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Part-time students



New part-time students


All new part-time students starting their course on or after 1 September 2012 are eligible to apply to Student Finance England (SFE) for a Tuition Fee Loan to cover their tuition fees. The amount of Tuition Fee Loan you can get isn’t based on household income. The part-time Tuition Fee Loan replaces means-tested part-time Fee and Course Grants and must be paid back after you’ve left university or college and earn over a set amount.

This change applies to all English students who’re starting part-time courses and to EU students who’re starting a part-time course at an English university or college. For the first time SFE will also offer Tuition Fee Loans to new students studying on Open University courses.

Applications open in summer 2012. Check back soon for details on how to apply.

Continuing part-time students


Continuing part-time Open University students

Continuing part-time Open University (OU) students will carry on being eligible to apply for funding from the OU and should contact the OU’s financial support team by email: [email protected] or phone: 01908 653411 now for further information.

Continuing part-time students who have previously applied for student finance

Students who’re continuing on a part-time course at university or college this year will still be able to apply to SFE for a Fee Grant and Course Grant based on their household income. Fee Grants and Course Grants don’t need to be paid back.

SFE will email students who received part-time funding last year by the end of August 2012 with a copy of the application form to fill in. They must have this form signed/stamped by their university or college and then return it to SFE.

Continuing EU students studying in England should check back in the summer for details on how to apply.

Continuing part-time students applying for student finance for the first time

Students continuing on a part-time course but applying for student finance for the first time, will still be able to apply to SFE for a Fee Grant and Course Grant. Check back soon for further details on how to apply.

Part-time student finance for 2011/12

Part-time students can still apply to SFE for finance for 2011/12 visit www.direct.gov/studentfinance for application forms and guidance.

Second degree students

Second degree students are not normally eligible for student finance.

There are some graduate entry courses where funding is available. These are:
Medicine, Dentistry and other allied NHS funded courses,
Social Work,
Initial Teacher Training (PGCE and SCITT routes only)

The university may also charge higher tuition fees than those for first degree students because undertaking a second degree is usually classed as studying for an Equivalent Level Qualification (ELQ). This means the qualification you'll get at the end of the degree will be equivalent to one you already have. For further information on the financial cost of undertaking a second degree you need to contact the university or college for details.

Postgraduate Initial Teacher Training students on PGCE and SCITT courses

If you're training to teach, then you're eligible for the same financial support as undergraduate students. This means you'll be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan, Maintenance Loan and possibly additional grants too. You need to apply for this in the same way as normal undergraduate students.

There are also additional bursaries available to encourage graduates to train to teach in certain high demand areas. These bursaries are tax free and non repayable. They will be paid in addition to any other student finance. The amount of money available depends on both the trainee teacher’s undergraduate degree classification and the area of education they've chosen to teach.

For further details about specific subject eligibility please see: http://www.tda.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/funding/training-in-england/postgraduate-funding.aspx

Students with disabilities, mental-health conditions or specific learning difficulties

If you have a disability, mental-health condition or a specific learning difficulty you may be entitled to claim extra financial help while studying. For help on how to apply and what support is available be sure to check out Student Finance England's key steps to applying for Disabled Students' Allowances

What is it? What's it for? Who can get it? How do I get it?
Disabled Students Allowances This is to help with the additional costs you may face due to your disability You must be a student who is:


On a fullt-time or part-time undergraduate course (for example, a degree or HND-level course) including the Open University and other distance-learning courses

Or
On an eligble full-time or part-time postgraduate course (which you need a degree or equivalent qualification to get onto), including the Open Univeristy and other distance learning courses
And
Have a disability, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty which affects your ability to study.

You apply for DSAs when making your SFE application. It's then given in addition to any other entitlements from SFE. You can also apply for DSA only and can find a form here



How to apply for Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)


Step one: apply for DSAs

You need to apply for DSAs as soon as possible. Don't wait until you have your final place at university or college. If you're applying for other loans or grants from SFE you need to state on your application form that you wish to apply for DSAs. You then need to complete a DSA1 form.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/EducationAndTraining/HigherEducation/DG_10034900


Step two: give proof of your disability or condition

You need to give proof of your disability or condition. This may be a letter from your doctor or consultant. If you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, you'll have to send an educational report that's been compiled after you turned 16 years old. This report needs to be produced by:


• a chartered or practitioner psychologist
• a specialist teacher holding a current Assessment Practising Certificate

You'll have to pay for any tests to establish whether you qualify for DSAs. If you need a test but cannot afford to pay for it, you may be able to get financial help through your university or college's Access to Learning Fund.


