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Supporting children and dependent adults while you study

If you have children or support a dependent adult, you could get extra financial support while you study.

Take a look at the summary below. If you’d like us to put together a financial statement of the support available to you, contact our Student Finance Centre.

Student finance for full-time students with dependants

If you’re a full-time student from England and have a dependent child or adult, you could get the following extra funding on top of a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan.

Parents Learning Allowance

The Parents’ Learning Allowance is a payment of up to £1,716 a year for students with dependent children. It’s based on your household income.

You don’t have to pay it back and it won’t affect your benefits or tax credits.

Adult Dependants’ Grant

The Adult Dependants’ Grant is a payment of up to £3,007 a year for students who support a dependent adult who has no income of their own.

It's based on your household income and you don’t have to pay it back.

Childcare Grant

The Childcare Grant is a payment that covers up to 85% of your childcare costs. It’s based on your household income and childcare costs. You don’t have to pay it back.

If eligible, you can get up to:

  • £169.31 a week for 1 child
  • £290.27 a week for 2 or more children

Applying for statutory funding

You can apply for the Parent’s Learning Allowance, Adult Dependants’ Grant and Childcare Grant at the same time you apply for your tuition fee and maintenance loans through Student Finance England.

Housing Benefit

You can get Housing Benefit as a student if at least 1 of the following applies to you:

  • you're a lone parent
  • you're living as a couple with another student and you have at least 1 child
  • you're getting Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance
  • you're getting Disabled Students' Allowance because of a hearing impairment

To get Housing Benefit, you must be living in rented accommodation and have a formal tenancy agreement in your name. This includes halls of residence.

Applying for Housing Benefit

You need to apply for housing benefit through your local council, which is Portsmouth City Council if you’re living in Portsmouth.

Bear in mind your council will include your maintenance loan when it assesses your income, so you may only qualify for Housing Benefit over the summer (when you’re not studying).

Child Tax Credits

You may be able to claim Child Tax Credit if you’re responsible for at least one child aged under 16 or aged 16–20 in eligible education or training.

Becoming a full-time student shouldn’t affect your entitlement to receive Child Tax Credits because HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) doesn’t include student funding (apart from the Adults Dependants’ Grant) when working out child tax credit.

However, it’s still best to contact HMRC to tell them that you’re becoming a student.

Child Benefit

Becoming a student doesn’t affect your entitlement to Child Benefit.

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