Campus Student Services Centre, Newton building
- Clifton Campus Student Services Centre
- Brackenhurst Campus Student Services Centre.
If you think you may be eligible, you can contact the fund administrators by email or on +44 (0)115 848 6135 / +44 (0)115 848 2521.
You can contact us via email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494, if you have any questions.