Student Contribution Loan Full-time undergraduate, tuition fee and living cost students

2. Who can get this loan?

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The following can contribute to your eligibility for a Student Contribution Loan as a full-time undergraduate tuition fee and living cost student.

Place of study

A Student Contribution Loan is only available to eligible students from Northern Ireland who choose to study a course at a university or college in the Republic of Ireland.

Both your course and place of study must be eligible for funding from us. Your university or college will be able to confirm this.

Available alternative funding

To qualify for Student Contribution Loan from Student Finance NI you cannot be eligible for a grant to cover this cost from an alternative source such as Student Universal Support Ireland

Nationality and residency

You could get this funding if you’re able to identify as one of the following:

A UK or an Irish Citizen or someone with settled status in the UK

You must:

  • normally live in Northern Ireland
  • have been living in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years before the first day of your first academic year

An eligible exception residency type

Our eligible exception residency types can include refugees, those under humanitarian protection or their immediate family members.

Resident in another area of the UK but living in Northern Ireland while you study

You will not be classed as ‘ordinarily resident’ in Northern Ireland and will not be eligible for support from Student Finance NI. You should contact your home funding provider for further information on what support is available.


There’s no upper age limit for a Student Contribution Fee Loan.


Both your course and place of study must qualify as eligible for funding from Student Finance NI. If you're not sure, you can ask your university or college for more information.

Your eligible course must result in one of the following qualifications:

  • a first degree, for example, a BA, BSc or BEd
  • a Foundation Degree
  • a Certificate of Higher Education
  • a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
  • a Higher National Certificate (HNC)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND)

Your place of study can be private or public, however it must be in the Republic of Ireland and be eligible for funding from us.

Previous study

You’ll usually get student finance for your first higher education degree (honours) but exceptions can apply.

You could get limited funding if, for example:

  • you change course
  • you leave your course but decide to start again
  • you’re ‘topping up’ a higher education qualification, for example you’ve finished an HNC, HND or Foundation Degree and now want to do an Honours degree
  • your new course leads to qualification such as medical doctor, dentist, veterinary surgeon, architect, social worker or a qualified teacher

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