Before the introduction of the student loans system, local authorities were required to award grants to eligible higher education students in order to pay their university or college fees. Eligibility depended on the type of course being undertaken. The award was mandatory for some forms of higher education, for example for initial teacher training and first degrees, where this was the student's first experience of this course of study. In some cases the award would also include some funding towards the student's maintenance costs. Eligibility for this was ascertained through means‐testing, either of the student's parents or, in the case of adult students, of the students themselves. With the introduction of student loans, mandatory awards began to be phased out. See also maintenance grant.