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Fee Status

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the College decide whether I am home or overseas/EU for fees purposes?
The College is bound by the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) regulations 2007, established by the UK government. The regulations themselves can be viewed at The College is empowered to make its own assessment of fee status in accordance with these regulations but relies on the advice and guidance of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) when assessing fee status.

The regulations are lengthy and technical, and detailed guidance is available on the UKCISA website. In general, students are required to prove both that they have no immigration restriction on the length of their stay in the UK and that they have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the first day of their study. In addition, this residence must not have been primarily for the purpose of education.

How is my fee status assessed?
Your application form requests detail that enables us to make a preliminary assessment, based on your nationality, education and employment history. If we consider that we need further information you will be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire, and to submit it together with documentation enabling us to assess your immigration status and residence history. We will then assess against the criteria published by UKCISA and write to you with our decision.

How long does it take to assess my fee status
You will receive your preliminary assessment with your offer letter. Where you have appealed against a decision, or we have requested further information, we aim to complete the assessment within 15 working days of receipt of all of the information. On occasion, more complex cases may take longer, particularly if we need to ask for additional information to make our assessment.

What documentation do I need to provide to enable you to assess my fees?
We will need documentation that confirms both your immigration status and your residence history. This will typically include scanned copies of:

  • Your passport identity page
  • UK residency permit card
  • Any UK visas
  • Bank statements showing regular activity (deposits and outgoings) in the UK for the last three to four years
  • Contracts of employment for the last three to four years
  • Rental/mortgage agreements for houses you have lived in over the last three years
  • Utility bills showing residency for the last three to four years
I have a UK passport. Why have I been assessed as on overseas fee payer?
In addition to your nationality, we also need to assess your residence history; to be classified as a home student you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of your course, and not primarily for the purposes of education. If your place of residence has been outside of the UK during the previous three years then you will normally be classified as an overseas student for fees purposes, even if you are a UK national. If your residence outside of the UK has been demonstrably temporary then you will still be able classified as a home student, but you will need to provide documentary evidence of this.

How does the UK’s exit from the EU affect my fee assessment?
Further information is available from the College’s EU student FAQs.

How can I appeal my fee status decision?
If you wish the College to reconsider your preliminary status you should request a fee status questionnaire, by emailing [email protected] with the header “FEE STATUS QUESTIONNAIRE REQUEST: [PROGRAMME] [STUDENT ID] [SURNAME]”

If you have submitted a fee status questionnaire and been given an assessment that you wish to appeal you should write to the Registrar, Trevor Pearce, at [email protected] to appeal. Appeals will only be heard on the basis that the appropriate process has not been followed, or the decision contravenes the Education (Fees & Awards) (England) Regulations 2007. The Registrar’s decision is the final decision on behalf of the College.

Where can I find more detail about fee status decisions?
The UKCISA website and helpline are the authoritative sources for advice on fee status questions. Their advice line can be contacted between 1.00 and 4.00 each day, via +44 (0)20 7788 9214. The line is extremely busy and they advise students to keep trying during these times to get through.

Can I accept my offer on the condition that I am classified as a Home student?
Yes. You will need to accept your offer and pay your deposit, noting in your acceptance that it is subject to consideration of your fee status classification. If you are subsequently classified as an overseas student you may cancel your acceptance and, provided you write to us within four working weeks of confirmation of the fee status to decision to request your deposit to be returned, we will refund your deposit.

I have been assessed by a previous institution as a home student, but you have classified me as an overseas student. Can this be corrected?

Each institution is responsible for making its own assessments. While all institutions are bound by the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) regulations, different institutions may have different interpretations of these Regulations. The Royal College of Art reserves the right to make its own assessments of fee status, which will be in accordance with our interpretation of the Regulations and UKCISA advice. We will not use assessments from other institutions as any part of our own assessment of fee status. If you wish to challenge our assessment you may make an appeal in the normal way, but appeals will not be considered solely on the basis of a previous decision of another institution.