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Funding your Part Time University Level course 2016/2017

Financial assistance for adults aged 19-23

Funding for Part-Time Higher Education Students 2016-17
UK Students

updated November 2015

Students looking to study on a part time higher education (HE) course may be able to get financial assistance towards their course and living costs from the government, and the institution in which they are attending. These are usually in the forms of loans, grants and bursaries. These need to be re-applied for yearly.

What loans do I get?

Students, who enrol onto a part time course, are able to apply for assistance with the cost of their tutuition fees whilst they are studying a Higher Education course. This loans form your total package, and neither has to be paid off until the April after you finish your degree and are earning over £21,000 a year. Students who have previously studied a degree (or part of) course before, may not be eligible to receive these loans. You are advised to contact the Student Loan Company direct to discuss your eligibility if you think this might apply to you.
Please note, students who are studying at part time course are not eligible for maintenance loans to help with their living costs, but may be able to get assistance from the College bursaries once they have started their course.

What can I get to help with my course costs?
Students applying for tuition fees to cover a full time course can get a maximum of £9,000 per year, how much a student will receive is dependent on how much the institution is charging for the course of interest. This loan is paid directly to your College or University in three termly instalments. Tuition fee loans are not based on household income, but instead level of previous study.

Extra Finance support from Student Finance England;

Students who may have extra costs, because of a disability, illness or learning difficulty may be able to get additional help from the Disabled Support Allowance. These are not dependent on household income but assessed on individual need. It is important that anyone who requires additional support, such as specialist equipment, or a support worker applies for a DSA. Types of support you can get from the DSA include;

  • Special Equipment for your course; to buy any equipment needed; Up to £5,161 for the entire duration of your course.
  • Non-Medical Helper Allowance for your course, such as note takers, or readers in exams; Up to £20,520 per year.
  • General Allowance to cover course related expenses; Covers other areas of spending, such as specialist paper; Up to £1,724 per year.
  • Travel Allowance for course related travel; this is to help you get to college, and the amount is dependent on the type of travel taken.

How and when should I apply?

When do I have to repay the loan?

Students who have taken out a loan to cover the cost of their course will have to repay it. Repayments do not start until the April after you finish your course and when you are earning over £21,000 a year. How much you repay depends upon exactly how much you earn, and now how much you owe. Repayments for students starting their course in 2014 are;

Earnings per year before Tax Monthly Earnings Approximate monthly repayment
Up to £21,000 £1,750 £0
£24,000 £2,000 £22
£27,000 £2,250 £45
£30,000 £2,500 £67
£33,000 £2,750 £90
£36,000 £3,000 £112
£40,000 £3,333 £142

Repayments are usually collected through the UK tax system, either through the PAYE scheme by your employer, or by students themselves under self-assessment (for self-employed individuals).  

What interest rate will I pay?

Student loans accrue interest from the date they are paid, until they are repaid in full. Interest is charged at RPI (retail prices index) plus 3% while studying. From the April after you’ve finished your course, you will start paying RPI plus 3% once you are earning over £21,000. If you don’t earn that much, interest is just the RPI rate.

Will it hang over me forever?

Should your income fall below £21,000 then the repayments will stop. Unlike a commercial loan, how much you repay is determined only by your income. The government has agreed to write off any loans outstanding after 30 years.
Students should also be aware that these loans are not counted in your credit rating, so will not affect you when applying for future loans and mortgages. A bank will be aware that you have a loan by your repayments but will not know how much.

How and when will I get my money?

How much do I get?  

You can see how much you will receive by working through the Student Finance Calculator which can be found here: www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinancecalculator

Wiltshire College Bursaries
The College have a number of bursaries available to support students during their studies with Wiltshire College.
Progression Award 2016-17
Students progressing from Wiltshire College level 3 provision onto Higher Education courses within Wiltshire College may be eligible for a Progression Award. The award is available to both full-time and part-time students on one of the courses listed below;

  • BSc in Social Work
  • Foundation Degrees in Animal Science and Management, Agricultural Management, Game and Wildlife Management, Applied Computing, Motorsport Engineering, or Early Years and Childhood Studies.
  • HND’s in Criminal Justice, Business, Equine Management, Agricultural Engineering, Sport, Health and Social Care, or Music
  • HNC’s in Engineering, Business, Criminal Justice, Health and Social Care, or Computing Systems and Development.

