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Understanding your tuition fee status

How the University determines your fee status and how this affects the tuition fees you pay.

What 'fee status' means

Your fee status depends on your nationality, where you live, and how long you have lived there. The University decides your fee status based on the information you give us. We will let you know your fee status in your offer letter if we can, but we might need to ask additional questions.

If you know your fee status, you can work out how much you will pay for your course tuition fees. While many Overseas students require a student visa to study in the UK, your fee status does not depend on whether or not you require one.

Home students pay lower fees than Overseas students. This is in part because the University receives some additional funding to support teaching from the Office for Students (OfS).

Fee status in England is governed by government regulations and any subsequent amendments:

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides detailed guidance on fee status including explanations of the legal terms used in fee regulations.

Home fee status

If you have Home fee status, you will be charged fees based on the UK government’s fee level for the year. If you are applying for an undergraduate or taught postgraduate course, you may also be able to apply for a student loan to help you pay your fees.

You are likely to have Home status if:

  • you are a British or Irish national who has lived in the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for three full years immediately before the first day of your course
  • you hold Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) or Right of Abode and have lived in the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for three full years immediately before the first day of your course. Separate criteria apply if you have indefinite leave to remain through the UK’s EU, EEA or Swiss settlement schemes
  • you have been granted refugee status or have humanitarian protection in the UK
  • you live in the UK, you are the spouse, civil partner, or child of a British national and you have lived in the UK for three full years immediately before the first day of your course
  • you are a British national (or the child or spouse of a British national) and have lived in a British Overseas territory for three full years immediately before the first day of your course. This also applies if you have lived in the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands for some part of these three years
  • you have been living legally in the UK for an extended period (usually half your life)
  • you are the child of a Turkish worker, and you and your parent have been living in the UK since before 31 December 2020

In most cases, you will not be eligible for Home fees if the main purpose of your residency in the relevant area has been to receive full-time education (for example, because you are studying away from home at a boarding school or university).

You may also qualify for Home fee status if you would have met one of these criteria but:

  • you have been living outside the UK because you or your parent, spouse or legal guardian is temporarily employed abroad
  • you usually live outside the UK but you also maintain ongoing connections and residency in the UK (and so can be considered resident in multiple places)

Fee status for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and British nationals living in the EU

If you start your course on or after 1 August 2021, new criteria apply to students who would have previously been eligible for Home fee status due to the UK’s membership of the European Union.

UK nationals living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland

If you start your course on or after 1 August 2021, you will usually be eligible for Home fees providing:

  • you are a UK national, you live in the EU, EEA and/or Switzerland (having started living there before 31 December 2020), and you have lived in the UK, EU, EEA and Switzerland for three full years immediately before the start of your course
  • you are a UK national, you live in the UK having returned from the EU, EEA or Switzerland since 31 December 2017, and you have lived in the UK, EU, EEA and Switzerland for three full years immediately before the start of your course
  • you are the child or spouse of a British national and otherwise meet the criteria in either of the previous two points

These rules apply for students who begin studying before 1 January 2028.

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with pre-settled or settled status

If you are an EU national, you will usually be eligible for Home fees if you hold valid pre-settled or settled status under the UK’s EU, EEA or Swiss settlement schemes. You will need to have lived in the UK, EU, EEA, Gibraltar or Switzerland for three full years immediately before the start of your course.

If you are a non-EU EEA or Swiss national, or are the child or spouse of an EU national, and you hold valid pre-settled or settled status you may also be eligible for Home fees (depending on your residency).

If you hold pre-settled or settled status in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands you may also be eligible for Home fees.

If you do not hold valid pre-settled or settled status in the UK, Isle of Man or Channel Islands you are likely to be eligible for Overseas fees.

Criteria for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who began studying before 31 July 2020

If you start your course during or before the 2020/21 academic year, you may be eligible for Home fees if:

  • you are an EU national who has lived in the UK, an EEA member state, or Switzerland for three full years immediately before the first day of your course (except if you have lived there mainly for full-time education)
  • you, or your parent, guardian, or spouse is a non-UK EEA or Swiss national who is living in the UK as a worker, and you have lived in the UK, an EEA member state, or Switzerland for three full years immediately before the first day of your course

Students eligible for Home fees under these criteria will remain eligible for the whole duration of their course.

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, if you start your course on or after the 1 August 2021, you will no longer be eligible for Home fees under these criteria.

If you are a national of an EU or EEA member state who have applied and been granted settled or pre-settled status (or the child, spouse, or civil partner of such a person), you may remain eligible for Home fees as part of the UK Government’s arrangements under the Withdrawal Agreement. The details of the eligibility criteria, in this case, have yet to be confirmed by the UK Government.

Asylum seekers

If you have claimed asylum in the UK but have not received an outcome to your application, you are not eligible for Home fees under the regulations set out by the UK Government. However, it is our policy that if you have made an asylum application in the UK you will be charged the same fees as a Home student.

The University of Bath also offers financial support for asylum seekers through our Sanctuary scholarships.

Island fee status

Prior to 1 August 2021, students living in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands were not eligible for Home fees under the UK’s Fee Regulations. However, at the University of Bath these ‘Islands’ students have paid the same fee as UK students.

From 1 August 2021 these students are now eligible for Home fees (including continuing students), so ‘Islands’ fee status no longer applies.

Overseas fee status

If you do not have Home status you will have Overseas fee status. This is likely if:

  • you live in the UK but have immigration restrictions about how long you can stay
  • you have not lived in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for three full years immediately before the first day of your course
  • you have lived in the UK but at any point in the three years immediately before the first day of your course your residency was mainly so you can receive full-time education

We may ask you in advance for written evidence that you, your family or sponsor can pay the tuition fees. You must make sure that you have sufficient resources to cover tuition as well as living expenses before you accept any offer we make to you. If you need further advice on how to fund your studies, contact Student Funding.

Changing your fee status after offer or as a current student

We will let you know what your status is in your offer letter. In some cases, we may ask you for additional information or ask you to fill in a Fee Status Questionnaire before we make a decision. It is very important that you provide us with full information before you become a registered student.

Should your circumstances change between receiving a fee decision and starting your course we will reassess your fee status based on your most recent circumstances. Any change in your fee status during the application process will not affect your academic offer.

The criteria to be eligible for Home fees must be met before the start of your course, and therefore your status will not change once you have enrolled. There are a few very limited exceptions set out in the UK Fee Regulations which may allow you to change partway through your studies, including becoming a British or Irish citizen, but your status will still depend on where you lived before you started your course.

In particular, if you do not meet the residency requirement before you enrol (usually three year’s residency in the UK), your residency during your course will not enable you to meet this criteria in later years of study. We usually recommend you consider deferring your place until you have the necessary residency before starting.