Student Advice Service – Money Matters

News from the Student Advice Service at the University of Brighton

How to be financially assessed as an independent student if you are under 25

In most circumstances home students under the age of 25 are assessed for their student finance based on their parent/s’ income.  However, there are situations where Student Finance can assess you as being independent from your parent/s. When this happens, they will not ask you to provide any financial information from your parent/s.

The categories of independent student are as follows:

  • You have the care of a person under the age of 18 on the first day of the academic year
  • You’ve been married or in a civil partnership before the start of the academic year, even if you’re now divorced or separated
  • You have no living parents
  • You’ve supported yourself for at least 3 years before the start of your course.
    This includes any time you:

– were in paid, full-time employment

– received Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance or other DWP benefits

– received any pension, allowance or other benefit because of a disability or by any reason of confinement, sickness or illness

– received training under any scheme for the unemployed or other funding by any state authority or agency

  • Your parents can’t be traced or it’s not practical or possible to contact them.
  • Your parents live outside the European Union and an income assessment would put them in jeopardy, or it’s not reasonably practical for them to send funds to the UK if a contribution were assessed (this may apply to you if you’re a refugee).
  • You have not communicated with your parents for one year before the beginning of the academic year, or you can demonstrate you’re permanently estranged from your parents.
  • You were looked after by a local authority throughout any 3 month period ending on or after the date on which you turned 16, and before the first day of the first academic year of your course.

Finally, if you are under 25 and you’re married or in a civil partnership, you will need to provide your partner’s financial information as this will be also included in your household income assessment.

If any of these categories apply to you and you are having difficulty collating the required evidence or information, understanding the independent student criteria or something has changed since you first applied for your funding, please contact the Student Advisers.        

We’re here to help and we’re happy to help.

Best wishes

Student Advice Service



Helen Abrahams • August 20, 2021

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