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Benefits and student finance

Benefits and student financeOn benefits and thinking of going to university? Find out how studying affects your benefits.

The basics

  • Most full-time students aren't able to receive benefits.
  • If you are a parent or have a disability, you may be able to receive benefits while you study.
  • Part-time students can apply for benefits as normal

Full-time students

Most full students can't claim benefits. However, there are exceptions. You might be able to claim benefits if:

  • you are a lone parent
  • you are a parent with a partner who is also a full-time student
  • you have a disability

Additionally, child benefit and disability living allowance are not affected by student status, so you can continue to claim these.

Means-tested benefits such as income support are affected by your maintenance loan, maintenance grant and adult dependants' grant, as well as by any bursaries that are intended to help with living costs. However, bursaries that help with course costs (such as textbooks) won't be counted.

Part-time students

If you study part-time, it won't directly affect your benefits. However, it can affect you if you are on jobseeker's allowance. If your study hours are within the pattern of availability for work you have agreed - normally 8am to 6pm on weekdays - you might have to give up your course to take a job if you can't rearrange it.