if youre a student in further or higher education in the uk you may be able to claim social security benefits from the government in addition to any student funding you get. The benefits you can apply for depend on your circumstances and whether youre studying full- or part-time. The radical overhaul to english student finance in 2012 caused myths, panic and confusion. If youre over 25, or younger but independent from your parents, 2012 student loans work slightly differently than for typical school leavers going to university. Full time students and benefits - full time students and other benefits. some mature students may have few or no previous qualifications, and may be taking access to he diploma courses, or enrolling on their first degree course based on their work or life experiences. Others may be returning to do a postgraduate qualification or a degree in a new subject area as part of their career progression. Student finance - student loans or student grants for tuition fees and living costs, extra help, student loan repayments. One of the benefits of being a mature student is you feel more relaxed than your academic peers who are younger, and also have a clearer motivation to guide you in your studies (hopefully). Even if you have no idea what you will do after youve finished your degree, take comfort in the fact youve been through many situations in your life already and survived. As a mature age student, you may have been working in another career for a few years and want to switch, or you have been supporting yourself through jobs that you werent passionate about. Returning to study is a big decision and one that a mature student is more equipped to make. Who is a full-time student for benefit purposes? Most full-time students are excluded from claiming means-tested benefits. A mature student is anyone over the age of 21 who didnt go to university straight from school. This is quite an all-encompassing term as it could refer to those who took a few years out to work, volunteer or start a family. Or those who are mid career and looking for a change or further development.