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Fee Status

Fee Status Assessments

All students offered a place on a degree course at a UK university receive an independent fee status assessment by each university that offers them a place.

At the University of Cambridge, this assessment is undertaken by the admitting College or the central University (for undergraduates) or by the relevant postgraduate admissions team (for postgraduates). This assessment determines the level of tuition fees that the student will have to pay for their degree course - either the lower 'Home' regulated fee capped by the UK government, or the higher 'Overseas' fee. The outcome of the assessment is communicated to applicants as part of the offer-making process.

Offer holders are classified as either ‘Home’ or ‘Overseas’ for fee status purposes on the basis of their nationality, UK immigration status and the country in which they are ordinarily resident prior to the start of the degree course - there are no other options.   When making an assessment, the University is required to comply with UK Government legislation governing this assessment process - the relevant sections of the legislation (as applicable to English universities) can be found below: 

The Higher Education (Fee Limit Condition) (England) Regulations 2017, as amended. This predominantly applies to undergraduate courses classified as ‘qualifying courses’ by the Office for Students.   


The Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007, as amended. This relates to postgraduate courses.  

The Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 contain important amendments to the above regulations (with subsequent amendments in 2022 and 2023).

It should be emphasised that the student's financial situation (and that of their family) doesn't affect their fee status in any way. The assessment is not means tested and universities will not change a student's fee status if their financial circumstances change. 


What is my fee status?

Fee status legislation is long and complex. Fortunately user-friendly guidance is freely available from UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) to help students and institutions navigate the legislation and understand who is eligible for 'Home' fee status.  The guide is kept up-to-date with any changes to the criteria required for ‘Home’ fee status and can be downloaded from their website here. Students and applicants should therefore feel reassured there are no 'hidden' factors in play when a university assesses their fee status.

Although all English universities are governed by the same national fee legislation, each university is required to carry out its own independent assessments, based upon their own interpretation of the legislation. This means that they will not take other institutions' assessments into account when making a decision, including any decisions made by Student Finance England (SFE). An offer holder may therefore be assessed as eligible for Home fees by their firm choice of university, but are not assessed as eligible for student finance. Please refer to Student Finance - tuition fees, loans and funding ( for further information.


How am I assessed?

In the majority of cases, the appropriate University Admissions Office will be able to assess an applicant's fee status on the basis of the information included in their University of Cambridge application. If the fee status is not clear, they will ask the applicant to provide more information by completing a Fee Status Assessment Questionnaire, which they return to the their relevant Admissions Office with appropriate supporting documentation.