Learner Support Fund
Coventry College recognises that our college support funds have an important role to play in removing barriers for students accessing and completing further education courses. It is the aim of Coventry College to use the Learner Support Funds to make the maximum impact on recruitment, attendance, retention, achievement and success rates.
What are the Learner Support Funds and am I eligible?
- The 16-18 Discretionary Bursary is for students aged 16-18 on 31st August 2018, who live in a household in receipt of a means-tested benefit (Income Support, Income-related JSA, Income-related ESA, Universal Credit, Pension Credit or NASS Support) or earning £25,000 or less in wages.
- The 16-18 Vulnerable Bursary is for students aged 16-18 on 31st August 2018, who are classed by their local authority as being in care or a care leaver, who receive Income Support or Universal Credit in their own name or who receive both ESA and DLA/PIP due to their disabilities.
- The 19+ Learner Support Fund is for students aged 19 or over on 31st August 2018, who live in a household in receipt of a means-tested benefit (Income Support, JSA, ESA, Universal Credit, Pension Credit or NASS Support) or earning £25,000 or less in wages and is to help with the costs of attending college.
- The Advanced Learner Loan Bursary is for students aged 19 or over, who have been approved for an Advanced Learner Loan and who live in a household in receipt of a means-tested benefit (Income Support, JSA, ESA, Universal Credit or Pension Credit) or earning £30,000 or less in wages and is to help with the costs of attending college
Who is not eligible for the Learner Support Funds?
- Students who have not enrolled onto a programme of study at Coventry College.
- If the student is eligible but it is more appropriate for them to receive support through learning support for the same purpose
- Students on Job Centre Plus (JCP) Work Programmes or similar schemes are not eligible for childcare or travel support if these expenses are covered by JCP
- Students who have been released on temporary licence (ROTL)
- Waged Apprentices or provision with learning aims which are wholly identified as funded by other sources.
- Students studying on Higher Education programmes
If my application is approved for the Learner Support Fund, what will I receive?
If you are approved you may receive a contribution towards essential course costs, dependant on your situation, such as travel, course materials, tuition fees, childcare, trips, and free meals (16-18) depending on funds available.
How will I receive my funding if I am approved?
Please refer to your college email as information will be sent there when your application is assessed.
Will I receive a travel allowance each month?
Yes (depending on your eligibility) but your bursary payments are based on your attendance and behaviour at college. We will check your attendance each month and if it is deemed unsatisfactory, we will not provide you with a travel allowance for the following month. If you feel you have a good reason for your low attendance, you can make an appeal to the Student Engagement Manager in Student Services, however it will be at their discretion whether to reinstate your travel allowance and we will contact your tutor to ask for their opinion on the matter to guide us in our decision making.
The amount you receive will be dependent on your age and distance from the campus you attend and the form of payment will be outlined in your assessment email sent to your college email address.
If I need childcare funding, what help will I receive?
The childcare funding you receive will be a contribution to your childcare fees, based on the time you are at college. We will not be able to fund childcare fees outside of your college hours.
Childcare payments will be made to you, not to your childcare provider unless specific circumstances prevail.
For further details of the childcare funding please refer to the Childcare Pack you will be given when you apply.
Please note: if you wish to apply for childcare, you will not receive any support towards your tuition fees. You will need to decide if you wish to claim Childcare OR Tuition Fees as the college is unable to support students for both funds.
Will the Learner Support Funds cover my living costs?
No. All bursary payments are intended to support course-related costs only and should not be used for living expenses. The Learner Support Funds are not a substitute for DWP benefits and if you are struggling with living costs, or have any problems with the DWP benefits you are receiving (e.g. if your Income Support/Universal Credit has been stopped etc.) please speak to the Student Services Team for advice as soon as possible.
Will Learner Support Funds affect my household benefits?
No. Any bursary payments you receive will not affect your household’s entitlement to DWP income-related benefits. Bursary payments are paid in addition to such benefits but you should declare these to the DWP.
When should I apply for the Learner Support Funds?