Other eligibility criteria include;

  • To be on a household income of under £25,000 per annum
  • Be on your first year of study on one of the above courses either on a full-time, or part-time basis.
  • Have achieved a level 3 qualification from Wiltshire College within the last five years
  • Be ordinarily resident in the UK

Students who may not receive this fund include;  

  • Students who are studying on their 2nd or 3rd year of a University level course
  • Students who are on a top up qualification
  • Students who usually reside in the EU and Overseas.
  • Students who are re-taking their first year of their current course at Wiltshire College, and have previously been awarded the Progression Award for previous year of study.

All our bursaries are administered through the Student Finance England system by the Customer Services team. The bursaries are assessed and awarded through the Student Finance England bursaries services, meaning that most student will not need to share their information twice. Please ensure that you and your family share your consent with Student Finance England for this information to be shared with us.
If you are not using Student Finance England to fund your course then we may require additional financial information from you before we are able to make a decision.

How much will I receive?
How much you will receive will depend on what type of course you are studying, part time students will receive a pro-rata fund based on the intensity of the full time equivalent as shown in the table below;

Course Type Full Time Amount Part Time Amount
HND/HNC

£500

50% intensity equivalent (taken over 2 years instead of 1 year); £250

Foundation Degree

£750

75% intensity equivalent (taken over 3 years instead of 2 years); £562.50
50% intensity equivalent (taken over 4 years instead of 2 years); £375

BSc/BA

£1,000

N/A

How and when is this fund paid?
Students who are approved for a Progression Award will be paid by BACs directly into their bank account in three equal termly instalments.  Students must be named on the account they are wishing to use for this Bursary, the College cannot pay monies into an account which does not belong to the student awarded.

Will the award affect any benefits I am receiving?
We advise you to check with the Benefits Agency if receipt of an award will affect any entitlement to benefits you are receiving.

Will I have to repay this money to the College?
No, this is a bursary and is not required to be repaid. Please note, students who withdraw from their course early may be required to repay some of their bursary.

How and when do I apply?
Applications for the Progression Award will be available from August upon request from the HE Admissions Team. Applications will be sent out with joining information during the summer, and also can be collected during enrolment sessions in September.  Completed forms need to be returned to the HE Admissions Office (Wiltshire College Lackham, Lacock, Chippenham Wiltshire, SN15 2NY) by the 31st October 2016.

Appeals
To appeal against panel decisions please write to: Director of Student Services, Wiltshire College Lackham, Lacock, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 2NY or email: HEAdmissions@wiltshire.ac.uk.

Wiltshire College Bursary 2016-17
The Wiltshire College Bursary is available to support students from low income households registered on Higher Education provision at Wiltshire College. The Bursary is available for both full-time and part-time students studying on one of the courses listed below;

  • BSc in Social Work
    Foundation Degrees in Animal Science and Management, Agricultural Management, Game and Wildlife Management, Applied Computing, Motorsport Engineering, or Early Years and Childhood Studies.
  • HND’s in Criminal Justice, Business, Equine Management, Agricultural Engineering, Sport, Health and Social Care, or Music
  • HNC’s in Engineering, Business, Criminal Justice, Health and Social Care, or Computing Systems and Development.

In order to establish who is eligible for an award we will check through a range of criteria.  To be considered for the Wiltshire College bursary award you will need to:

  • Have your household income assessed as under £16,000.  We can do this through your Student Finance England record or by asking you for proof of household income if the information is not available through them.
  • Be on the first year of your degree, foundation degree or HND course at Wiltshire College. Students who are on franchised courses are not eligible for this bursary.
  • Be classed as an ordinarily resident in the UK.
  • You must be responsible for your own fees, and they must not be sponsored by an employer or charity.

You may also need to meet one or more of the following criteria to be considered for the bursary.

  • You are a care leaver or looked after child
  • You or your family are in receipt of a means tested benefit
  • You are in receipt of ESA or DLA
  • You are from a low participation to higher education neighbourhood

Students who are not eligible for the NSP awards include:

  • Those who are ordinarily resident in the EU or overseas.
  • Those directly continuing on from one course to another (e.g. from foundation degree or HND on to final year of an honours degree)
  • Part-time students studying at less than 25% intensity of the full-time equivalent course
  • Have your tuition fee funded by the NHS

What if I am not listed on one of the courses above?
Students who are not listed on one of the courses above, but are studying on a franchised course may be able to get additional funding from their franchised partner. These students should contact their university directly to discuss this.

