Advice Tips

Check out our range of advice tips below covering a variety of subjects.  If you have any questions or would like to make an advice appointment with one of our FXU Advisors, please contact or call 01326 255861.  We are here to help.

#1 student funding

Are you still waiting for your student funding?

With a bit of luck (and good organisation), your funding body (e.g. Student Finance England/ Wales, Student Awards Agency for Scotland etc.) will have confirmed (and paid) your tuition fees and you will have received the first tranche of your maintenance grant/loan.

But if you haven’t, there are things you can do to try and sort it out.

• Have you been means tested? If not, contact SFE to progress this.

• Have you checked your online correspondence page to see if your funding body is waiting for evidence of income from your parents?

• Have you signed the student declaration form? Your funding body won’t release any money until this has been done.

• If your funding body confirms that there will be a delay in paying your grant/loan, you may be able to apply to your University for an emergency loan. To find out more, book an appointment to see an FXU Adviser.

#2 Tax, national insurance and the minimum wage

Do I pay tax while I’m a student?

There are no special tax rules for students earning money being employed (or self-employed).  You will be treated in the same way as other working people.  Nevertheless, as a full-time student it’s likely that you’re earning less than your personal allowance (currently £11,500) in which case you won’t pay any income tax.

Do I pay National Insurance contributions?

Similarly, many students are not required to pay National Insurance contributions.  Again, this is not a result of there being special rules for students.  Rather, it results from many students’ earnings being below the threshold for payment (of £113 per week).

What is the national minimum wage?

The national minimum wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law.  It doesn’t matter how small an employer is, they still have to pay the minimum wage.

From 1 October 2015 the new rates are:

£5.60 per hour for workers aged 18-20 years inclusive

£6.70 per hour for workers aged 21-24 years inclusive

£7.50 per hour for workers aged 25 years and over

Need Advice? Contact our FXU Advice Service

FXU’s Advice Service provides free, confidential, impartial advice and guidance to all University of Exeter Cornwall Campus students and Falmouth University students.

FXU’s Advice Service can do this because it is independent of both universities.

What type of advice does the Service provide?

  • Money matters – e.g. grant/loan entitlement, bursaries, University hardship funds, emergency loans, budgeting, debt, welfare benefits
  • Housing - rights and responsibilities
  • Employment e.g. income tax, national insurance
  • Consumer rights
  • University related issues e.g. academic appeals, complaints, disciplinary issues, fitness to study, extenuating circumstances, intermitting, withdrawing

How does the Advice Service provide support to students seeking individual advice?

How to book an appointment

  • Drop into the FXU office on either campus
  • Phone the FXU reception on 01326 255861
  • Email your request to
  • Via The Compass reception