Students 19 and over
If you are aged 19 and over may need to pay exam and tuition fees, however there are certain exceptions to this.
If you fall into one of the fee remission groups determined by the Government, your fees will be waived. These broadly include:
- Anyone claiming Job Seekers allowance or other income based benefits studying a level 1 or 2 programme
- Anyone studying basic English or Maths, or GCSE English and maths (who has not already achieved grade 4- 9)
- Students aged 19-23 studying their first level 2 or 3 qualification
In addition to this, anyone who is studying a qualifying Level 3 or 4 programme can now access the new Advanced Learner Loans to cover their course costs.
We will carry out a full fee assessment on you when you enrol, to determine if you are required to pay course fees and whether you can get a loan to cover these.
The availability of this loan means that:
- It is now available to everyone aged 19 and over who meet nationality and residency eligibility criteria
- It can now fund courses at Level 3 through to Level 6
- Learners can now take more than 1 loan at any time for the same level and type of course e.g. Loan 1 for Level 3 Diploma in Hairdressing and Loan 2 for Level 3 Diploma in Barbering
How much may I borrow with an Advanced Learner Loan?
How much you get depends on the type of course, course fees and maximum loan available for your course.
The minimum loan you can get is £300. You can take out a loan for the maximum amount to cover your fees, but you don’t have to borrow for the full cost of your course – you can pay for some of it yourself or your employer may wish to pay part of it for you. The college will inform you of the fees for your course on the day of your interview. NB: Loans are paid directly to the college.
Please note: there is no maintenance element to this loan- it covers the cost of tuition fees only.
Which courses are eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan?
If you follow this link you can tell if your qualification is eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.
How and when do I apply for an Advanced Leaner Loan?
Applications for the Advanced Learner Loan can be made from May 2017 for courses starting from 1st August 2017. You will need a ‘Learning and Funding Information Letter’ from us. Drop into the Student Services for more information.
For more information about eligibility and applications please visit their website here.
How and when do I pay back my Advanced Learner Loan?
Repayments start the April following the completion of your course.
You will only be asked to pay back your loan (plus interest) when you finish your course and earn more than £21,000 a year. Your repayments will be suspended if your income drops below £21,000 a year.
Your annual repayment amount will be 9% of any income you earn over £21,000. Any outstanding balance will be written off 30 years after you become eligible to pay, or if you become disabled and permanently unable to work.
Also, if you’re taking an Access to HE Diploma and then you go on to complete an HE qualification, the outstanding balance of your Advanced Learning Loan will be written off.
Where can I get more advice on financing my journey?
Please visit: https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans/overview
You need to consider your own circumstances and what is right for you before choosing to take out a loan. You can get independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service here.
Learner Support Fund (LSF)
The government gives the college a fund to help those in most financial need with the cost of study. If you are eligible for the discretionary Learner Support Fund you may be able to receive the following;
- Course fees – help towards paying for your course fees, if you are required to pay these and not eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.
- Help towards travel costs
- A contribution towards course materials costs
- Payment of any trips that are organised as part of your course
- Support towards childcare costs
You will be eligible to apply for this funding if:
- You are aged 19 or over on 31st August 2017
- You have the right to live in the UK and have lived in the UK or an EEA country for the last 3 years – if you are an asylum seeker or refugee you will need to provide a copy of your Home Office letter or passport
- Have a household income for the previous year which is £25,000 or less
How to apply for the college Learner Support Funds
To apply for any of the college funds, click here, you will need to complete the on-line application and scan the relevant documentation evidencing your household income and residency.
For childcare support you will need to provide children(s) birth certificate(s) and proof of child benefit. Once you have completed the on-line application and provided the specified evidence, a decision can be made about your funding.
Our applications are open from the enrolment period until the funds are exhausted. Funding is awarded to qualifying students on a first come first serve basis.
How will starting a FE course affect my benefits?
The rules regarding further education courses and benefits status are quite complicated. The College can provide general information and advice to guide you through this process, but ultimately your relevant benefits agency would need to review your personal situation and make a decision.
Ultimately, your benefits status will depend on your personal and financial circumstances, and any decisions made by benefits agencies are final. The college cannot alter these decisions, so it is important you take the responsibility to find out where you stand.