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Information » Money » Money while you learn » Part-time Study



Part-Time Study

If you are studying part-time, you might be entitled to extra financial support to help you start or continue with your studies.

Financial Contingency Fund

  • Financial Contingency Fund (FCF) is available to part-time or full-time students in higher or further education in Wales who are experiencing financial hardship and, without help, might leave their course
  • Students must have first explored and applied for all alternative sources of funding, including public funding
  • The fund is given by the Welsh Government to your educational institution. You must apply directly to your educational institution
  • If you are successful in applying for FCF, it may be paid to you as a loan, a grant that you don't have to pay back or in the form of a service or equipment, such as childcare or a computer
  • It is not there to aid your lifestyle choices, for example, to help you buy a car, games console or gym membership!
  • There are many other criteria that may also be taken into consideration, which can be found here and on your institution’s website. For example, here are the FAQs for the University of South Wales

Welsh Government Learning Grant

  • A Welsh Government Learning Grant (formerly Assembly Learning Grant) provides extra money for students experiencing financial hardship while studying. It does not have to be repaid
  • It aims to help with the cost of books, travel and equipment while you are in education
  • The maximum amount of support available is £5,161 per year. How much you get will depend on your household income
  • Up to £2,575 of the Welsh Government Learning Grant will be paid in substitution for an element of the Student Loan for Maintenance. This is because part of grant recipients' maintenance needs will be met by the new non-repayable grant
  • To qualify, your combined total taxable annual household income must be £50,020 or less per year
  • If the household income is £18,370 or less, the student will be eligible for the full grant of £5,161. If the total household income is between £18,371 and £50,020, the student will only be eligible for a partial grant
  • It can be quite hard to find information on this grant and it is not to be confused with the Welsh Government Learning Grant for Further Education
  • To apply, contact the Student Finance Wales (LEA)

New Students from 2014/15

Tuition Fee Loan

  • From 2014/2015, all new part-time students will be able to apply for a non-means-tested Tuition Fee Loan to help pay for the tuition fees charged by their higher education institution
  • Students from Wales can apply for up to £2,625 regardless of where they study and students from England can apply for up to £6,750, depending on course intensity
  • To be eligible, your average course intensity must be at least 25% (this means that the part-time course is spread out over four times as long as the full-time equivalent)
  • As this is a loan, it must be repaid. You only make repayments once you have graduated and started earning over £21,000/year
  • To apply, contact your university or college, or download the application form from the Student Finance Wales website from the end of July 2014
  • If you are continuing a course in 2014/15, you might still be eligible for the Part-Time Fee Grant, please see ‘Continuing Students’ below

Help With Course-Related Costs: Course Grant

  • Part-time students living in Wales are eligible for a grant of up to £1,155 for books, travel and other course-related costs. It does not have to be paid back
  • To be eligible, you must be studying at an average course intensity of at least 50%
  • This grant also depends on household income; however, your parents’ income doesn’t matter at all, even if you still live with them!
  • If your household income is below £26,095, you can receive the full £1,155 grant. If it is between £26,095 and £28,180, you can receive £50 or more. Any individual with a household income above £28,181 is not eligible
  • To apply, contact your university or college, or download the application form from the Student Finance Wales website when it’s time to apply - from the end of July 2014
  • Please note: if you already have a UK Honours degree, you can’t usually apply for this help

Other Financial Help

  • You may be able to get extra financial support to help you through your studies if you are disabled or have people dependent on you. Example support include
    • Adult Dependents’ Grant (ADG)
    • Childcare Grant (CCG)
    • Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA)
    • Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)
  • Please see the Student Finance Wales website for further details.

Continuing Students in 2014/15

Tuition Fee Grant

  • Students who started a part-time course before 1st September 2014 (or are continuing a distance learning course that they started before 1st September 2012) might be able to apply for a Fee Grant of up to £1,025
  • A Fee Grant is there to help pay for the tuition fees charged by your higher education institution and does not have to be paid back
  • To be eligible, you must be studying at an average course intensity of at least 50%, just like Course Grants
  • This grant also depends on household income
  • To apply, contact your local authority and ask for an application form, or download an application form from the Student Finance Wales website when it’s time to apply - from the end of July 2014
  • Please note: if you already have a UK Honours degree, you can’t usually apply for this help

Help With Course-Related Costs: Course Grant

  • Part-time students living in Wales are eligible for a grant of up to £1,155 for books, travel and other course-related costs. It does not have to be paid back
  • To be eligible, you must be studying at an average course intensity of at least 50%
  • This grant also depends on household income; however, your parents’ income doesn’t matter at all, even if you still live with them!
  • If your household income is below £26,095, you can receive the full £1,155 grant. If it is between £26,095 and £28,180, you can receive £50 or more. Any individual with a household income above £28,181 is not eligible
  • To apply, contact your local authority and ask for an application form, or download an application form from the Student Finance Wales website when it’s time to apply - from the end of July 2014
  • Please note: if you already have a UK Honours degree, you can’t usually apply for this help

Other Financial Help

  • You may be able to get extra financial help to help you through your studies if you are disabled or have people dependent on you. Example support include
    • Adult Dependents’ Grant (ADG)
    • Childcare Grant (CCG)
    • Parents’ Learning Allowance (PLA)
    • Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)
  • Please see the Student Finance Wales website for further details

  • These loans support people who want to learn to further their career or change careers
  • You can borrow anything between £300 and £10,000 to support your learning
  • The loan comes from high street banks and has a reduced interest rate. The government will even pay the interest while you're learning and you don't repay the loan until you have finished studying
  • Please note: only Barclays and Co-op offer these loans. Other banks may pretend to offer them by saying “no repayments to make while you study”, but this hides the fact that they charge you interest while you study, which Career Development Loans do not
  • The loan can be used to pay for up to 80 per cent of your course fees or 100 per cent of them if you've been out of work for more than three months
  • The loan can also cover course costs, such as books, equipment and travel expenses; and living costs, such as food, fuel and clothes (as long they are not already covered by any other grants or state benefits)
  • Do check with your benefits office before taking out the loan as it can affect the benefits that you can claim
  • To apply, obtain an application form from either Barclays or Co-op. Apply at least three months before your course starts as these applications can take a long time to process
  • More info can be found on the >Careers Wales website, from the two banks or on your university website. For example, Cardiff University’s page, which is very helpful

Open University (OU)

  • If you decide to study with the Open University, there is also financial support available
  • You can have help paying course fees and study expenses, like books and equipment
  • The Tuition Fee Loan can be applied for as normal, as long as your OU module is worth over 30 units and you’re studying for an undergraduate qualification that’s higher than any you already have
  • There is also help for students with disabilities or learning difficulties and for those who get into financial difficulty while studying
  • All the information is on their website. Start here if you’re thinking of studying with the OU in Wales

Other Sources Of Funding

If you cannot access any funding but are worried about the cost of studying, there are free courses run by some colleges or universities. Visit Careers Wales for information on all courses available in Wales or talk to your local Careers Wales centre for information on ones near you. You could also call learndirect on 0800 100 900.

Some people also go on part-time courses paid by their employer as part of their training package or benefits. Talk to your employer about any opportunities that there may be for you.

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