England: fee status

Last modified: 09 November 2016

Publicly funded educational institutions normally charge two levels of fee: a lower 'home' fee and a higher 'overseas' fee. Private sector institutions often have only one level of tuition fee, which all students must pay.

Whether you pay a 'home' or 'overseas' fee depends on whether you meet certain criteria.

Please read the information on Home or Overseas fees? before looking at our explanation of the fees regulations/guidance for your relevant area of the UK.

Remember that, in the context of the fees regulations/guidance, certain terms mean what is explained for them in the 'definitions' and not what you might interpret from an ‘everyday’ understanding of the words.

Higher Education

There are two sets of fees regulations, namely The Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 and The Student Fees (Qualifying Courses and Persons) (England) Regulations 2007, both of which have been amended by subsequent regulations. Broadly speaking, the 'Fees and Awards' regulations provide for students on postgraduate courses and the 'Qualifying Courses and Persons' regulations provide for students on ‘qualifying courses’ funded by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England), mainly undergraduates. Under each set of regulations, institutions must not charge higher than the ‘home’ fee to any student who comes within any of the categories in the regulations. Currently, there is no actual difference between the two sets of regulations.

Further Education

In England, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) fund FE courses. They publish fee assessment guidance on who they will allow to be charged a 'home' fee:

  • EFA funds eligible students who are aged 16-18 years (excluding those who are on Apprenticeship courses) on 31 August in the funding year in which they start their course; and
  • SFA funds students who are aged 19 years or over (and those who are on Apprenticeship courses, aged 16-18 years) on 31 August in the funding year in which they start their course; and
  • a 'funding year' runs from 1 August in one year to 31 July in the calendar year which immediately follows. If you are 18 years old on 1 August prior to when you start the course (eg your lectures begin on 1 October) but you become 19 years old before 31 August then you will be funded by SFA not EFA.

Higher Education

Last modified: 30 August 2016

This information explains the conditions you need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the 'home' rate for study on a higher education (HE) course in England.

If you fit into one of these categories, an institution must charge you 'home' fees. In order to be eligible in a category, you must meet all the criteria required by that category, including any residence requirement.

1. Those who are 'settled' in the UK and meet the main residence requirements

2. Those who are ‘settled’ in the UK and have exercised a ‘right of residence’ in the EEA/Switzerland

3. EU nationals, and family

4. ‘EU Nationals in the UK’

5. Those with the ‘right of permanent residence’ in the UK

6. EEA/Swiss workers, and family

7. Child of a Swiss National

8. Child of a Turkish worker

9. Refugees, and family

10. Those granted humanitarian protection, and family

11. Long Residence

Further Education for 16-18s

Last modified: 30 August 2016

If you are aged 16-18 years and studying a FE course (which is not an Apprenticeship course) at a FE college in England, then under the EFA rules you are eligible as a home student if you come within one, or more, of the categories outlined below.

1. EEA citizens (including British Citizens)

2. People with Right of Abode in the UK

3. People with no restrictions on working in the UK (eg people with Indefinite Leave)

4. People accompanying/joining specified family members in the UK

5. Children of diplomats

6: Asylum seekers or those under the care of a local authority

7. People with Refugee status, and specified family members

8. People with Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary/Exceptional Leave in the UK, and specified family members

9. Recently settled

10. Children of Turkish Workers

11. Apprenticeship students

12. Exceptional circumstances

Further Education for 19 and older

Last modified: 06 September 2016

If you are aged 19 years or over, and studying a FE course (or aged 16-18 years and studying on an Apprenticeship course) at a FE college in England in the 2016/17 academic year, then under the SFA rules you are eligible as a home student if you come within one, or more, of the categories outlined below.

Update: We amended Category 7 of this section on 6 September 2016. We added 'Leave Outside the Rules' (LOTR) as an eligible form of leave. LOTR is included by SFA for 2016/17 onwards but we noticed we had not yet included it in our information below. Apologies for any confusion.

 

1. EEA nationals with three years' ordinary residence in the EEA

2. Family of EEA nationals, with three years' ordinary residence in the EEA

3. Family of EEA/EU nationals, who have not been ordinarily resident in the EEA

4. People with Right of Abode in the UK

5. People with Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain in the UK, and family

6. People with Refugee Status, and family

7. People with Humanitarian Protection, Discretionary / Exceptional Leave, Leave Outside the Rules, and family

8. Non-EEA citizens with three years' ordinary residence in the UK

9. Asylum seekers

10. Child of a Turkish worker

11. Apprenticeship students aged 16-18 years

Definitions: for fee status assessment

Last modified: 23 February 2016
This section has explanations about words and terms which occur in our information on Home or Overseas fees? and Student support. These explanations should not be read in isolation but, instead, combined with the appropriate fee status, or Student Support, category.

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