You should apply for one of the Learner Support Funds or Vulnerable Bursary (as applicable) as soon as possible, ideally before the initial deadline of Friday 21st September 2018. The amount of money we receive from the Government for the Learner Support Fund is limited, therefore we cannot guarantee funding. Students who are eligible for support are not automatically entitled to it, so should apply as early as possible.
If my application is approved for the Vulnerable Bursary, what will I receive?
If you are approved for the 16-18 Vulnerable Bursary you will be eligible for up to £1200 per year. The amount you are eligible for is dependent on how quickly you complete your application, the length of your course and the mode of attendance (full time or part time). We will calculate this in the following way:
- If you apply from September to December, you will receive the full amount of £1200 divided into the number of weeks remaining from the date of your first payment/ your application is approved.
- If you apply from January to Aril you will receive £800 divided into the number of weeks remaining from the date of your first payment/ your application is approved
- If you apply from April onwards or in the third term, you will receive £400 divided into the number of weeks remaining from the date of your first payment/ your application is approved.
From your allocation we will pay for all your essential course costs, (these will be made “in kind”, transferring money on your behalf to the relevant college department) and the remainder of your allocation will be paid monthly, directly into your bank account. However, this is entirely dependent on your attendance and behaviour at college and should this be unsatisfactory for any particular month, then your payment(s) may be withheld.
How do I apply?
To apply for the Learner Support Fund, you must complete our online application form and upload the relevant evidence. We’ll also be taking in application forms over the enrolment period, up to and including the college funding deadline of Friday 21st September 2018.
What evidence do I need to provide?
- Passport / Birth Certificate / UK or EU Driving Licence / Home Office Documents
- Evidence of a bank account, in the student’s name, showing the account number and sort code
- 2 most recent payslips, if working.
Recent proof of benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Bank or Building Society statement dated within last 6 weeks showing evidence of the above benefit.
If you receive NASS; your ARC card and a recent Post Office receipt or your Aspen Card.
And if applicable
- A copy of your Advanced Learner Loan approval letter.
If you are In Care or a Care Leaver you will need:
- A letter from Social Services showing your status.
- Passport / Birth Certificate / UK or EU Driving Licence / Home Office Documents
- Evidence of a bank account, in your name, for payments to be made into.
If you are aged 20 and over and applying for childcare you also need to upload your child’s full green birth certificate (showing you as the parent) and the Childcare Funding Application Form
Where can I get further information?
Due to the volume of applications, during the months of August and September we may be unable to discuss applications or answer questions about financial support over the phone. We therefore advise you to speak to the Student Services Team or email us here
Can I appeal my funding decision?
Yes. If you disagree with a decision regarding your application, please state clearly in writing to the Student Engagement Manager in Student Services why you are appealing and attach any supporting evidence. You will receive a decision within 10 days.
General Terms and Conditions
All students making a Learner Support Fund application will be asked to sign a declaration to agree to the following terms and conditions:
- I understand that if any income has not been declared, or if any false or incomplete information has been given, the college reserves the right to cancel further funding and to take action to recover funds already given to you
- I understand that payments will be calculated from the date the application is approved. Costs incurred before this date cannot be claimed and will not be backdated
- I understand that I must upload all the required evidence, applications without all the supporting evidence cannot be assessed
- I understand if I attend less than 85% of my classes my LSF payments may be suspended or stopped completely
- I understand that I will have to fund myself (including travel costs, which the college cannot reimburse) while my application is being processed and this may take up to three weeks
- I understand that if I receive a monthly travel allowance it is my responsibility to ensure I use this to fund my travel costs and the college cannot provide any additional travel costs for that month
- I understand I’ll be paid into my own bank account (unless I am not allowed to have a UK bank account)
- I understand that payments for travel costs will only be paid during term time
- I will notify the Student Services Team if I move address, change my timetable or change course (which may affect the level of financial support I receive)
- I am not prohibited from taking part in further education and will declare any financial support I receive from the college to the DWP
- I understand that I may only receive a contribution towards essential costs I have paid for and not a full reimbursement
- I understand I’ll be paid into my own bank account (unless I am not allowed to have a UK bank account).
If you would like any of the above conditions explaining further, please contact a member of the Student Services Team. The information in this document is correct at the time of publication, but the college reserves the right to make changes without notice when necessary.