England: fee status

Last modified: 03 June 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: 10 June 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

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

(a) you must be settled in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and

(b) you must be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and

(c) you must also have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the full three year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course - eg, if your course begins in October 2013, you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2013; and 

(d) the main purpose for your residence in the UK and Islands must not have been to receive full-time education during any part of that three-year period.

Note: It is not necessary to have had settled immigration status in the UK for the full three years. You only need to show that you have it on, at the latest, the first day of the first academic year of the course.

Students from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

If you are in receipt of an award from your Island authority for higher education, you are treated differently (that is, not as a 'home' or 'overseas' fee payer). There is an agreement between the Island authorities and UK higher education institutions that the Island government will pay your fees at an agreed rate.

If you are self-financing, you will be assessed to see if you are a 'home' or an 'overseas' fee payer. If you are not ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course (because, for example, you have not yet moved there from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) you cannot meet the requirement of (a)/(b) above, even though you may be a British citizen.

In addition, if you moved to the UK for your course of study (or a course of study you finished immediately before it), you will be treated as being ordinarily resident in the Islands and you will therefore be unable to meet (a)/(b) above.

British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTCs)

If you have not been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the three years preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course, but you are a British Citizen by virtue of also being a BOTC, then check Category 3.

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

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) you are settled in the UK; and
  • (b) you have left the UK and exercised a right of residence having already been settled in the UK;

Note: A right of residence covers those people and their family members who are in the EEA and/or Switzerland as workers or self-employed people, or as students or self-sufficient people and, in all cases, their family members or people who have gone to the state of which they or their family member is a national.

and

  • (c) you are ordinarily resident in the UK on the day on which the first term of the first academic year actually begins; and
  • (d) you have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories for the three years preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (e) in a case where the ordinary residence referred to in (d) above was wholly or mainly for the purposes of receiving full-time education, you have been ordinarily resident in EEA/Switzerland immediately before that three-year period.

3. EU nationals, and family

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

a) on the first day of an academic year of your course, you must be:

  • an EU national; or
  • the relevant family member of a non-UK EU national, and that non-UK EU national is in the UK as a self sufficient person or as a student; or
  • the relevant family member of a UK national;

and

(b) you must have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories for the three years before the first day of the first academic year of the course (if you have not, see the Special Provision below); and

(c) the main purpose of your residence in the EEA/Switzerland (or the overseas territories if applicable) must not have been to receive full-time education during any part of the three-year period (if you have not, see the Special Provision below).

Notes:

  • If you become, or a relevant family member becomes, an EU national after the start of your course, you can become entitled to 'home' fees as from the start of the following academic year as long as you satisfy the residence conditions in (b) and (c) above on the first day of the first academic year of your course (see the next note too);
  • For the purposes of the residence conditions, any country that joins the EU is considered always to have been part of the EEA.
Special Provision for people studying on courses which started on or after 1 September 2011

You do not have to meet the Category 3 (b) or (c) criteria (above) if you are studying on a course which started on or after the 1 September 2011 and you are:

  • the relevant family member of a non-UK EU national, and that non-UK EU national is in the UK as a self sufficient person or as a student; or
  • the relevant family member  of a UK national who has exercised a right of residence in another EU member state, for more than three months, as a self-sufficient person, a student or a worker;
and
    your relevant family member has been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories for the three years before the 'first day of the first academic year of the course' that you are studying.

British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTCs)

If you are a BOTC who is also a British Citizen remember that, as a British Citizen, you are also an EU national. As an EU national, you will be eligible under this category provided that you meet the residence requirements at (b) and (c) above. The residence area includes the overseas territories within which you may have been residing as a BOTC (EU) national.

4. ‘EU Nationals in the UK’

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) you are an non-UK EU national on the first day of the first academic year of the course. If you are a national of a country that joins the EU after the start of your course you will be treated as meeting this requirement in the next academic year; and
  • (b) you were ordinarily resident in the UK on first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (c) you were ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the three-year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (d) if during any part of the three year period, the main purpose for your residence was to receive full-time education, you must have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories immediately prior to the three-year period of ordinary residence in the UK and Islands.

