Students from England face the highest tuition fees in the UK, a maximum of £9000 per year. If you are normally resident in England, your tuition fees will be paid by a tuition fee loan provided by Student Finance England, all of which needs to be paid back once you graduate.
All students resident in England can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their university teaching. This loan is never paid into your bank account but goes direct from Student Finance England to your university. It covers your entire tuition costs, whether they are £9000 per year or less. Student finance will also cover the cost of tuition fees for longer and more expensive courses such as medicine and veterinary medicine.
All students resident in England are eligible to receive a maintenance loan. 65% of this is paid to all students, regardless of their household income. The remaining 35% is means tested:
Applications for your student finance should be in early to avoid having no money at the start of your first term. You can apply online and you will need to supply supporting evidence of your identity (usually your passport number) and your parent/s will also need to supply proof of their status and income as necessary.
Student loans in England, from Student Finance England, do not need to be paid back until you have graduated and are earning at least £21,000 per year. Once your annual income reaches that level, 9% of everything you earn over £21,000 per year will be taken from your salary at source and paid back to the government. If you are self-employed or run your own business, your payments are assessed at the same level of income but are paid twice a year, with your income tax.
The student debt for someone starting their course in the autumn of 2012 is likely to top £40,000, so it will take many years to repay. If you only ever earn an average of £30,000 per year, you would only repay just over £800 per year, so your loan would take nearly 50 years to pay off.
Most graduates expect to make more than this, so will pay more off each year but all debts are cancelled 30 years after graduation. Whatever you still owe then, you will not have to repay.