If you've got what it takes, we want to hear from you - whatever your circumstances

A student in first court

Going to University isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean that cost should be a barrier. Both the University and its Colleges are committed to ensuring that higher education is accessible to all.

All sorts of initiatives exist to ensure that if you need financial support, it’s available. If you are a Care Leaver, there is additional support available to you.

Our philosophy is that it doesn’t matter where you went to school, or what your circumstances are; if you’ve got what it takes to make the most of life at St John’s, then we want to hear from you.


Students smiling and talking at an event


University tuition fees

Undergraduate fees at Cambridge vary depending on where a student is permanently resident. Each student is classified as one of (1) Home, (2) Channel Islands and Isle of Man, or (3) Overseas.

Tuition fees for students qualifying for Home fee status are regulated and capped by the Government. Cambridge's current policy is to charge fees at the maximum level permitted, which is anticipated to rise with inflation each year. Tuition fees for Home fee status students starting their first undergraduate degree in 2020 will be £9,250 for all courses. You can find complete information about University Tuition Fees, and any inflationary rises, on the University of Cambridge website here

Year abroad tuition fees

If your course includes a year abroad, the tuition fee for that year is different. Currently, the fee for a Home student on a full year abroad is set at 15% of the tuition fee for that year in Cambridge. Further information can be found on the University of Cambridge website here.

Tuition fees for EU students

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

The Universities Minister for England announced on 28 May 2019 that students from the European Union starting courses in England in the 2020-21 academic year will continue to be eligible for home fee status. Tuition fees for undergraduate EU students who are already studying at St John’s College or who will commence studies this year (2020) will not be subject to the overseas fee rate at any point during the course of their studies.

Further information on tuition fees for home fee status undergraduates starting their undergraduate degree in 2020 can be found on the University’s finance pages.

The Universities Minister for England announced on 23 June 2020 that EU nationals (except Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland), other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status for courses starting in the academic year 2021-22. Please see the section below for further information on fees and costs for international and Islands undergraduates.

Our international students contribute to making St John’s College a vibrant and diverse place in which to study and we continue to extend a welcome to those students. EU students should regularly check for updates here.

Fees for international and Islands students

Tuition fees for students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, and for Overseas students, vary depending on the course you are studying. You can find a full list showing all the latest costs for students in these categories here.

College fees

College fees cover the cost to St John's of providing various educational and domestic services as well as other support. Subject to a fee status check, the College fee for Home undergraduates who are on their first undergraduate course is included in the University fee and does not constitute an additional charge. Home students who are eligible for public support do not normally have to pay an additional College fee, unless they are studying for a second degree.

There are different regulations for ELQ (Equivalent or Lower Qualification) students, who study for a degree which is equivalent to, or at a lower level than, a qualification they already possess when they commence their course. Please refer to the University's document for Undergraduate Tuition Fees for 2020-21. For those ELQ students being admitted in 2020-21 the College fee will be £9,300. 

The College Fee for students from the Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and Overseas students is £8,250 for those who received an offer in the admissions round 2017-18 and £8,700 for those who received an offer in the admissions round 2018-19. For those students being admitted in 2020-21 the College Fee will be £9,300. 

Maintenance costs

A student works on a laptop in his room


Undergraduates at St John’s normally live in College accommodation for all three (or, in some cases, four) years leading up to the BA Degree. The room licence normally runs from October to June.

Students will incur certain maintenance charges. These vary from case to case, but the following estimates offer a guide as to how much you might expect to pay:

  Rooms and service in College:   £3,600 - £5,750 annually
  Meals:   £1,500 - £1,800 annually

In addition, you will need to budget for clothes, books, travel, entertainment and other lifestyle costs. This usually brings the total maintenance figure up to around £9,000 - £10,000 per year.

University-wide support

A supervisor speaks with her students


The University of Cambridge offers extensive financial support to all Cambridge students. In particular, the Cambridge Bursary Scheme enables any student to meet the cost of his or her education, regardless of circumstances.