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

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) you have the right of permanent residence in the UK (under European Community (EC) law) on the first day of an academic year of the course; and
  • (b) you were ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (c) you were ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for the three-year period before the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (d) if any of your ordinary residence in (c) was for the main purpose of receiving full-time education, you must have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territoriesimmediately prior to that three-year period.

6. EEA/Swiss workers, and family

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) on the first day of an academic year of your course you must be a non-UK EEA national, or a Swiss national, and resident in the UK as a worker, or the relevant family member of such a worker; and
  • (b) you must be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course unless you are an EEA or Swiss frontier worker or relevant family member of a frontier worker; and
  • (c) you must have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories for the three years before the first day of the first academic year of the course.

    Notes:

    • If you are the child of an EEA worker who is no longer working or living in the UK, you may still be entitled to pay 'home' fees if you have, at some point, lived in the UK as the child of that person whilst he/she exercised his/her right to reside as a worker (but not a self-employed worker). It does not matter if you are now over 21 and are no longer dependent on him/her. You should seek advice from your institution, from your Students' Union, or by telephoning our Students' Advice Line, if you would like to explore this option.
    • If you or a relevant family member become an EEA or Swiss migrant worker part-way through your course, you might become entitled to pay 'home' fees. You should seek advice on this, as above.

7. Child of a Swiss National

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) on the first day of an academic year of your course, you must be the child of a Swiss national;

    Note: If you have not yet started your course, it is likely your university/college will insist also that your Swiss parent must be exercising a right of residence in the UK (for example as a self-sufficient person, a worker, or a student) on the first day of an academic year of your course. Check this by asking your university/college.

and

  • (b) you must be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (c) you must have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories for the three years before the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (d) if the main purpose for your residence in (c) above, was wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education, you must have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland immediately before that three-year period.

NoteIf you become the child of a Swiss national part-way through your course, you might become entitled to pay 'home' fees - you can seek advice on this from an adviser at your institution, your Students' Union or telephone UKCISA's Students' Advice Line.

8. Child of a Turkish worker

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) you must be the child of a Turkish national; and
  • (b) your Turkish national parent must be ordinarily resident in the UK and must be, or have been, lawfully employed in the UK; and
  • (c) you must be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (d) you must have been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or Turkey and/or the overseas territories for the three years before the first day of the first academic year of the course.

9. Refugees, and family

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) you must be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (b) on the first day of an academic year of the course, you must be:
    • a refugee recognised by the UK Government; or
    • the spouse / civil partner of such a refugee and you must have been the spouse or civil partner of that person on the date on which their asylum application was made; or
    • the child of such a refugee or of a refugee's spouse or civil partner and at the time the refugee made the asylum application you must have been the under-18-year-old child of the refugee or of the refugee's spouse or civil partner;

and

  • (c) you have not ceased to be ordinarily resident:
    • since you were recognised as a refugee; or
    • if you are a spouse / civil partner, or child, of a refugee, since you were given leave to remain in the UK.

Note: If you are, or if your parent or spouse or civil partner is, recognised as a refugee after the start of the course, you may be entitled to 'home' fees from the start of the next academic year.

10. Those granted humanitarian protection, and family

In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • (a) you must be ordinarily resident in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course; and
  • (b) on the first day of an academic year of the course, you must be:
    1. a "person granted humanitarian protection", which means a person:
      • who has been granted leave to remain in the UK under the Immigration Rules, on the grounds of 'humanitarian protection'; and
      • whose leave to remain is 'extant', or in respect of whose leave to remain an appeal is pending; and
      • who has been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands throughout the period since being granted their humanitarian protection;
    2. or

    3. the spouse or civil partner of a "person granted humanitarian protection" (as above), and you must have been the spouse or civil partner of that person on the date on which they applied for asylum;
    4. or

    5. the child of a "person granted humanitarian protection" (as above), or a child of that person's spouse or civil partner, and, at the time the person granted humanitarian protection applied for asylum, you must have been under 18 years old and the child of that person or of someone who was the spouse or civil partner of that person on that date.