How much is an award worth?
The Wiltshire College award is worth £500, or pro rata based on the intensity of study if you are a part time student. You will receive the award in three equal termly instalments into your bank account.

Will the award affect any benefits I am receiving?
We advise you to check with the Benefits Agency if receipt of an award will affect any entitlement to benefits you are receiving.

Do I have to repay the awards?
The Bursary is non-repayable award, rather than a loan.  If you leave the course earlier however, we will review your eligibility any future payments will cease.

How and when to apply for Wiltshire College Bursaries
Applications for the Wiltshire College Bursary will be available from August upon request from the HE Admissions Team. Applications will be sent out with joining information during the summer, and also can be collected during enrolment sessions in September.  Completed forms need to be returned to the HE Admissions Office (Wiltshire College Lackham, Lacock, Chippenham Wiltshire, SN15 2NY) by the 31st October 2016.

Decision Making – Final allocation of bursaries will depend upon a number of factors.  Priority will be given to: Care Leavers/Looked After Children, students with a disability (evidence of assessment will be required), students whose families are in receipt of a means tested benefit and students from a home (postcode) with low participation in higher education.  Meeting the additional criteria listed above does not constitute entitlement to an award and all assessments are subject to the availability of funds.

All our bursaries are administered through the Student Finance England system by the Customer Services team. The bursaries are assessed and awarded through the Student Finance England bursaries services, meaning that most student will not need to share their information twice. Please ensure that you and your family share your consent with Student Finance England for this information to be shared with us.

If you are not using Student Finance England to fund your course then we may require additional financial information from you before we are able to make a decision.

Appeals
To appeal against panel decisions please write to: Director of Student Services, Wiltshire College Lackham, Lacock, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 2NY or email: HEAdmissions@wiltshire.ac.uk.

Access to Learning Fund (ALF)
Wiltshire College is aware that occasionally things will crop up that students have not been able to plan for, such as sudden change in financial circumstances. To help with this the College has put in place the ALF fund to help students who run into unexpected financial hardship during their course.  This is a discretionary fund and any students who feels that they extra financial assistance is advised to speak with the HE Admissions Team.

To be able to apply for help from this fund you must be;

  • Ordinarily resident in the EU or UK. (Overseas students are not eligible for this fund)
  • Have accessed all available funding to you prior to applying for the Access to Learning Fund, i.e. Student Finance
  • Be studying on a part-time or full-time Higher Education Course at Wiltshire College.

How much will I get from this fund?
As a discretionary fund, the amount you will receive from the ALF fund will be dependent upon your individual circumstances at the time you apply.  There are two types of award that you may receive from the ALF Fund.

  • A Standard Award – this is designed to help you with everyday living for example, money for food, rent and bills where circumstances mean that you may run short.
  • A Non-Standard Award – this is designed to help you with sudden unexpected charges, such as Dyslexia assessments, replacement of broken mandatory course equipment, or help towards mandatory trips and visits.

How is this money paid?
The amount you receive and how it is paid is dependent upon your circumstances and what the money is allocated for. Some students will receive a one of payment, whereas it may be more applicable to pay others over a number of months.  This will be discussed with you during the processing of the application.

How and when do I apply for this fund?
Students will need to be enrolled at the College and attending their course before the ALF fund application can be requested. To obtain the form you will need to contact the HE Admissions Team on HEAdmissions@Wiiltshire.ac.uk or 01249 466806.  You can only apply for the course once per term, resulting amount will depend upon monies remaining in the fund.

Other Areas of Funding
There are also other areas of funding support that may be available to help students looking to study on a Higher Education course. Some of these may be suitable for students or are ineligible to receive funding from the Student Loan Company.

Charities
There are a number of charities out there who may be able to offer support to students looking to study on a higher education course. Here are a few local ones that may provide a starting point, it’s always worth researching charities in more detail as there are many of them out there.

There are also a number of printed books available that provide details of charities, such as The Education Grants Directory, and Charities Digest.

Professional and Career Development Loans
Professional and Career Development Loans are usually loans that are available from a bank to help you with course expenses – this could be tuition fees for example. As these are bank loans, they may be subject to credits checks. Students are advised to look into specific banks criteria when looking at this option.

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