Step three: your application is considered

Student Finance England or the Open University (OU) will consider your application and let you know whether you qualify for DSAs.


Step four: working out how much help you'll need

If you qualify for DSAs, you'll be asked to attend an 'assessment centre' to establish what help you'll need to study. The centre will then write a report setting out all the help they think you need and will send this to SFE (or the OU). The centre will also send a copy to you.


Step five: you receive your DSAs

If SFE (or the OU) agrees with the report, they'll send you a letter which tells you how to arrange getting help.

Students with dependent children or other adults

If you're a full-time student with dependent children under the age of 15 (or under 17 if they have special educational needs) or other adult family members who're dependent on you, then you may be eligible to receive extra funding.

There are two forms of grants available to people with children. The Childcare Grant is to help with the cost of childcare whereas the Parents’ Learning Allowance helps you to buy books and equipment offsetting some the additional costs of being a parent. If there's another adult (usually a family member) who depends on you financially then you can get the Adult Dependants' Grant.

You apply for all of these grants when completing your main student finance application.

The Childcare Grant

Childcare Grant
What's it for? Help's with childcare costs if you've a dependent child aged under the age of 15 at the beginning of the academic year (or under 17 if they have special educational needs) and they're in registered, approved childcare.
What doesn’t it cover? You can't get the Childcare Grant if you or your husband, wife or partner receives the childcare part of the Working Tax Credit from HM Revenue & Customs.

All three and four-year-olds are entitled to a free, part-time early-learning place (for 15 hours a week, 38 weeks a year) in a pre-school setting. The Childcare Grant won’t be paid for any period covered by this free place. However, it can be paid to cover the cost of any extra childcare.

How much can I get? Depending on your household income, you can apply for 85% of your actual childcare costs during term times and holidays. You can get up to £148.75 a week for one child or up to £255 a week for more than one child.
How's it paid? Usually in three instalments, one at the start of each term, direct to your bank account in addition to your other student finance payments.
Do I have to pay it back? No, unless your estimated costs were higher than your actual costs or you fail to provide confirmation of actual costs.
How will receiving this grant effect my entitlement to benefit? The Childcare Grant will not be taken into account when Jobcentre Plus or your local authority’s housing benefit teams are working out your other benefits.

HM Revenue & Customs will not count any Childcare Grant you receive when working out your entitlement to tax credits.


Parents’ Learning Allowance

Parents’ Learning Allowance
What's it for? Help's with course-related costs if you have dependent children.

You can apply for the Parents’ Learning Allowance even if you don't receive the Childcare Grant.

How much can I get? The amount you can receive depends on your income and the income of your husband, wife or partner (if you have one) and any dependants. You can get up to £1,508 a year.
How's it paid? Usually in three instalments, one at the start of each term, direct to your bank account in addition to your other student financial support payments.
Do I have to pay it back? No, unless you've been overpaid.
How will receiving this grant effect my entitlement to benefit? The Parents’ Learning Allowance will not be taken into account when Jobcentre Plus or your local authority’s housing benefit teams are working out your other benefits.

HM Revenue & Customs will not count any Childcare Grant you receive when working out your entitlement to tax credits.


Adult Dependents’ Grant

Adult Dependants’ Grant
What's it for? Help's if you have an adult who depends on you financially. The adult cannot be any of your children.
How much can I get? The amount you can receive depends on your income and the income of your dependants (including your husband, wife or partner). You can get up to £2,642 a year.
How's it paid? Usually in three instalments, one at the start of each term, direct to your bank account.
Do I have to pay it back? No, unless you've been overpaid.
How will receiving this grant effect my entitlement to benefit? Any Adult Dependants’ Grant will be taken into account when your entitlement to other income-related benefits and tax credits is worked out.

Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards

National Scholarship Programme (NSP)

The National Scholarship Programme (NSP) is designed to help students with a family income of £25,000 or less. NSP awards are in addition to any other loans or grants you might apply for.

All universities and most colleges are taking part in the NSP. Each university or college has its own rules about who qualifies, and what types of awards are available. Awards might include:

  • help with tuition fees
  • help with accommodation
  • a cash bursary of up to £1,000
  • other help

Full-time students

If you're a full-time student the minimum value of the NSP in your first year is £3,000.

