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Student Finance: Maintenance Grant (pre-2016 starters only)

Student Finance: Maintenance Grant (pre-2016 starters only)

What is the Maintenance Grant for?

This is money to help with the general costs of Higher Education, like books and travel. You do not need to repay this.

How much is the Maintenance Grant?

The amount of Maintenance Grant you can get (if any) depends on your household income, and on when you started your course:

Course start date between 2012 and 2015 (‘2012 cohort’ students)

The maximum amount of Maintenance Grant in 2020/21 is £3801. How much Maintenance Grant you get depends on your household income:

Income assessment

Household Income

Maintenance Grant per year

£25,000 or less


£25,001 - £42,875

£3,801 reduced by £1 for every complete £4.72 of income above £25,000

Above £42,875

No grant

How is the Maintenance Grant paid?

It is paid directly into your bank account in three equal instalments at the start of each semester (September, January and April).

How will my Maintenance Grant affect my Maintenance Loan?

If you get a Maintenance Grant, your Maintenance Loan will be reduced. This is because part of your living costs will be met by the Maintenance Grant, so you should need less Maintenance Loan.

Your Maintenance Loan will be reduced by 50p for every £1 of Maintenance Grant you receive. For example, if your Maintenance Grant is £1000, your Maintenance Loan will be reduced by £500. 

Special Support Grant

The Special Support Grant replaces the Maintenance Grant in certain circumstances (see below). The calculation to see how much Special Support Grant you get is the same as for the Maintenance Grant.

It is advantageous to get the Special Support Grant because your Maintenance Loan amount will not be reduced as a result of your entitlement to it, whereas it would be reduced if you are getting the Maintenance Grant.

Also, importantly the Special Support Grant is disregarded in the assessment of any means tested welfare benefits you get, so they won’t be reduced as a result of you getting this income. You will need to show each of the offices that pay your welfare benefits a copy of your entitlement (which you can print from your online account) stating that you get the Special Support Grant.

Who is eligible for the Special Support Grant?

You may be eligible for the Special Support Grant if you:

  • Are a lone parent, or
  • Have a partner who is also a student and one or both of you is responsible for a child, or young person aged under 20 who is in full-time education below higher-education level, or
  • Have a disability, and qualify for the Disability Premium (This includes receiving PIP (Personal Independence Payment), or DLA (Disability Living Allowance), or being registered blind) or
  • Are deaf and qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances, or
  • Have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks, or
  • Qualify for a means tested benefit such as Income Support, Housing Benefit or income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Are waiting to go back to a course having taken agreed time out from that course due to an illness or caring responsibility that has now ended, or
  • Are aged 60 or over

If you need to check your eligibility, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service. The Special Support Grant is paid instead of the Maintenance Grant, and is non-repayable.

How do I apply for the Special Support Grant?

You will need to indicate in your application for Student Finance that you want to apply for the Special Support Grant and send supporting evidence, for example a benefit award letter, to show that you fit into one of the eligible categories listed above. If you are a lone parent, the evidence you are required to submit to qualify for the Supplementary Grants (see next section) should be sufficient to show your eligibility for the Special Support Grant. If you have any difficulties getting the Special Support Grant, please contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service.

Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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