What does fee status mean?

Your fee status determines whether you pay the 'home' or 'overseas' rate of tuition. 

We assess your fee status after you make an application to Imperial using regulations set out by the UK government.

If we need more information from you to make a decision about your fee status once we have received your application, we may ask you to complete a Fee Status Questionnaire (Word doc)‌. 

You do not need to complete this questionnaire unless we ask you to.

Who pays home fees in England?

Generally, you must be resident and ‘settled’ in the UK on ‘the first day of the first academic year’ of your course to be eligible for home student fee status.

For courses that start in September the first day of the first academic year is defined as 1 September.

With some exceptions, you must also have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for the three years before that date. The three-year residency rule applies to UK nationals who have been living abroad.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides specialist information and advice to international students and education providers on fees and funding.

It has produced a guide for students starting courses on or after 1 August 2021 setting out the updated eligibility categories following Brexit.

This guide includes the latest information on categories such as:

  • UK nationals living in Europe
  • Long residence category
  • Refugees and persons granted humanitarian protection, stateless leave, section 67 Leave, or Calais leave to remain

I'm applying for a second degree – will this affect my fee status?

In September 2007, the UK government announced that it would begin to phase out funding for UK/EU students who are studying for a qualification that is at an equivalent or lower level to one that they have already been awarded – these are referred to as Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQs).

In practice, this meant that if you already hold a qualification such as a first degree (BA, BSc) and you wish to study for another one at the same level (i.e another undergraduate degree), universities could charge you a higher fee than a student who is progressing to a higher qualification than one that they already have e.g. progressing from A-levels to a BSc. This policy has applied since the 2010–2011 academic year. 

However, some subjects, including many at Imperial, are exempt from this policy, including:

  • science
  • technology
  • engineering
  • mathematics
  • certain healthcare professions

When we receive your application we will assess whether you are an ELQ student, as well as what your overall fee status is (see above).

The College will decide what charges will apply to ELQ candidates in subject areas affected by the ELQ funding change.

If your application is successful and you are liable for the higher fee, we will let you know when we make you an offer.

How do I appeal a fee status decision?

It is not possible to amend your fee status once you have enrolled as a student and started your course.

So if you think a mistake has been made with your fee status decision, and would like to appeal it, please do the following as soon as possible:

  • Submit a copy of the Fee Status Questionnaire (Word doc), together with any additional evidence you may have, to the relevant Admissions team. You can either scan and email the questionnaire, or return it by post.
  • If you disagree with the decision we make after receiving your fee status questionnaire, you should complete and return a Fee Status Appeal Form (Word doc) with additional supporting documentary evidence. Fee appeals must be submitted within one calendar month of the outcome of your initial fee assessment, and before you complete enrolment.