How am I going to afford the LLB?
The LLB is an undergraduate law degree. Around 50% of trainee solicitors studied law at undergraduate level, so it’s by no means necessary if you want to become a lawyer.
Like all undergraduate degrees, the LLB costs just over £9,000 a year to study for UK students, which means it will cost over £27,000 over three years. If you are an international student, it’s estimated that you will pay between £12,000 a year and £19,000, but you should check with the universities that you are applying to as there is a wider variance.
It’s unlikely that you have a spare £27,000 lying around, so how are you going to afford the LLB?
Tuition Fee Loan
The LLB is eligible for student finance, so the vast majority of UK students will get a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK Government. This allows you to study the LLB and pay back your student loan when you earn enough money.
The main limitation on a Tuition Fee Loan is that you won’t be eligible if you have already been to university and studied for a degree – the LLB will need to be your first higher education qualification.
The Tuition Fee Loan will be paid directly to your university too, so you won’t need to worry about transferring any money or arranging a payment. But what’s the deal on paying back your student loan? It’s all automatically calculated through by using your National Insurance number once you start working after you graduate. You will start paying back the Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan (more on that below) when you start earning more than £26,575 a year.
Here’s where is gets a bit complicated, so read carefully. You will pay back 9% on whatever you earn above £26,575. If you have a starting salary of £40,000 as a trainee solicitor, you will pay 9% on £13,425 (£40,000 minus £26,575). This equates to £1208.25 for the year, but student loan deductions are made every month. £1208.25 divided by 12 (months in the year) is just over £100 a month.
As this is a relatively low cost compared to your take-home salary each month, some have made the case that you should view your student loan as a ‘graduate tax’, as opposed to a large chunk of money.
It’s not just tuition fees that you’ll need a student loan for. You will have maintenance and living costs when you’re at university too, including rent for halls or accommodation as well as food and the occasional night out.
You can get a loan to cover these costs too, although this is means-tested against your household income, and range from £3,410 a year (if you are live at home throughout your studies and your household income is over £58,222) to over £12,000 (if you live in London throughout your studies and your household income is less than £25,000).
It’s difficult to say exactly how much you will receive in a maintenance loan, as it depends on your exact household income. For instance, a student from a household income of £30,000 will get a different amount to a from a household income of £30,500.
You pay your Maintenance Loan off with your Tuition Fee Loan (see above).
Bursaries, grants & scholarships
Student loans are not the only way to afford the LLB. Every university will have a range of bursaries, grants and scholarships that students are eligible or can apply for. In short, this is free money that does not have to be repaid.
Universities may have grants for high achievers at A-level. For example, they may provide £1,000 a year to anyone who got AAA grades. Alternatively, they may provide a bursary to students that come from a household whose income is below £20,000. Bursaries and grants will rarely cover the entire cost of an LLB, but it will help with your tuition or maintenance costs. They won’t be limited either; if you’re eligible, you will receive it.
Scholarships are slightly different and usually have to be applied for, and they are very limited in number. In some cases, just one student per course intake will receive it. However, they will cover part of the full cost of your tuition fees. There will be eligibility criteria and you may have to take a few assessments or write an essay. Check out the universities you are applying to for more information on the schemes available.
Apply for an LLB
Now that you know that you can afford the LLB, check out the available courses on AllAboutLaw.co.uk.