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 apply using regulations set out by the UK government – Education (Fees and Awards) regulations (2007) and their subsequent amendments.

If we need more information from you to make a decision about your fee status, we may ask you to complete a fee status questionnaireYou do not need to complete this unless we ask you to.

Who pays home fees in England?

For general guidance on fee status before you apply, please consult the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website.

UKCISA's guide, Who pays home fees for higher education in England? [PDF], is also a useful point of reference. It covers the frameworks of eligibility that have been subject to change as a result of the Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, No.127.

These regulations govern eligibility for home fee status for all students starting courses from 1 August 2021 onwards. They include the following amendment to home fee status eligibility:

Non-Irish EU nationals, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members will no longer qualify for home fee status, except where they have protected rights under one of the following agreements and meet the relevant residency conditions:

  • EU Withdrawal Agreement
  • EEA EFTA Separation Agreement
  • Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement

There are exceptions to this, so we recommend you consult UKCISA for guidance. See relevant links above.

How do I appeal a fee status decision?

It is not normally possible to amend your fee status once you have registered 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, together with any additional evidence you may have, to the appropriate 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 with additional supporting documentary evidence.

Registered students

The above procedure is for applicants only. 

If you are a registered student and feel that you may be eligible for a change of fee status, please follow the Student Records guidance found for requesting a change of fee status for registered students.

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.