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Student Finance

Learners are central to everything we do at South Staffordshire College and the Learner Services team offers a range of services and support for both full-time and part-time learners. We want to help you achieve your goals and successfully complete your course of study.

Money matters, especially when you decide to take up a course of study. The good news is, as a learner, you may be eligible for financial support, and there are a range of loans and funds that you may be eligible for:

All learners should receive a link via email to apply for Financial Support. If you have not received a Financial Support email, please contact our Bursaries team on bursary.enquiries@southstaffs.ac.uk

Please note:

  • All financial support is subject to satisfactory attendance (88% and above, and only authorised absences will be paid) and behaviour; if you are suspended or excluded from college, your payments will stop.
  • Payments are made two weekly by BACS transfer – bank account details will need to be provided.
  • It can take up to 5 weeks for applications to be assessed upon receipt of application and valid evidence.
  • These guidelines are subject to change.

 

Financial Support for Learners 16-18

  • 16-18 Accessible Bursary

    An annual bursary of up to £1,200 will be paid to learners who can show evidence that they are:

    • In care or are a care leaver
    • In receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit in their own name
    • In receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance

    Evidence must be provided via either a current benefit award letter or a letter from Social Services

    Learners must be:

    • Aged 16 to 18 at the time of enrolment
    • Studying on a full time Further Education course
    • Timetabled for more than 12 hours per week
    • On a course lasting a minimum of 10 weeks

    Please note:

    • Payments are made fortnightly in arrears after attendance has been checked
    • Learners who join the College, or become eligible for the bursary fund part way through the academic year, will be paid pro rata

    An initial assessment as to what funds are needed to commence the course will be made, then at the start of the Spring term a further assessment will be made and all remaining funds will be distributed over the remainder of the academic year.

    Eligibility criteria for 16-18 Accessible Bursary:
     

    If your household income is below £20,000 you may be eligible for up to:
    • 100% of costs for essential equipment
    • 100% of costs for travel to college by public transport or college bus if you live over 2 miles away from your base campus.
      • This differs for Rodbaston
      • A maximum of £660 per academic year
    If your household income is between £20,001 and £28,000, you may be eligible for up to:
    • 75% of costs for essential equipment
    • 75% of costs for travel to college by public transport or college bus if you live over 2 miles away from your base campus, with the remaining 25% to be paid by the person making the application (learner).
      • This differs for Rodbaston
      • A maximum of £660 per academic year
  • 16-18 Discretionary Bursary

    If you do not qualify for the 16-18 Accessible Bursary, you may be eligible for support through the 16-18 Discretionary Bursary.

    Available to all students that satisfy the eligibility criteria to help you cover the cost of essential items for your course, e.g. kit, uniforms, books and transport to and from college.

    Eligibility criteria for 16-18 Discretionary Bursary:
     

    If your household income is below £20,000 you may be eligible for up to:
    • 100% of costs for essential equipment
    • 100% of costs for travel to college by public transport or college bus if you live over 2 miles away from your base campus.
      • This differs for Rodbaston
      • A maximum of £660 per academic year
    If your household income is between £20,001 and £28,000, you may be eligible for up to:
    • 75% of costs for essential equipment
    • 75% of costs for travel to college by public transport or college bus if you live over 2 miles away from your base campus, with the remaining 25% to be paid by the person making the application (learner).
      • This differs for Rodbaston
      • A maximum of £660 per academic year
  • Free College Meals

    Available to all students who satisfy the residency criteria and are in receipt of, or have parents, who are in receipt of either:

    • Universal Credit
    • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    • The guaranteed element of the State Pension Credit
    • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Care to Learn

    If you are under the age of 20 Care to Learn could pay up to £160.00 per child per week towards your Childcare and Travel costs while you are learning.

    You will qualify for ‘Care to Learn’ if you can answer ‘yes’ to the following:

    • Are you under 20 years old?
    • Are you caring for your own child or children?
    • Are you a British Citizen or member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and live in England?
    • Is your childcare provision registered with OFSTED?

    Apply online via www.gov.uk/care-to-learn

Financial Support for Learners 19+

  • Advanced Learner Loan

    If you’re aged 19 or over and are thinking about a college course, you might qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. It’s easy to apply for and you won’t have to pay anything back until you’re earning over £25,000 a year.

