A return to education after 32 years
Help with finances
Information on loans
There are a variety of loan and finance packages available to support you throughout study. A selection of these are listed below;
Tuition Fee Loans - full-time and part-time students
If you are a UK or EU full-time or part-time student you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan. The loan is paid directly to your university or college and you will have to pay the loan back when you earn over £21,000 per annum.
Maintenance Loans - full-time students only
This is a maintenance or living costs loan, which you can apply for each year of your course. You must be a full-time UK student. You may have to give details of your household income as this information together with where you are studying effects the amount of money you receive.
The loan is paid directly into your bank account at the start of each term and you will have to pay the loan back when you earn over £21,000 per annum.
Maintenance Grant - full-time students only
When you apply for a Maintenance Grant you will have to give details about your household income and your course start date. Any grant you get will reduce the amount of Maintenance Loan you can apply for.
You must be a full-time UK student the grant is paid into your bank account at the start of each term.
24+ Advanced Learning Loan
If you are over 24 and thinking about further education you can apply for a loan to help with tuition fees. From 1st August 2013 the Government is introducing the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan. The loan is not means tested and does not require a credit check. You can apply now.
The loan is to pay for the part or full cost of the tuition fees for your full Level 3 or 4 course - the loan cannot be used to pay for individual units or awards. If you are taking an apprenticeship you can apply for a loan covering up to 50% of the apprenticeship cost, with the remaining 50% paid for by your employer.
More information is available online at www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans
Special Support Grant - full-time students only
You may get a Special Support Grant instead of a Maintenance Grant if you either receive or qualify for Income Support or Housing Benefit. The amount you get is the same as the Maintenance Grant, but unlike the Maintenance Grant, it won’t reduce the Maintenance Loan you can get.
You may get the Special Support Grant if, for example, you’re a lone parent or have certain disabilities. You must be a full-time student, part-time and EU students can’t apply.
In summary, Tuition Fee Loans pay your course fees while Maintenance Loans and Grants help towards your living costs, for example, accommodation, books and bills. You must pay back a Tuition Fee and/or Maintenance Loans but you do not need to pay back a Maintenance or Special Support Grants.
You can get further information and apply for student finance online at www.gov.uk/student-finance. There is also a student finance calculator you can use to find out what you might be eligible to receive.
You can also visit Somerset 4 learning at http://www.open4learning.info/somerset/. This website will give funding advice to support you through education and training (course fees, exam costs, childcare and living expenses etc) whether you are taking your first steps into Further Education, continuing on with your Higher Education studies, or looking for financial assistance to help you make a new start by re-skilling.