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Fee Status

Fee Status Assessments

All students applying for a place on a degree course at a UK university receive a fee status assessment by each university that offers them a place.  At the University of Cambridge, this assessment is undertaken by the admitting College (for undergraduates) or by the relevant postgraduate admissions team (for postgraduates) and the result communicated to applicants as part of the offer-making process. The result determines the level of tuition fees that the student will have to pay for their degree course.

Students 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. UK Government legislation governs this assessment process, and the relevant sections of the legislation (as applicable to English universities) are given 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 (followed by some smaller amendments later in 2021 and in 2022) .

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

It is important to remember that although all English universities are governed by the same set of national fee legislation, each university is required to carry out its own independent assessments, based upon their own interpretation of the legislation, without reference to the decisions made by other institutions. This includes Student Finance England (SFE), which means that an offer holder may be assessed as a Home fees student 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 is then sent back to the Admissions Office with any appropriate supporting documentation. 




    Read more at: Top Tips

    Top Tips

    Top Tips For Applicants and Offer Holders

    • The Fee Regulations require universities to use three main criteria to determine your fee status: nationality, immigration status in the UK and country of ordinary residence for the three years leading up to the start of your degree course
    • ...