Financial Support

You may be entitled to financial support when you study with us. Check out the information below or visit our Student Hubs where the team will be able to help you.

Financial Support 16-18

Did you know you could be eligible for financial support worth up to £900?

What is Financial Support?

Financial support is available to students who face the greatest barriers to entering, continuing and succeeding in Further Education. For 16-18 year olds, funds are provided by the Educational Funding Agency (EFA) to colleges and then distributed to those students whose effective participation in education and training may not be possible without the provision of appropriate levels of financial support.

Can I apply?

Yes, if the household income is £25,000 or below per year and you are on an eligible course. Please speak to a member of staff in the college’s Student Hub for more information.

What financial support is on offer?

The fund can offer support with the following:
• Travel passes
• Lunch card
• Printing credit*
• Educational visits
• Essential equipment

*Automatically received once the application has been assessed

Does this include course fees?

If you are 16-18 there are NO COURSE FEES PAYABLE.

Is there any other financial support?

Yes, there is a Bursary Fund to support the most vulnerable young people to participate in and benefit from education and training after the age of 16.

Am I eligible for the Bursary fund?

You may be eligible if you fall into one of the below categories:

• In care
• Leaving care
• In receipt of qualifying benefit

You can download the Bursary Application Form here

What do I need to do?

You need to complete a Financial Support Application Form available from the Student Hub or you can download it here.

Once you have completed the application, it must be submitted to the Student Hub along with proof of household income:

• This year’s Tax Credit Award (2016/2017). However, if you have not yet received your new award letter, we can accept your 2015/2016 award whilst you are waiting for the updated one

Please note that all information supplied to the college remains confidential.

Once your application has been received it will be assessed within 5 working days of receipt and if successful you will receive a letter providing details of your award. (Please be aware that this might not be possible in peak times (September), so the earlier you submit your application the better).

What happens next?

Once your form has been assessed and you are eligible for funding you will be issued with an award letter, which you will need to sign in order to accept your award. The letter should be kept safe as you may need to present it again to confirm your award.

How will I receive my travel pass?

If you have been awarded a bus pass or a scratch card day saver (if you are part-time), you will need to collect these from the Student Hub.

Please note that travel passes are issued to a student at the start of the course. This is subject to all applications being completed and all evidence being received in the Student Hub 5 working days prior to the course start date. Travel passes in terms two and three will be dependent upon your attendance and is monitored through the college’s online register system.

If you are aged 16-18 (under 18 on 1st September 2016), living in the West Midlands and studying full-time with the college, you will need to apply for a Centro 16-18 photo card. (Information is available from the Student Hub and you will need to apply online). The Centro card enables you to travel with a reduced fare bus pass as you will be in full-time education. If you are not entitled to financial support, you will need to pay £10 when you apply online for your Centro Card.

If you live outside the West Midlands you will not be able to apply for a Centro card – the Student Hub will advise you about your travel, as the college may be able to support other bus services such as Arriva.

If you are over 18 (from the 1st September 2016) you will need to take two passport sized photos to the Student Hub in order to collect your bus pass, when you start your course.

How do I get my college meals funded?

If you are being supported for college meals, £10 will be added to your college I.D card each week, which will be activated when your application is assessed. Your card will be scanned to pay for your food/drink when visiting the canteen.

How do I apply for other financial support?

Any other financial support you require, which may include educational visits, equipment and other relevant course costs, will be organised by your tutor. However, if you are having other financial difficulties that are not included within this application process, please speak to the Student Hub team for advice.

How do I apply for funding to help with childcare costs?

You will need to apply for help with childcare through Care to Learn, which provides funding for this separately. You can now apply online via the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) or if you would prefer to call for an application and information pack the contact number is 0800 121 8989.

*Please note that all the above are subject to change.

Financial Support 19-23

Aged 19-23?
Not sure you can afford to come to college? You could be eligible for financial support…

What is Financial Support?

Financial support is available to students who face the greatest barriers to entering, continuing and succeeding in Further Education. For students who are 19-23 and studying their first level 3 or below, funds are provided by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to colleges and then distributed to those students whose effective participation in education and training may not be possible without the provision of appropriate levels of financial support.

Can I apply?

Yes, if the household income is £25,000 or below per year and you are on an eligible course. Please speak to a member of staff in the college’s Student Hub for more information.

What financial support is on offer?

The fund can offer support with the following:
• Tuition/exam fees for part-time courses (please note this is only if you are eligible for funding – you need to refer to the Student Eligibility for Funding form as there may be other routes of funding for you. The course must also be eligible for funding, the student hub can advise you on this.)
• Travel
• Childcare

What do I need to do?

You will need to complete a Financial Support Application Form available from the Student Hub. Alternatively, you can download it here.
Once you have completed the application, it must be submitted to the Student Hub along with proof of household income. Please refer to the application form for evidence required as proof of household income.
Please note that all information supplied to the college remains confidential.

Once your application has been received it will be assessed within 5 working days of receipt and if successful you will receive a letter providing details of your award. (Please be aware that this might not be possible in peak times (September), so the earlier you submit your application the better).

What happens next?