Bursaries are available to UK and EU students studying for their first undergraduate degree. The bursaries are worth up to £3,500 per year and are assessed based on household income. There is no limit, so every eligible student can receive one.

Studentships & summer bursaries

The rooftops of St John's


In addition to the support offered by the University, St John's also offers lots of extra financial assistance for students.

Important note for EU students:

Following the announcement by the Universities Minister for England on 23 June 2020, EU nationals (except Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland), other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in the academic year 2021-22. As such they will also no longer be eligible for financial support from the St John’s Studentship Scheme and the Summer Bursaries scheme from 2021-22. EU students entering in October 2020 are unaffected and will continue to be eligible. 

Studentships – extra help for lower-income and middle-income families

Since October 2016, St John’s has had a major financial support initiative called “Studentships” in place to help students from lower-income families.

If you are a home or EU undergraduate of St John’s and your household income is less than £25,000, you will be eligible for support directly from the College. Combined with the Cambridge Bursary (see University-Wide Support), this will entitle you to a non-repayable sum of £10,880 per year to cover your day-to-day living expenses.

In 2018, the College extended the St John’s College Studentships scheme to include students from families with household income above £25,000 and up to £42,620. The yearly award depends on the household income of the student and can be between £100 and £7,380. Students in receipt of a St John’s College Studentship are still eligible to receive a Cambridge Bursary (see University-wide support).

Summer Bursaries

The Cambridge summer vacation is a long one, but it's hard to make the most of all that time if you also need to get a summer job to help to pay for your education. At St John's, UK and EU undergraduates with a household income of less than £66,735 can apply to our Summer Bursaries Competition with project proposals to broaden their education and help develop their future careers.

Hardship funds

A student holds books and stands in the Old Library


Not all financial problems can be anticipated – sometimes students unexpectedly run into trouble with their tuition and living expenses. If this happens, your Tutor is here to help, both by offering advice and, if necessary, pointing you in the direction of College and University hardship funds.

Crucially, any such funding is designed to help you to do more than “get by”; the aim is to ensure that you can get the most out of your Cambridge experience free from financial worries.

College scholarships

New Court seen through the leaves of a tree
The Scholarship for French students

The Scholarship for French students is open to all students from France who receive an offer to study at St John's College.

The St John's Hong Kong Scholarship

The Hong Kong Scholarship is open to all Hong Kong residents who receive an offer to study at St John's College.

The John Crook Scholarship

The John Crook Scholarship is a fully funded scholarship for a second 2-year BA degree at St John's College for UK students who are the first in their families to have gone to University.

The Davies-Jackson Scholarship

The Davies-Jackson Scholarship is a scholarship for students who are the first generation in their families to go to University, come from families of modest means and have outstanding academic standard to thrive in the Cambridge environment.


A student smiles and shakes hands with an academic on her graduation day


The College is immensely proud of its students, and every year we make a number of prizes and scholarships available to people who have reached the very highest standards both academically and in their wider contributions to College life and society as a whole.

There are also all sorts of College prizes and competitions throughout the year. These are great opportunities to expand your interests and educational experience, and there is usually some sort of cash reward if you win. There are prizes for research projects, academic work, photography, music, art – even writing comedy.

More information about the various awards and prizes available may be found here.

Student support bodies

Our friendly College Admissions Office are always happy to answer any questions that you might have about covering the cost of your education at St John’s. You can find contact information here.

For further help and information about student finance, you can also contact one of the following organisations:

Students from England

Directgov Student Support Helpline
Telephone: 0845 300 5090

Students from Northern Ireland

Student Finance NI
Telephone: 0845 600 0662

Students from Scotland

Student Awards Agency for Scotland
Telephone: 0845 111 1711


Students from Wales

Student Finance Wales
Telephone: 0845 602 8845

Students from the EU

Student Finance Services European Team
Telephone: +44 (0) 141 243 3570

Students from outside the EU

The University of Cambridge website contains useful information