Note: If you are, or if your parent (or your parent's spouse or civil partner), or your own spouse or civil partner, is granted humanitarian protection after the start of the course, you will be entitled to 'home' fees from the start of the next academic year if you meet the requirements above.

11. Long Residence

This is a new category, which can be used for an academic year beginning on/after 1 August 2016. In order to qualify for 'home' fees under this category, you must meet all of the following criteria:

On the first day of the first academic year of the course:

(a) you must be either:

(i) under the age of 18 and have lived in the United Kingdom throughout the seven-year period preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course; or

(ii) aged 18 years old or above and, preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course, have lived in the United Kingdom throughout either:

         (aa) half your life; or

         (bb) a period of twenty-years;

and 

(b) you must be ordinarily resident in England; and

(c) you must have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom and Islands throughout the three-year period preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course; and

(d) your residence in the United Kingdom and Islands must not have been, during any part of the period referred to in paragraph (c), wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education [unless you are to be treated as having been ordinarily resident in the UK & Islands due to either you, or a relevant family member, having been temporarily employed outside the UK & Islands].

You can also read our information on applying for Student Support in England (see Category 11).

Further Education for 16-18s

Last modified: 03 June 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)

You are a citizen of a country that is in the EEA.

Note: This includes UK nationals. There is no requirement that you have been residing in the UK or EEA prior to the start of your course.

2: People with Right of Abode in the UK

You have Right of Abode in the UK, eg:

  • you possess a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode; or
  • you are a British Citizen.

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

You have no restrictions on working in the UK; this means you must be someone who has no condition in your UK immigration permission which restricts or prohibits the number of hours you may work. For example, if you have Indefinite Leave in the UK you will have no restriction on working.

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

You are in the UK with a parent or spouse / civil partner, or you are joining such a person in the UK, and that person has:

  • the Right of Abode in the UK; or
  • any other kind of immigration permission (limited/indefinite leave to enter or leave to remain) in the UK; or
  • EEA nationality.

5: Children of diplomats

You are in the UK as the child of someone who is working as a diplomat.

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

There is eligibility for you if you are:

  • an asylum seeker; or
  • in receipt of ‘section 4’ financial support; or
  • in the care of a local authority’s social services department.

7: People with Refugee status, and specified family members

You have, or your parent or your spouse / civil partner has, Refugee status in the UK.

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

You have, or your parent or your spouse / civil partner has, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave or Exceptional Leave in the UK. It is not a requirement that you, or your family member (as above), acquired this leave as a result of a failed asylum application

9: Recently settled

You have been granted settled status in the UK some time in the three years immediately before your course starts, eg you were granted Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship during that period.

10: Children of Turkish Workers

You are the child of a Turkish worker and you have been resident in the EEA and/or Turkey for the three years immediately before your course starts.

11: Apprenticeship students

If you are aged 16-18 years and doing an Apprenticeship course, the EFA will not fund you but the SFA will. See the provision under the SFA 19+ rules.

12: Exceptional circumstances

Talk to your institution if you do not meet any of the above categories but think your case is 'exceptional'. The EFA will consider students in exceptional circumstances.

Further Education for 19 and older

Last modified: 03 June 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 2015/16 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.

SPECIAL NOTE regarding your 2016/17 fee status:

The SFA has changed the eligibility criteria for 2016/17 onwards, by publishing a new set of Funding Rules. Currently, this means that fewer categories will exist from 1 August 2016:

  • However, we have not yet amended the information below to take account of these changes. Do not rely on the categories below if you want to determine your likely fee status for the 2016/17 academic year.
  • A slightly revised set of the new Rules (Version 2) has now also been published by SFA. The provisions of categories 5, 7, 8, and 9 [below], were not included in Version 1. However, in Version 2 the provisions of category 9 (for asylum seekers) were reinstated and, we understand, will now be retained for 2016/17.
  • Additionally, the provisions of categories 2, 3, and 6 [below], are now also likely to remain in place but with slightly stricter requirements added to them.

However, as in previous years, it is very important to keep an eye out for further changes in the run-up to the beginning of the new academic year. We will update our category information (below) for 2016/17 as soon as possible, so please keep checking this page.

