April 14, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Attending medical school is expensive but fortunately for students in the UK, there is help available to meet these costs.
As a medical student, you would typically have three main costs to meet – tuition fees, course costs and living costs. The financial support available to help meet these costs varies depending on whether you are domiciled or live permanently in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales or the European Union as well as in which country in the UK you choose to study.
Student loans are basically government funded loans that are managed by the Student Loans Company.
If you have to take a student loan to supplement your course fees, it is always advisable to apply for the maximum loan that you are allowed to as you will not find any other loans that are given on such low terms. This is even if you are not in immediate need of the money. If you are in the first year, you may think you have enough money but 5 years is a long time and you may need the money by the time you reach fifth year. If you can trust yourself to save the money rather than spend it frivolously, it is advisable to take the maximum loan that you can in any one academic year because it will not be available to you again after the closing date for student funding for that year.
Depending on which country in the UK you live or study, there are three main types of student loan you may come across during your time as a medical student:
Student Loan for fees: This is a Fee Loan that lets you delay putting any money towards your tuition fees until after you have graduated. The loan is non income-assessed and will be paid directly to your University. Some countries may offer grants along with or instead of, the fee loans.
Student Loan for maintenance for Years 1- 4: This loan is comprised of an income-assessed and a non income-assessed part. The ratio of the assessed and non-assessed parts can vary depending on which country of the UK you live in, when you started your course and where you are studying. There are three different rates of loan depending on whether you live at home, away from home and study in London or away from home and study elsewhere in the country. There are also additional weekly loan payments if your course is longer than the standard year.
Student Loan for maintenance for Year 5 onwards: This loan is non income-assessed and is a fixed annual amount. There is no extra weeks allowance.
The Student Loans Company (SLC) runs a repayment site for all students in the UK and EU, who have finished their course and who have student loans from the SLC. This site contains all the information students need for repayment of the student loans including the current interest rate and their balance. Students can also make online payments by debit or credit card through this site.