    What are Advanced Learner Loans?

    Advanced Learner Loans are to help adult learners manage the costs of further education.

    These loans cover tuition fees for a range of Level 3 to Level 6 courses including:

    • A-levels
    • General and vocational qualifications
    • Access to Higher Education diplomas

    How much can I get?

    The amount of tuition fee support you’re eligible for depends on:

    • The course you want to study
    • The fees charged by your college or training provider
    • Maximum limits for your loan, which depend on the type of course

    The minimum loan you can take out is £300. The Student Loans Company pay your loan directly to your college throughout your study.

    Number of loans you can get

    You can apply for up to four loans. There are no restrictions due to your previous level of attainment, but you can only receive one loan for an Access to Higher Education diploma or a programme of A-levels.

    Can I apply for an Advanced Learner Loan?

    Getting a loan doesn’t depend on your income and is not subject to credit checks, but there are certain criteria you must meet to be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan:

    • You must be at an approved college in England
    • You should be aged 19 or older on the first day of your approved course
    • You must currently live in the UK and have been living in the UK three years before starting your course
    • You must be a UK citizen or have a ‘settled status’, this means there are no limits on how long you can stay in the UK
    • You are enrolled on an eligible Level 3 to 6 qualification, ask your college or training provider to find out whether your qualification is eligible
    • You can only apply before or during your course, you cannot apply after you leave or finish the course

    Please note:

    You may also qualify if you aren’t a resident in the UK but are a serving member of the UK Armed Forces or their spouse, civil partner or a dependent parent living with them. Please speak to a member of the Learner Services HUB team.

    How will I pay back the loan?

    You don’t have to pay any of your loan back until you’ve started earning over £25,000 a year.

    If you leave or change course after two weeks or more, you’ll have to pay back any money that was paid to your college.

    You can choose to pay off some or all of your loan at any given time with no extra charge.

    Any outstanding balance is automatically written off 30 years after your scheduled qualification end date.

    Example of repayment amounts

    Payments will depend on the amount you earn over the repayment threshold during any given pay period, not the amount that you’ve borrowed.

    Your pay period depends on when you receive your salary. This could be every week, every four weeks or a calendar month. Payments will stop if you earn below the repayment threshold for that pay period.

    Repayments are set at 9% of your income above the minimum of £25,000 a year, £2,083 a month or £480 a week.

    Interest on your repayments

    You’ll be charged interest at the Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3% while you complete your course and until the following April after leaving your course.

    After that, interest is linked to your earnings.

    So, if you earn:

    • Less than £25,000, the interest is set at the RPI
    • £25,000 to £47,835, the interest is set at RPI + up to 3% on a sliding scale
    • Over £47,835, the interest is set at RPI + 3%.
  • 19+ Bursary Support

    If you are 19 or over you may be eligible for support through the 19+ Bursary Support to help you cover the cost of essential items for your course, e.g. kit, uniforms, travel or childcare.

    Eligibility criteria for 19+ Bursary Support:

    If your income is below £30,000, you may be eligible for up to:

    • 100% of costs for essential equipment
    • 100% of costs for travel to college by public transport or college bus (£660 max) if you live over 2 miles away from your base campus
    • If you travel on a college bus, the college will pay the full cost of your travel
    • 100% of childcare costs up to £225 per week
    • £2.53 per day/£7.53 per week meal allowance if you are on a full time course

    If your income is between £30,001 and £35,000, you may be eligible for up to:

    • 75% of costs for essential equipment
    • 75% of costs for travel to college by public transport or college bus if you live over 2 miles away from your base campus
    • If you travel on a college bus, the college will pay the 75% of your travel costs (£660.00), the remaining 25% will be the responsibility of the applicant (learner)
    • 100% of childcare costs up to £225 per week
    • £2.53 per day/£7.53 per week meal allowance if you are on a full time course
  • Care to Learn

    If you are under the age of 20 Care to Learn could pay up to £160.00 per child per week towards your Childcare and Travel costs while you are learning.

    You will qualify for ‘Care to Learn’ if you can answer ‘yes’ to the following:

    • Are you under 20 years old?
    • Are you caring for your own child or children?
    • Are you a British Citizen or member of the European Economic Area (EEA) and live in England?
    • Is your childcare provision registered with OFSTED?

    Apply online via www.gov.uk/care-to-learn