Home or overseas fee status

Like other UK universities, we charge different fees depending on whether you’re classed as Home and Overseas for tuition fee purposes.


Key information about fee status

  • You should ensure you have a good understanding of the definition of ordinary residence and the concept of being settled in the UK. Clear definitions are provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).  
  • Fee status is determined at the start of your studies, you will remain on that fee status through your course.
  • You are required to provide full and accurate information at the time of applying and before you formally register on your course. 
  • By signing the Registration Declaration, you’re confirming that the information you’ve provided is complete and accurate. 
  • If during your course, there is a change to your circumstances that affects your fee status, this will not necessarily lead to a change in the fee you are charged. There are very limited circumstances when the University can consider any changes. 
  • The University's assessment of your fee status is for its own use only, and is independent of assessments that may be conducted by other organisations (eg student finance bodies, research councils, the NHS and other other universities). Other organisations may arrive at a different outcome following their assessment of your status.
  • The rules regarding fee status are clear for most prospective students. However, there are occasions when students' fee status will need confirming by the university they are applying to.
  • Government regulations make no provision for asylum seekers to be entitled to pay the home fee rate. The University of Sheffield does not currently operate a discretionary policy to allow asylum seekers to pay home fees.

Information for new students

The UKCISA website has a detailed explanation of each of the categories of people who are eligible for home fee status.

If you think your fee status could be in question, you should refer to:

  1. The UKCISA publishes guidance on fee status.
  2. Request a formal Fee Status Assessment from our Admissions Service via AskUS.

We are not normally able to advise on which fee status we would allocate to you until we’ve received a formal Fee Status Assessment application.

How we assess your fee status

Points to note:

  • The Admissions Service will normally only undertake a Fee Status Assessment once you’ve been offered a place at the University of Sheffield. 
  • The decision about your fee status is independent of the academic decision to offer you a place on a course.
  • When assessing your fee status, we will not take into consideration any decision which may have been made by another institution.
  • If your fee status is clear from the information you’ve provided in your application, we will assume the information is full and accurate and we will not write to you by way of confirmation. 
  • Even if we do not contact you before you arrive at the University, your fee status may still be in the process of being confirmed and you may be asked to provide further information or evidence during the registration period.
  • Once your fee status has been formally established, your University student record will reflect this. It’s your responsibility to bring any errors in your student record to our attention.

Information for continuing students

The assessment of fee status is based on your situation immediately before you start a course. Your fee status assessment remains in place for the duration of your studies. 

Changing your fee status after you’ve started your course

  • There are limited circumstances in which your fee status can change part-way through your course, two of which are if you are granted refugee status or you officially become a British Citizen. For more information visit the UKCISA webpage.
  • If you still believe you are eligible for a change in fee status you will be asked to complete a Fee Status Assessment form.

Fee Status Assessment form (PDF, 1MB)

  • It’s never advisable to begin a course unless you have secured a way to pay for your tuition fees and living costs for the entire length of the course. This is also a requirement of your registration with the University.
  • If you can’t pay your fees at the required time, your registration may be cancelled and you will still owe the amount of tuition fees that are due, this is true even if you haven’t completed the academic year or the full duration of your course.
  • If you start your course and later find that you can’t continue to pay the overseas rate of fee, you may need to apply for a leave of absence (student login required) while you secure the funds you need to pay the overseas fees rate. This means that you take some time out of your studies and your place on the course is held open for when you return to your studies. 

You cannot simply take a break from your studies, either by applying for a leave of absence or withdrawal, and then be re-assessed as a home fee payer. This is because you’ll be considered a ‘continuing student’ when you return to your course, your fee status will remain as assessed when you originally started your course. 

Further support

If you want advice about your own situation, UKCISA operates a telephone advice line where you can get free and specialist advice about your eligibility for home fees. 

Alternatively, once you have an offer of a place at the University, you can contact the Student Advice Centre in the Students' Union.