Funding for mature students
We recognise that coming to university can present financial challenges for mature students. Bristol offers a range of bursaries and additional funding avenues for mature students in addition to the government student finance package.
As a mature student, you can apply for undergraduate student loans through your regional student finance provider after you have applied to university. The student finance package can support with tuition fees and maintenance costs. Applications for student finance typically open in March each year.
Applying for student finance
Student finance definition of ‘mature students’
Although in university terms a mature student is over 21, for student finance the definition is over 25 years old.
If you are aged over 25, the amount of maintenance loan you receive from student finance will be dependent on your own circumstances rather than the household income of any parents or guardians.
If you are aged between 21 and 25, your household income assessment will typically include any earnings from parents or guardians.
Students under 25 who have supported themselves financially for three years before their course starts, will need to supply proof of financial independence when applying. We recommend speaking to our Student Funding Office.
Previous higher education study
If you have ever studied at higher education level before (level 4 or above) then this may affect your eligibility for student finance, even if it was a long time ago or you never completed the qualification.
You will not generally be eligible for a tuition fee loan or maintenance loan from Student Finance England if:
- you already have an honours degree;
- and your current course is at the same or a lower level than your previous course.
If you have already studied an undergraduate degree, you may wish to consider postgraduate study which may be funded through postgraduate loans.
Additional government funding
University bursaries and additional funding
The University offers a range of means-tested bursaries and funding avenues for mature undergraduates.
To be considered for the University of Bristol Bursary and/ or the Accommodation Bursary, you must ensure that you have applied for financial support from your regional funding provider and you have given them your consent to your household income information. The University will automatically contact you if you are eligible for either bursary. There is no further application process.
Applicants holding an offer to study can apply for additional funding encompassing various scholarships including:
Please note that the deadline to apply for ‘additional funding’ changes each year.
The University also offers financial support for students from asylum-seeking and refugee communities through the Sanctuary Scholarship.
Mature care leavers, estranged students and bereaved students under the age of 25 may be eligible to receive the Bristol Stand Alone Bursary.
Financial Assistance Fund
The University of Bristol also offers a Financial Assistance Fund for students who are registered and have started their course. This supports students with additional costs which may not be covered by other support packages, or who have financial emergencies.
Funding level 3 studies
The Advanced Learner Loan is available from the government to cover the costs of studying a level 3 course, such as Access to HE Diplomas and A-levels which might be required for university study. Further education providers will tell you how to apply for this loan.