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Please help me, I don't know what to do. Can't afford to live and do access course. watch

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    I am due to start an access course in September. I was really excited about it. I am 24 years old.

    I am looking to rent/share a property in the next month. I assumed I would be able to claim housing benefit to cover most of the cost. I have just found out that because the access course is classed as a full-time course I would not be entitled to housing benefit meaning I will not be able to afford this. Inquired with student finance about a maintenance loan but am not entitled to that either. So what am I entitled to?

    It is honestly looking like I can't afford to do the access course and live at the same time. Am I missing something? I don't have a family to live with and because it's not university I don't have halls of residence to stay in. Aren't they missing out a huge proportion of adults who want to go back to education? Have called the college and they have said the only finance related thing I am entitled to is the advanced learner loan and that is just to cover course fee.

    Am really in a bit of a mess. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Before anybody mentions getting a job - i am looking for part-time work but my situation is very complicated and is not related to laziness.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Are you able to house-share at all?
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    Take a loan out at the bank I guess...
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    WONGA!
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    Welcome to the club of being in full time education and not being entitled to any benefits or financial help.

    I would say stay by going on sites like spare room, look for shared houses or lodgings - they are much more affordable.

    I would borrow money from friends, as friends do not charge interest and late fees.


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    Is there a part time access course you can transfer to? That would enable you to look for work or get benefits.
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    Just to add, I'm doing an online Access to HE course. I've been able to work full time and finish the course in 130 days. It's not cheap, but can work out affordable if you don't need to do it as quickly.
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    Have you thought about a distance learning access course?

    Distance Learning Centre for example.

    That way you dont have to find a job that fits around a set college timetable, you can take any job and study in your own time. Not sure if it's feasible as I don't know what course or university you want to apply for, or your circumstances.
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    Even on Student Finance, most students can't afford more than a room in a shared house or flat.
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    Instead of doing an Access course, maybe a foundation year would be more suitable? That way you can claim student loans and live in university accommodation. Although I'm not sure how many foundation years will be in UCAS clearing... :dontknow:
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    Have you asked college about applying for the advanced learning loan bursary fund? I don't know how much you can get but it might be worth asking and you should be eligible if you don't have much income. I think it can go towards the cost of housing and other stuff like books/stationary equipment, I have had to apply for the learning loan to cover my fees for when I go back to college in September and have the option to apply for the bursary but I wouldn't be eligible.
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    The Open University is always an option, its very flexible and yiou can do it all at your own pace, then once you done your access course you can apply for a full-time uni place.
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    During my access course the college reimbursed students their travel costs and gave free dinners to each student worth £3.50. They also gave out three £50 bursary's over the year to those who kept there attendance above 90%.

    Have you checked to see if the college offers any financial help like this?

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    double check the FT staus of the course, there'll be a certain number of hours over which it'll count as FT. for me, although my course was officially FT, the number of hours was just below what the JSA people classed as FT. of course you have to be avaqilable to work, but you might be able to figure out a way around that
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    (Original post by andiewithanie)
    double check the FT staus of the course, there'll be a certain number of hours over which it'll count as FT. for me, although my course was officially FT, the number of hours was just below what the JSA people classed as FT. of course you have to be avaqilable to work, but you might be able to figure out a way around that
    As mature student have you checked with the university you want to study in on entry requirements, as your classed as a mature student you should be able to get in to university without qualifications. Anyone classed over 21 should be able to get in to uni. Id ring or visit thier careers section and ask about mature student entry requirements.
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    (Original post by Jessica 321)
    As mature student have you checked with the university you want to study in on entry requirements, as your classed as a mature student you should be able to get in to university without qualifications. Anyone classed over 21 should be able to get in to uni. Id ring or visit thier careers section and ask about mature student entry requirements.
    I don't know where you got this information from, but it's not correct. The entry requirements for mature students are generally different from those for school leavers, but it is virtually unheard of for a mature student to get a place with no qualifications. OP will need to do an Access course, A levels, or something equivalent.
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    Main reason why at 27 I chose not to do an Access to HE course. I instead had a portfolio of work that got me onto a HNC course instead. It was 14 hrs a week, so I could still work and/or claim benefits. I then went onto university for 3 years to do my degree.
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    (Original post by Lizzipth_Floyd)
    I am due to start an access course in September. I was really excited about it. I am 24 years old.

    I am looking to rent/share a property in the next month. I assumed I would be able to claim housing benefit to cover most of the cost. I have just found out that because the access course is classed as a full-time course I would not be entitled to housing benefit meaning I will not be able to afford this. Inquired with student finance about a maintenance loan but am not entitled to that either. So what am I entitled to?

    It is honestly looking like I can't afford to do the access course and live at the same time. Am I missing something? I don't have a family to live with and because it's not university I don't have halls of residence to stay in. Aren't they missing out a huge proportion of adults who want to go back to education? Have called the college and they have said the only finance related thing I am entitled to is the advanced learner loan and that is just to cover course fee.

    Am really in a bit of a mess. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Before anybody mentions getting a job - i am looking for part-time work but my situation is very complicated and is not related to laziness.

    Thanks in advance.
    I really recommend you apply for a foundation course, if thats not possible than i don't really know anything else but don't be afraid and don't give up okay. I genuinely hope you get to do what you want and get through this situation, just stay positive and have hope. All the best
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    We need to start protesting to change the system so it allows you to study. It is disgraceful at present.
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    Hi Lizz,

    I totally understand your predicament !! I was in exactly the same situation last year when I started the Access course. The only thing I can advise is to get a part time job (but put the access as priority as much as u possibly can!) Earn £100 ish a week. That's say, £70 shared house and a bit of food. Try to live as close as possible to the college you're attending to save on travel costs and grim and bear it for 10 months. Cancel your life and just live to keep your head afloat for those few months. They fly passed incredibly fast and when you come out in the other end, it will be extremely rewarding. Then once you get in to uni, you will have the funds available to you to "live" again through maintenance grants. My college offered me £900 in dribs and drabs for travel costs but I lived miles away. Maybe you could tell a few fibs and say you lived else where to get this extra funding but that's an option if you dared do that.

    I take my hat off to you for trying !! My advise is go for it ! You can do it !

    Best of luck
    Faye
 
 
 
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