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Financial Support for an Access Course watch

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    Hi,

    I am a mature student (26) studying an Access to Higher Education Course at Chichester College, with the intention of going on to complete a degree at Brighton Uni next September.

    I am struggling to find any meaningful financial support to help students who are taking these courses, which is proving rather stressful, as I have rent, bills, food and travel expenses to pay for. I am looking for part time work but my course is full time so this is also proving difficult.

    Could anyone let me know what I'm entitled to? I know I am able to apply for an ALG but at £30 a week it's nowhere near enough (doesn't even cover my train fares).

    I am with HSBC bank, and currently only have an overdraft of £100. Would they be able to help me in any way? (i.e. extend my overdraft, offer me a loan?).

    Any advice is very much appreciated!!

    Chris :eek3:
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    Anyone?
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    If you are not working then job seekers, housing benefit are pretty much your only choice.

    There is no other financial aid for access courses.
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    I'm afraid that most things you do at college (as opposed to university) have very little, if any, student support. The budgets for student support in FE colleges are based on the assumption that you are a young person living with parents who pay most of your costs of living. Obviously that isn't true of adult learners, but they set the scales for ALG by reference to EMA which tops out at £30 per week.

    You could try your college for advice. they should have a department/person (depending on size) called something like student support/pastoral care/advice which helps with this sort of thing. They are unlikely to be able to give you much money themselves but if there is other help available they will know about it.

    As to borrowing, do you have a track record with your bank? If they can look at their records and see stable payments in and out in the past without any problems they may be willing to offer you a larger overdraft or a personal loan. Also see about Career Development Loans. You could try asking a few banks if they are willing to give you some variation on their student bank accounts. What are you going to study at university? If you can show you are likely to be an actuary or engineer or something they might be flexible.
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    Hi, cheers for your replies.

    I've never been in debt with my bank. I've always stuck to my £100 overdraft and have had around 5 years (on and off) worth of wages paid in. Saying that I've always sailed pretty close to the wind, but I would assume that's expected with such a small overdraft.

    As for my course, I'm studying Access to Sports Studies, with the intention of going on to study a Sports Journalism degree at Brighton Uni.

    I am going to talk to the Financial Support team at the college. I know they offer a Learner Support Fund, but they made it quite clear that people on benefits would be priority cases. Which brings me onto another rant....(!)

    To receive reduced tuition fees, I needed to be claiming jobseekers allowance. So, I went along to my local jobcentre today (after arranging an interview over the phone), only to be told I needed my partner there so they could remove her from a previous claim we made jointly, months ago. Now, she is studying her PGCE, which means she is in school 3 days a week and uni 2 days a week. So it's impossible for her to get to the jobcentre while it's open. I explained this but was told nothing could be done and I couldn't make my SINGLE claim without her presence. Ridiculous. The college need me enrolled by next week, so, it looks like I'll be paying the full £1,100 rather than the reduced £250 fee. Brilliant.
 
 
 
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