Independent Student
Financial Support

Is this you?

If you normally live in Scotland and meet the SAAS Independent Student conditions, you’re likely to qualify for funding. SAAS is the Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Here's what's available: 

  • Living cost bursaries and grants.

  • Tuition fees paid for Scottish students.

  • Lone parent grants.

  • Funds for formal/registered childcare.

  • Bursaries and grants if you’re a carer, disabled or been in care.

  • Scholarships and awards.

  • Student loans.

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

Two females working together

Tuition Fees (no repayments)

In Scotland, tuition fees are Government-funded with no repayments for students. It is rare for students to pay tuition fees in Scotland. In England they cost over £9,000 each year. 


Living Costs

Independent Student Bursary (no repayments)

You could receive up to £1,000 for each year of your course. The amount you get depends on your household income (check the table).  Remember this bursary does not have to be paid back.

Student Loan (repayments needed)

You can apply for a student loan of up to £6,750 per year. The amount you get depends on your household income and you need to pay it back (check the table).

You only start repaying when you’ve finished university and earn over £25,000 per year (from April 2021). For example, if you were earning £27,000 per year, you’d pay back £15 per month. And if you stop working, the repayments stop automatically. See examples on repaying your student loan on the GOV.UK website.


Independent Student Bursary and Student Loans for 2020/21

Household income








£0 to £20,999   








£21,000 to £23,999







£24,000 to £33,999 







£34,000 and above 









Grants and Bursaries (no repayments)

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), you can get up to £1,305 per year through the Lone Parents’ Grant. The amount is based on your income while you study. You apply through SAAS.

Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant: If you’re bringing up one or more children on your own, you may qualify for the Lone Parents’ Childcare Grant.  It helps towards the cost of registered or formal childcare costs. You can apply for this on top of the Lone Parents’ Grant. The maximum is £1,215 each year. How much you receive depends on your childcare costs. 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. You can also apply for additional funding from the University Discretionary Fund. 

If you’ve been in care: You could receive the Care Experienced Student Bursary which is currently £8,100 per year (as of 2020). You don’t have to pay this money back, and it’s not based on what you earn.  If you do get this bursary, you can’t apply for a Student Loan.

If you’re estranged from your parents: If you’re no longer in contact with your parents or there’s been a permanent breakdown in your relationship, see Support for Students Estranged from their Parents.  

Disabled students’ allowance:  If you have additional expenses because of a disability, a long-term medical condition or learning difficulties, check out the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

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


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 by Skype or telephone.