How to apply

Money from the NSP is paid by universities and colleges and you have to apply directly to them. Contact them to find out if you qualify, how to apply and what kind of NSP funding they offer.


University Bursaries

Universities have additional bursaries available to students in addition to all the funding you can get from SFE. Most universities have to offer bursaries to people from lower income backgrounds if their courses are charging the highest tuition fees of £9,000.

Bursaries are available for a range of reasons. For example, they may be made available to people on particular courses or even those who've chosen certain accommodation. Some universities also offer academic scholarships which can be automatic (providing the applicant achieves certain grades). They can also be awarded to applicants who achieved high marks in an external exam set by the university. To find out more about university specific bursaries contact the university’s student finance office. You'll also be able to find detailed information on their website, at open days or in their applicant information packs.

NHS Bursaries

If you're training for social work, nursing, medicine or some areas of health care you might be able to get a bursary through the NHS: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/816.aspx

NHS Bursary (Non Medicine, Dentistry or Social Work Courses)
What's it for? Help's with the cost of tuition and living whilst studying for an NHS commissioned course.
How much can I get? Students can get up to:

£1000 annual grant from the NHS
£3263 maintenance loan from Student Finance England £5,460 bursary from the NHS

The amount you can get depends on:
Where you live,
What you study,
Whether you live with your parents,
The number of weeks you study per year


How do I apply? Applications are dealt with by NHS Student Bursaries. When you're offered a place on an NHS funded course you'll get a letter from NHS Student Bursaries which tells you how to apply.

If you get an income assessed NHS bursary you may also be eligible for funding from SFE. You need to apply for this separately.

Do I have to pay it back? No, unless you leave the course early.
How's it paid? The bursary is paid monthly into your UK bank account.

Medical and dental courses

NHS Bursary for Medicine and Dentistry (fifth year onwards for non-graduate entry students)
What's it for? After the fourth year of a medicine or dentistry course, a student’s funding will change. From this point they'll be able to get:

an NHS bursary based on your household income
a non means-tested grant from the NHS
their tuition fees paid by the NHS
a reduced rate Maintenance Loan, which isn't based on their household income
extra help from the NHS where applicable

Who's eligible? Students must:


have started their medicine or dentistry course as a first degree in 2012, 2013 or 2014
normally live in England
be studying at a UK university
had the first four years of their course funded in the same way as other eligible full-time higher education courses

How do I apply? Applications are dealt with by NHS Student Bursaries. When you're offered a place on an NHS funded course you'll get a letter from NHS Student Bursaries which tells you how to apply.

If you get an income assessed NHS bursary you may also be eligible for funding from SFE. You need to apply for this separately.

Do I have to pay it back? No, unless you leave the course early.
How's it paid? The bursary is paid monthly into your UK bank account.

Graduate entry accelerated medicine and dentistry

If you have a place on a graduate entry accelerated medicine or dentistry course that lasts four years, then the funding rules are different to normal medicine/dentistry courses starting in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

NHS Bursary for graduate entry accelerated medicine and dentistry courses
What money can I get? In year one you'll have to pay the first £3,465 of your tuition costs yourself.

In years two, three and four the first £3,465 of your tuition costs are paid with an NHS bursary. You can also get a Tuition Fee Loan from SFE of up to £5,535 to pay for the remaining tuition costs.

To help with maintenance costs, you're also eligible for a reduced level maintenance loan from SFE.

Who's eligible? Students who meet the residency criteria and conditions set out by SFE.
How do I apply? Applications are dealt with by NHS Student Bursaries. When you're offered a place on an NHS funded course you'll get a letter from NHS Student Bursaries which tells you how to apply.

You also need to apply to SFE to arrange an additional Tuition Fee Loan from second year onwards as well as your Maintenance Loan.

Do I have to pay the NHS fee bursary back? No, unless you leave the course early.
Do I have to pay the SFE loan back? Yes, but not until you've left your university or college and your income is over £21,000 a year if you started your course on or after 1 September 2012, £16,365 a year if you started your course before 1 September 2012.
How's it paid? The SFE Tuition Fee Loan and NHS tuition fee bursary is paid directly to the university.

The SFE Maintenance Loan is paid directly into your bank account three times per year, at the start of each term.

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