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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. Your fee status will influence the level of fees you are charged, and also the type of financial aid available to you, and so it is important that you are correctly classified.

If you are made an offer of admission to the University, your offer will state what we believe your fee status to be, based on the information you have provided as part of your application, and in accordance with meeting the requirements set out in UK Government legislation - see the Legislation section below..

At the University of Cambridge, assessments for undergraduates are carried out either by the College who has offered them a place, or by the central University. Postgraduate fee status assessments are carried out by the relevant postgraduate admissions team. This assessment determines the level of tuition fees that the student will have to pay for their degree course - one of either:

  • the 'Home' regulated fee capped by the UK government, OR
  • the 'Home ELQ' rate if the student is applying for an Equivalent Level Qualification to one they already hold, OR
  • the higher 'Overseas' fee.

All students whose fee status is not classified as Home will be classified as International/Overseas. The outcome of the assessment is communicated to applicants as part of the offer-making process.

Fee status is determined by a combination of three factors: a student's nationality, UK immigration status and their country of ordinary residence prior to the start of the degree course - there are no other options.  Please refer to the Glossary for definitions of how these words are used in the context of fee status assessments.



When making an assessment, the University is required to comply with UK Government legislation on fee eligibility. The relevant sections of the legislation 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, 2023 and 2024).

A student's or offer holder's personal finances (and those of their family) have NO impact on their fee status. 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 an assessment, 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 most cases, the appropriate University Admissions Office will be able to determine 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, the applicant will be asked to provide more information by submitting a Fee Status Assessment Questionnaire to the their relevant Admissions Office with appropriate supporting documentation.


Data Protection

Any data obtained from an applicant or current student during the course of their assessment by the University will be managed in line with the University's Data Protection policies, which can be accessed here. The University takes its record management keeping responsibilities seriously and its Information and Compliance Office ensures that the institution complies with its legal responsibilities in this area. For further information on how the University obtains, retains and deletes applicant data and documents, please see the Statement published by the University's Information and Compliance Office.