 

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

You are a citizen of a country that is in the EEA and you have been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the three years immediately before your course.

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

You are the child/grandchild, spouse / civil partner, or dependent parent/grandparent, of an EEA citizen and you have been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the three years immediately before your course.

Note:

  • There is no requirement about your own nationality - you can be an EU, EEA or non-EU/EEA national;
  • Certain other types of family member can sometimes also be included in this category – generally those who have an EEA Family Permit.
  • This category was updated on 29 July 2014 to include eligibility for 'dependent parent/grandparent' (see above). We had previously omitted this group in error - they have been included in SFA eligibility for 2013/14 and will continue to be eligible.

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

You may not have been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the three years immediately before your course. However, you will be eligible if one of the following sets of requirements applies to you:

  • 1) you are an EU citizen; and you are the child/grandchild, spouse / civil partner, or dependentparent/grandparent, of an EEA citizen ('the principal'); and the principal has been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the three years immediately before your course.

or

 

  • 2) you are the child/grandchild, spouse / civil partner, or dependent parent/grandparent, of an EU citizen ('the principal'); and the principal has been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the three years immediately before your course. Your nationality is irrelevant; you can be an EEA or non-EEA national.

 

Example: A Swedish national who has not been ordinarily resident in the EEA for all of the three years before the course starts is married to a Norwegian national who has been. The Swedish national would be eligible under 3(1) (above) but not 3(2). Whereas a Norwegian national who has not been ordinarily resident in the EEA for the three years, but who is married to a Swedish person who has been, would be eligible under 3(2) but not 3(1). This is because Sweden is part of the EU and the EEA, whereas Norway is part of the EEA but not part of the EU.

Note: This category was updated on 29 July 2014 to include eligibility for 'dependent parent/grandparent' (see above). We had previously omitted this group in error - they have been included in SFA eligibility for 2013/14 and will continue to be eligible.

4. People with Right of Abode in the UK

You have a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode in the UK and you have been ordinarily resident in theEEA for at least the three years immediately before your course.

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

You are someone who has Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain in the UK, or you are the child of such a person, or you are the spouse / civil partner of such a person.

6. People with Refugee Status, and family

You have, or your parent or your spouse / civil partner has, Refugee status in the UK.

7. People with Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary / Exceptional Leave, and family

You have, or your parent or your spouse / civil partner has, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave or Exceptional Leave in the UK. It is not a requirement that you, or your family member (as above), acquired this leave as a result of a failed asylum application.

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

You will be eligible under this category if you:

  • are a non-EEA citizen; and
  • have permission granted by the UK Government to live in the UK and that leave is not for educational purposes; and
  • have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the three years immediately before your course starts.

9. Asylum seekers

You will be eligible if you are an asylum seeker and you:

  • have been waiting for longer than six months for a decision from the Home Office; or
  • are in the care of a local authority and receiving support under section 23C or section 23CA of the Children Act 1989 or section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948.

Additionally, you will be eligible if your asylum application has been refused and you:

  • have appealed against the refusal of asylum and you have been waiting for longer than six months for a decision; or
  • have been granted support under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 ("Section 4 support"); or
  • are, for those commencing a course of study in 2014/15, in the care of the local authority and are receiving local authority support under section 23C or section 23CA of the Children Act 1989, or section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948.

10. Children of Turkish workers

You are the child of a Turkish worker and you have been resident in the EEA and/or Turkey for the three years immediately before your course starts.

11. Apprenticeship students aged 16-18 years

If you are aged 16-18 years and studying an Apprenticeship course you are eligible as a ‘home’ student if you come within one, or more, of categories 1-10 above or, additionally, if you are:

  • "accompanying or joining parents who have the Right of Abode, Leave to Enter or Leave to Remain in the UK (or accompanying or joining parents who are EEA nationals)"; or
  • the child of a diplomat; or
  • the child of a teacher "coming to the UK on a teacher-exchange scheme"; or
  • entering the UK (where not accompanied by your parents) and are a British (or EEA) citizen who has a passport that has been endorsed to show you have the Right of Abode in this country; or
  • "an asylum seeker, or are placed in the care of a local authority".

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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