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If you have humanitarian protection, this information will help you understand your university options

I have humanitarian protection (HP): what are my options for higher education (HE)?

How can I pay for university?

1. Student finance

There are two main loans you can apply for:


Tuition fee loan: this is a non-means tested loan and is paid directly to the university to cover your fee cost.


Maintenance loan: This is a means tested loan and is to help cover your living costs, e.g rent, food, transport etc. The amount you receive varies depending on where you live and whether you live with family. Remember this is a loan and has to be repaid once you start earning a salary of £25,000 per year.


Please visit this student finance resource for more information. There is also government funding available for postgraduate students. Please see here for more details.


If you have concerns about taking out a loan for religious reasons, please see here for advice and guidance.

2. Self funding

Often those with a more settled status have the right to work and can self fund their university studies. You may need to use personal savings to pay for your tuition fees and may wish to consider balancing work with studying.


Many degrees can be undertaken part time or on a flexible basis, such as via distance learning. Please visit this UCAS guide for more information.

3. Scholarships

If you have HP status, some universities offer scholarships to people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds. Please visit Student Action for Refugees (STAR)’s website for a more comprehensive list. You may also wish to visit the funding pages of different universities to find out more about what they can offer.

4. Care leaver support

If you are/ have been a care leaver you may be eligible to receive a grant of up to £2,000 from your local authority towards your university studies. Your university may also have specific funding available for you. Please visit here for more information.

Other FAQs for students with HP status

Here's more information

Click here to return to our main Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information about higher education

Contact us for advice and guidance

Click here to find out how REUK's Educational Progression team can help you reach university through advice, guidance, workshops and funding opportunities

Training for practitioners

Join our training to understand the barriers to university for refugee and asylum-seeking students and to get the skills and confidence you need to move forward

As a person with humanitarian protection (HP), can I go to university?

Yes, as someone with HP, you are eligible to study at university.


Currently the rules about HP, the fees you will pay, and whether you are able to apply for student finance are changing.

The important thing to note is that students with Humanitarian Protection now have the same rights and entitlements as those with Refugee Status. To read more about what this means, click here.

If you have HP and have been denied Student Finance, the Central England Law Centre may be able to provide you with the advice you need to appeal.


Please send an email with the details of your situation to

You can also read this useful toolkit from The Central England Law Centre and Warwick Law in the Community. 

The main costs of university include tuition fees and living costs (such as accommodation, transport, food, etc). If you have been granted HP status and have been ‘ordinarily’ resident in the UK for three years you will likely pay tuition fees at 'home' rate, with a cost of up to £9,250 per academic year. This cost may vary depending on the university and course chosen as some fees are slightly lower. Living costs may vary depending on where you study, whether you need to pay for accommodation, and other factors. On average, you may need to budget for £1,000 per month (minimum) to cover your living costs. For more help with working out your budget, please visit this resource.


However, if you have been granted HP status but have not been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years, you will pay tuition fees at an ‘international/overseas’ rate. This costs may vary depending on university and course chosen, and some fees are significantly higher.

How much does it cost to go to university?

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