Fresh Start
Financial Support

Ready to make a fresh start?

People drop out of college or university for good reasons. Some complete an HNC/HND, but wish they had studied something completely different. If this is you, you probably think you can’t afford to start again, but the good news is, you can.

You can probably study a four-year degree course from the beginning, even if you dropped out, or have an HNC/HND. Here's what's available: 

  • Living cost student bursaries.

  • Tuition fees paid for Scottish students.

  • Living cost grants for lone parents including childcare.

  • Grants if you’re a carer or disabled.

  • Funds for formal/registered childcare.

  • Scholarships and awards.

  • Student loans.

Good to know: grants, bursaries and scholarships do not need to be repaid.

Students working together

Tuition Fees (no repayments)

You apply for tuition fees through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). SAAS can provide you with up to five years of tuition fees.  

So if you were at college or university and dropped out in your first year, or left with an HNC, SAAS will cover four more years – which is the length of a Scottish degree.

Dropped out in year 2, or left college with an HND and want to start a new four year degree at Abertay University? That would be six years of tuition fees funding in total, but SAAS provides five.

The Carnegie Trust is for people just like you. You apply for tuition fees funding for your first year to start a new course at university. Then you go through SAAS for the remaining three years. Most people who apply are successful. Applications open 1 June to start a course in September of the same year.


Living Costs

Student Bursary (no repayments)

SAAS provides up to five years of Student Bursary funding. 

If you were at college/university and dropped out in your first year, or left with an HNC/HND, you still have four years’ SAAS funding available to cover the four years of a University degree.  

The bursary provides a maximum of £2,000 per year for Young Students, and £1,000 per year for Independent Students. You do not have to pay this money back. Check the SAAS eligibility pages to see which one you are.

If you dropped out in year 2, and want to start a new four year degree this makes six years in total.  SAAS bursary covers 5. You would not receive the student bursary for your first year of a new course at university, but you can apply for the remaining three years. 

Student Loans (repayments needed)

You can still apply for a student loan for each year of your new degree course. It depends on your household income and is up to £5,750 per year for a Young Student, or up to £6,750 per year for an Independent Student. 


Other Grants (no repayments)

Grants are income assessed, but don’t have to be paid back. Even if you received them for an earlier course, you can apply again for a new degree course of four years.  

Lone Parents’ Grant: If you’re widowed, divorced, separated and are a single parent bringing up one or more children who are dependent on you (siblings included), this could mean an extra £1,305 per year through the Lone Parents’ Grant. The amount is based on the income you earn while you study. You apply through SAAS.

Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant: If you are eligible for the Lone Parent’s Grant, you should also qualify for the Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant.  It helps towards the cost of registered or formal childcare costs. You can apply for this as well as the Lone Parents’ Grant. How much you receive depends on your childcare costs. The maximum grant is £1,215 each year. You apply through Abertay University.

Dependents’ Grant: If you are a carer for a dependent adult, you can apply for the Dependents’ Grant. The maximum is £2,640 per year.

Formal Childcare Funds: All students can apply for the Discretionary Childcare Fund for help with formal registered childcare expenses. You apply through the University.

Remember, these grants don’t have to be paid back.


Scholarships and Awards (no repayments)

  • The Dundee Education Trust makes bursary awards of £300. Visit the website to download an application form.

  • Scholarships don’t have to be repaid but may have conditions such as which course you study. Check our Scholarship pages to find out more.

When to Apply

It’s best to apply for funding as soon as you apply for your degree. The earlier the better. You can apply for all funding at the same time: student loans, grants, bursaries and tuition fees.

Help and Advice

We're here to help. For advice on funding, email or phone 01382 308833. Appointments are available on request by Skype or telephone.

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