Once your application has been assessed, if you are eligible for funding you will be issued with an award letter, which you will need to sign in order to accept your award. The letter should be kept safe as you may need to present it again to confirm your award.

How will I receive my travel pass?

If you have been awarded a bus pass, or a scratch card day saver (if you are part-time), you will need to collect these from the Student Hub.

Please note that travel passes are issued to a student at the start of the course. Travel passes in terms two and three will be dependent upon your attendance and is monitored through the college’s online register system.

If you live outside the West Midlands please speak to the Student Hub and they will advise you about your travel, as the college is able to support other bus services such as Arriva.

If you have been awarded a bus pass you will need to bring two passport size photos with you. If you have been awarded scratch cards you will need to collect these from the Student Hub.

How do I apply for other financial support?

You will need to complete an additional application form (CF1) available from the Student Hub, which will need to be completed by yourself and the proposed childcare provider (only OFSTED registered providers can be used). Once the childcare application has been returned, we will continue the assessment.

Please note that until the childcare application has been received we are not able to progress with the assessment.

Once the childcare application has been submitted to the Student Hub, the form will be assessed and if successful a Service Level Agreement will be sent to the childcare provider, to sign and return. Once this has been done a letter confirming your childcare support will be sent to you and the childcare provider.

How will my childcare be paid?

The childcare provider will be advised to invoice the college and they will be paid in the form of a BACS payment.

*Please note that all the above are subject to change.

Advanced Learning Loan

Studying Level 3 or above?

You could be eligible for a student loan…
Aged 19-23: Already have a Level 3 qualification and applying to study for another Level 3 or above
Aged 24+: Applying to study at Level 3 or above

Student loans have traditionally only been available to students studying at degree level, but from September 2013 the government launched a new loan scheme to help you access the financial support you might need to study for a qualification.

You do not have to start paying back the loan until you have left the course and are earning over £21,000 a year.

The loans are not means-tested (income is not taken into account) and there is no credit check.

Do I qualify for a loan?
To qualify for a loan you must:
• Be aged 19 or over at the start of your course
• Be resident in the UK and studying at an approved college or training organisation in England

How do I know my course is eligible for funding?
Eligible courses include:
• Access to HE Diploma
• Level 3 Certificate or Diploma
• Level 4 Certificate or Diploma
• Advanced Apprenticeship or Higher Apprenticeship
• Some Level 5 and 6 courses

How long will my application take?
The majority of applications submitted online should take four to five days. Other applications will be processed within two to four weeks.

Click HERE to begin your loan application

Will I be able to afford the loan?
Research shows that people with a Level 3 qualification or above earn more than those who are not similarly qualified. Repayments will be made at 9% of your annual earnings over £21,000. This means that if you earn £22,000 a year you will have to pay back £7 a month.
If your earnings drop below £21,000 payments will stop.
Interest on your loan will be based on inflation (Retail Price Index – RPI).

How much will the loan be for?
For all eligible courses the loan will be up to 100% of the cost of the training including course and material fees. This could be from £300 upwards depending on the individual course.
You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course- you can pay for some of it yourself if you wish.

Do I need to apply for a loan for each year I am studying?
No. You will only have to apply for one loan to cover the whole length of your course – you don’t have to reapply each year – one course, one loan.

How is the loan paid?
The money will be paid directly to the college once we confirm that you have attended the course for two weeks.

When do I have to start paying back the loan?
You do not have to pay back the loan until your course has finished and you are earning over £21,000 per year.
Access to HE: If you receive a loan to study for an Access to HE course, and then move on to do a HE course, the amount outstanding on your loan for your access course will be written off once you complete your HE qualification.

How do I pay back the loan?
If you’re an employee your employer will work out your repayments and take them out of your salary with your tax.
If you’re self employed you make repayments as part of your Self Assessment Tax Return.
You can pay off some or all of your loan at any time without incurring an extra charge.

What if I leave the course or want to change course?
If you leave or change your course after two weeks you will have to pay back any money that has been paid to the college.
If you want to change your course, speak to a member of staff in the Student Hub to see if the loan can be transferred.

How do I apply for the Advanced Learning Loan?
You can apply online or by post.
To apply online visit: www.gov.uk/advancedlearningloans
To apply you will need your National Insurance Number and a form of identity eg passport or birth certificate. You will also need a learning and funding information letter, available from the Student Hub.

What if there is a problem with my loan application?
You will need to contact the loan company on 0300 100 0619. If you are ineligible for the loan you will need to notify the Student Hub ASAP as you will become liable for the course fees.
Please note if your loan is not fully approved then you will be liable for the course fees.

Do I have to take a loan out for the course fees?
No, you can pay for the fees yourself and we will be happy to set up a payment plan for you, or alternatively if you have a company that is willing to sponsor you we can accept payment from them by a company letter.

Is there any additional financial support available?
Yes, there is a bursary fund that is provided to all colleges for students who are receiving theAdvanced Learning Loan. The bursary fund can offer support with childcare costs.
You can apply for this additional financial support if your household income is £25,000 or below per year and you are on an eligible course. Please speak to a member of staff in the college’s Student Hub, as you will receive this support directly from the college.

Click HERE to begin your loan application

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