East Berkshire College offers a range of help with managing your money while you study and runs a number of financial support schemes for students from low-income households. Some students will be eligible for reduced course fees on some courses, including those aged 16-18 and those in receipt of some benefits.
Guaranteed Bursaries of £1,200 per annum are available to young people in or leaving care, or in receipt of particular benefits.
If you are aged 16-18, but do not qualify for the guaranteed bursary, you may be eligible for a standard bursary, providing your household income is below £25,000 per annum. This could entitle you to a contribution towards your monthly transport costs and your essential course materials.
If you’re aged 16-19 and need help with childcare costs, call the Department for Education & Skills’ Care to Learn team on 0800 121 8989 or go to www.gov.uk/care-to-learn.
The College offers Reduced Fare Cards for both the train and the bus. Students aged 16-18 (on the 31 August 2016) can purchase each card for just £25 per term. The Reduced Fare Card for buses will entitle you to pay the child fare on First Bus routes, (including the Green Line London coach service). The Reduced Fare Card for trains also offers the child fare on certain Greater Western train routes. Either a Train or Bus Reduced Fare Card may be provided free of charge to those receiving a bursary providing this is the most cost effective way to support your transport costs.
Aged 19 or over?
If you are:
- Aged 19-23 and studying at level 2 or below, or for your first level 3 qualification
- Aged 24+ studying at level 2 or below
You can apply for help with the costs of travel and essential materials if your household income is below £25,000 per annum.
You may also be able to access funding for childcare costs if you are aged 20+ and have a household income below £21,000 per annum.
Advanced Learner Bursary
If you hold an approved Advanced Learner Loan (see below) you may be eligible for a small contribution towards your college costs, including childcare. You will qualify if your household income is below £21,000 per annum.
Advanced Learner Loans
As an adult student, you may be thinking about applying for a loan to cover your tuition costs. An Advanced Learner Loan can help cover the costs of studying for a level 3 qualification or above. This loan can cover all of the upfront fees for your course and will be paid directly to the College on your behalf. Advanced Learner Loans are not means tested or credit checked, so most people will be able to access them. You will only start to repay the loan once you finish, or leave, the course and are earning more than £21,000 per year, when you will pay 9% of your income above £21,000. For more details visit our Advanced Learner Loan page.
The Advanced Learner Loan cannot be used for HNDs, HNCs or Foundation Degrees. For these courses you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan (see below).
Please note that loans are provided by the Student Loans Company. If you decide to apply for and use a loan to pay your fees, you must ensure you have an approved loan in place prior to the start of your course. You can find out more about using a loan and apply online at www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan.
Tuition Fee Loans
Students can apply for Tuition Fee Loans to cover the cost of tuition fees for HNCs, HNDs or Foundation Degrees. The Tuition Fee Loan is not means tested and there is no upper age limit for applying. Repayments only start when you complete or leave the course and are earning over £21,000 per year.
Please note that loans are provided by the Student Loans Company. If you decide to apply for and use a loan to pay your fees, you must ensure you have an approved loan in place prior to the start of your course. You can find out more about using a loan and apply online at www.gov.uk/student-finance.
College Fee Support Scheme
If you are not eligible for reduced course fees, you could still receive help with a percentage of your tuition costs. The College has its own fund that can offer a contribution towards your tuition and exam fees, with the remainder payable by you. You then have the option to pay the balance up front or in instalments.
You may be entitled to this help if you are in receipt of benefits or you have a low income (under £15,000 per annum).
Berkshire Credit Union
The College has established a partnership with Berkshire Credit Union, which will enable students to access small and affordable short term loans for help with course fees.
Professional and Career Development Loans
You may be able to receive a Professional and Career Development Loan to help you pay for learning which enhances your job skills or career prospects. For information on Professional and Career Development Loans visit www.gov.uk/career-development-loans/overview.
Our Student Finance team, based in Student Services, can advise you on your eligibility for financial support and can also help you to plan your budget. Drop in and see us Monday – Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm at Langley or Windsor or call us on 01753 793368. If you need to speak with a Student Finance Officer in the evening, let us know and we’ll arrange an appointment for you.
*Please note that financial support arrangements may change for each academic year. The information on this webpage and the documents it links to applies to the current 2016/17 academic year.