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University Finance: The Things You Might Not Know

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

Going to university is a stressful process without the added hassle of all the finance bits and bobs. Money can be a tricky thing for students, particularly budgeting whilst having to live, eat, go out and all the other things going on in your life. Coming to university in 2020, I found dealing with finances incredibly anxiety inducing and didn’t really know where to even start. Along the way there are have been some surprises and now, looking at a new group of freshers joining Exeter, it got me thinking about all the finance related things people may not know about. Although money is incredibly important for your time at university, there are a lot of things you aren’t told about, that could in fact really help. 

Maintenance Loan 

So, this seems pretty obvious right? It’s all calculated when you apply for your tuition loan, so nobody tends to even question or think about this. Yet, it is always worth double checking you have been given the correct amount based on income and circumstances. Mistakes can be made and if you are worried, definitely call Student Finance England to discuss, even if you just want to know how exactly it has been calculated. 

Disability Student Allowance 

This is one I am often surprised that not many people know about. When applying for finance there is an option to apply for a Disabled Student Allowance (DSA). Yet, it simply asks if you have a disability, and more often than not people do not realise that this does include a diagnosed mental health condition. You go and have an assessment, just to explain your circumstances and what might help you throughout your degree. Compared to the loans, DSA does not in fact provide you with money to assist you but equipment. This can include printers, stationary, software programmes etc. It is a really useful scheme for those who may be challenged by their health – so it is definitely worth thinking about and considering! It is also very helpful if you are dyslexic and have had a post 16 assessment.

Universal Credit

I have to be honest, this one was new to me too. It took a lot of digging through student advice on the government website. I am still trying to get my head round this one. But students can in fact qualify for this. Obviously, it is dependent on your circumstances but from what I understand it is a matter of filling out a form to see if you do in fact qualify. 


Again, one that people don’t seem to think about! Universities and colleges tend to offer their students scholarships or bursaries dependent on certain things e.g., course, health, personal circumstances, awards. It is always worth scrolling through your institutions website to find out exactly what they have to offer and if you qualify. Many people would be surprised to know that they qualify for these schemes. Even if you are halfway through your degree, it’s always best to check. 

Megan Barber

Exeter '23

22 years old studying History. You can find me eating, reading or planning my next adventure...