Fees and Financial Support Guidelines
The Government has changed the way if funds FE Colleges. This means that while some learners will be able to study for free, others may need to pay. The Government has introduced learning loans to help learners who need to pay course fees.
FREE courses for full Level 2 Learners
The good news is that most Level 2 learners who are unemployed, currently seeking work and on benefits are eligible for fee discounts and in many cases FREE courses. In addition, if you are aged between 19 and 23 years old and do not already have a full Level 2, you will not have to pay course fees.
Learning Loans for Level 3 Learners
Are you aged 19 - 23
If you are studying for your first full Level 3 qualification and aged between 19 and 23 you do not have to pay course fees.
Are you aged 24+
Access to HE Courses
If you take out a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan to pay for your Access Course and then successfully progress and complete your degree course, the loan taken out for your Access Course will be written off.
If you are going straight to a Level 4 qualification without holding a full Level 3 and you are aged 19 - 23 years old, your course may be FREE. Please make enquiries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is included in course fees?
A: Currently, there are generally three elements to course fees which must be paid:
· Tuition fees
· Equipment/materials fees
· Examination fees
However, check what your 24+ Loan will cover.
Q: What does fee remission mean?
A: Fee remission is a process that assesses your eligibility to be released from paying fees or parts of your fees. In each case you need to provide evidence that you are eligible under certain criteria, such as, receiving certain benefits and relevant immigration status.
Q: Who is eligible for fee remission?
A: Here are the categories for fee remission. You just have to satisfy one of these below:
· If you are under 19 on 31 August 2013, tuition is free; exam and material costs are free; you pay for any equipment and books that you keep.
· If you are 19 or over on 31 August 2013 and you are unemployed, currently seeking work and on benefits (this can include a partner where the claim is joint), your Level 2 tuition is likely to be free. For some courses, you may pay an exam fee and materials fees.
· For 19-23 year old learners studying their first full Level 2 or Level 3 qualifications and who are unemployed, currently seeking work and on benefits, tuition is likely to be free. For some courses, you may pay an exam fee and materials fees.
· For learners taking basic courses in English and maths, tuition and exam fees are FREE.
· Full cost courses: There are some courses without any government funding, where learners pay the full cost of the course and there are no concessions.
· Higher education courses: Different rules apply to higher Education courses (Level 4 and above). You are advised to seek advice from your tutor.
Q: What can I do if I am not eligible for fee remission?
A: To help you budget more easily, your course fees can be paid over eight instalments.
Q: Is there any other financial support available?
A: The College has a Learner Support Fund. You will be directed to see advisors as appropriate during enrolment. The criteria include household/personal income and immigration status. There are different financial arrangements for higher education courses funded by HEFCE. See the Student Loans Company SLC website for details.
Q: What documents do I need to show to bring to enrolment?
A: You need to show proof (dated within three months) to show that you are receiving the relevant benefits e.g. a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). You will need your passport to show your nationality, and other immigration documents if you were born outside EU e.g. a letter from the UK Border Agency.
Q: My course is two years long; do I need to apply for fee remission each year?
A: You do not need to apply for fee remission, but you do need to enrol onto your second year.
Q: What happens if I withdraw from my course, do I still have to pay my course fees?
A: You are responsible at all times for the payment of your fees. If you choose to withdraw from your course the balance of fees has to be paid.
Q: What is a full cost course and do I have to pay fees?
A: There are some courses without any government funding, where learners pay the full cost of the course and there are no concessions.
Q: Do I have to pay all fees charged at the beginning of my course?
A: The College offers an instalment plan to help you budget with the cost of paying your fees.
* If you are unemployed and on job seeking benefits you may be entitled to free tuition at the College. Examples of job seeking benefits are listed below, others may be taken into consideration if you are choosing a course to enhance your employment prospects:
· Income Support
· Employment and Support Allowance
· Job Seekers Allowance