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    Hello all!
    I know this has been asked a few times but I still can't find the information I'm looking for.
    As the title I'm currently getting out of the army on a medical discharge(April 16)
    I'm 22 and have a child.

    I'v always wanted to go to uni but decided the forces was a better way.
    I have 4 GCSEs and a few level 2 nvqs

    My questions are
    What financial help will I get?
    How do I go about applying?
    What are my accomadation choices?
    And a general insite if anyone has actually done this.

    Thanks
    Ryan.
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    (Original post by Ryantw)
    Hello all!
    I know this has been asked a few times but I still can't find the information I'm looking for.
    As the title I'm currently getting out of the army on a medical discharge(April 16)
    I'm 22 and have a child.

    I'v always wanted to go to uni but decided the forces was a better way.
    I have 4 GCSEs and a few level 2 nvqs
    Those qualifications alone wouldn't usually get you into uni. I think your first move should be to find maybe half a dozen degree courses that you like the look of, then email the unis' Admissions Offices. Explain your background and qualifications, tell them the degree(s) you're considering and ask what their entry requirements would be. You're a mature applicant, so the published requirements won't apply and each offer would be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The minimum for most degrees now will be some kind of recent study (usually a one year Access course, but see what your uni(s) say), and grade C in GCSE English and Maths to ensure basic levels of literacy and numeracy.

    What financial help will I get?
    If you need to do an Access course, you can get the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan to cover tuition fees, but there's no financial support for living costs. The good news is that if you go to uni afterwards, the loan is wiped out when you graduate.

    Everyone gets a set amount of Student Finance for uni for their lifetime, so if you haven't been to uni before this will be: Number of years of your degree + One year. The "grace" year allows for one resit year or starting out on the wrong degree and beginning a new one from scratch. You will only get that extra year's funding if you need it.

    From Sep 2016, you will get a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan. You may get additional money for childcare, but from what I've read on TSR it can be a bit difficult to get and it isn't particularly generous (no student funding is!)

    Your Tuition Fee Loan covers the entire cost of your course tuition fees. It's paid direct from Studrnt Finance to your uni - you never see it.

    The Maintenance Loan is paid to you, usually in three installments through the academic year. Part of it is a core amount which everyone gets. This can be "topped up" with an amount based on your household income (that of your partner if you live with them). It is quite a modest amount of money, and is based on the assumption that most students are school leavers whose parents can help them out. You might find things quite tight with a family, but others do manage it. Get an estimate of your entitlement from the official calculator:
    https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator

    Interest is added to the amount loaned, from the date of your first payment. You start repaying in small sums as deductions from your wages after you graduate. You wouldn't repay anything until you earned £21,000 or over. If you earn below that or you don't earn anything at all, you won't have to make repayments.

    How do I go about applying?
    For uni, as above, start by contacting unis to ask what - if any - additional study you need to do before applying.

    When you're ready to apply for uni, you use the UCAS system:
    https://www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track

    For Student Finance, you'd apply here:
    https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance
    However, you are probably a year or more away from thinking about it. Applications usually open in the January/February before the September when you start.

    What are my accomadation choices?
    It will depend on the uni. Larger ones might have family accommodation, but at smaller unis you may need to rent privately in the vicinity of the campus. You are usually expected to pay your rent from the Maintenance Loan, which sometimes doesn't cover it. You can check the current price of uni accommodation on each uni's website. Don't automatically assume the uni accommodation will be cheaper than private rented - shop around before making any decisions. Do be aware that Student Finance isn't geared towards supporting a family. Many young single students find that their Maintenance Loan is largely swallowed by their rent, so this is going to ge a critical factor for your budgeting.
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    (Original post by Ryantw)
    Hello all!
    I know this has been asked a few times but I still can't find the information I'm looking for.
    As the title I'm currently getting out of the army on a medical discharge(April 16)
    I'm 22 and have a child.

    I'v always wanted to go to uni but decided the forces was a better way.
    I have 4 GCSEs and a few level 2 nvqs

    My questions are
    What financial help will I get?
    How do I go about applying?
    What are my accomadation choices?
    And a general insite if anyone has actually done this.

    Thanks
    Ryan.
    Hi Ryan

    Many universities have entry routes for mature students and offer courses that are designed for people returning to education. It's very likely that you will be advised to take a foundation course. This type of course can take up to a year and is designed to develop your study skills, get you back into the habit of studying, and introduce you to your chosen subject before you start a university degree. Usually, if you pass the foundation year you progress directly onto the first year of a degree course.

    If you are considering coming to Sheffield, I'd recommend talking to our Department for Lifelong Learning:
    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/ Their website outlines the courses we have available, entry requirements, information about funding and finance, and interviews with mature students who have studied at Sheffield. The Department is also having an open evening on the 3rd December, 5-8pm, where you can meet staff and receive one-to-one advice and information. You can reserve your place at this event at:
    http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/event...ays/rediscover

    Good luck with your new direction and future studies.

    Best regards

    Elizabeth
    UK/EU Student Recruitment Officer
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    There is specialist help out there for ex-forces. May be worth checking in with a charity/company that handles the transition to civi life?
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    Just a note of caution on the above info about foundation degrees. Many degrees don't have a foundation entry route, although they may be more common at some unis (like Sheffield - I don't know their specifics). I know that my local uni axed all foundation years and degrees about four years ago.

    It's certainly worth investigating for your preferred subject though. Most foundation years/degrees (excluding art courses which are below uni level) will attract full Student Finance of both a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan, making them a lot easier financially than an Access course.
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    OP isn't old enough to qualify for a 24+ loan, but as Skeptical_john says, there may be other sources of funding for ex-military personnel.
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    (Original post by Ryantw)
    Hello all!
    I know this has been asked a few times but I still can't find the information I'm looking for.
    As the title I'm currently getting out of the army on a medical discharge(April 16)
    I'm 22 and have a child.

    I'v always wanted to go to uni but decided the forces was a better way.
    I have 4 GCSEs and a few level 2 nvqs

    My questions are
    What financial help will I get?
    How do I go about applying?
    What are my accomadation choices?
    And a general insite if anyone has actually done this.

    Thanks
    Ryan.
    I was in HM Forces and I left to get a degree so I know where you're coming from. So i'll try and answer your questions as best as I can. You can get finance through student finance. I get a little over £7000 a year but you having a child should be able to get some more. Will ELCAS be covering your fees?
    To apply you go onto the UCAS website but as has already been stated, you'll need to either go on an access course or undertake a foundation year (as I did). The accommodation depends on the uni. My uni have single rooms, self contained flats or they can help you find accommodation in the private sector. If you have any further questions then let me know.
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    Im being medically discharged from the army in march through spinal injury, All ex personal are offered ELCAS, depending on your time of service you can claim between £1000 and £2000 every financial year I believe towards any HE/FE course level 3 or above but you have to contribute 20% of the course fee out of your own pocket. Im in the same boat I only have level 2's so worth looking at any foundation or level 3 courses as approved by ELCAS. Im 28 and would like to retrain but im not sure I could afford to be a student full time as Im not sure on what other civvie grants I am entitled too. Good luck. Stag on.
 
 
 
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