Higher Education Savings for the UK: Home Fee Status Vs International Students

Reading Time: 2 minutesThe difference in tuition fees between “home” and “international” students in the United Kingdom is a massive financial consideration for families. Do you understand how it works?

Perhaps you have a BNO passport, or a British passport. Maybe the children were born in the United Kingdom. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re entitled to pay “home Fees” when it comes to higher education.

If you are considering higher education in the UK for your child and are trying to understand the costs it’s essential to understand the regulations determining home fee status and explore strategies to maximise your child’s eligibility.

With home fees sitting around £9,000 per year and international fees reaching up to £60,000 per year, the cost difference is huge!

The Rules

The Department for Education in the UK sets the rules for student classification in England’s higher education institutions. However, these rules can be pretty complex. To make things easier, the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) offers a helpful guide for parents and students to navigate the regulations.

The Formula for Home Fee Status

To qualify for home fee status, you and your family must meet a few essential criteria:

  1. Legal, unrestricted residency in the UK.
  2. Having lived in the UK for at least three years.
  3. Strong connections to the UK.
  4. Temporary residence overseas with the intention to return to the UK.
  5. Evidence to back up these claims.

Given the considerable financial stakes, families should aim to establish eligibility for “home” fee status well before the university application process. Ideally, such preparations should begin when a child reaches Years 9 or 10. Evidence encompassing the following is a great way to improve your odds:

  1. Regular family visits to the UK, meticulously preserving travel records, such as flight information.
  2. Maintaining a UK address, with multiple proofs of address, including council tax documentation.

By securing “home” fee status, families stand to save hundreds of thousands of pounds over the course of a student’s higher education.

Helpful Resources

Given the intricate nature of the regulations and the high stakes involved, families may benefit from seeking expert assistance in bolstering their chances of success in obtaining “home” fee status. A range of resources, including free webinars, are available to guide and support those navigating this complex process, helping to alleviate stress and promote confidence in the outcomes of university applications.

The House of Commons Library


United Council for International Student Affairs


The Complete University Guide


It is also worth checking with the educational institute you are considering for your child’s studies.

You might also like to read:

The UK Independent Education System

Looking for a British Style Education for Your Child?

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