Financing your studies

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1 Financing your studies Deciding whether or not study will be financially viable is often one of the biggest decisions prospective students need to make. The information below is separated into sections dependant on whether you are: A young student A mature student A student on an Allied Health Professions or nursing course, regardless of age Remember, however, that support is based on individual circumstances and will also vary depending on what type of degree course you plan to study, whether you have received financial support for previous HNC/D or degree level study, and whether you wish to study full-time or part-time Remember that this information is subject to change and is intended as a guide only always contact your funding body for the most up-to-date information. The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is responsible for giving full-time Scottish students and prospective students advice and information about their entitlement to financial support and also for processing and assessing their claims. Their website is Tuition Fees There are no up-front tuition fees payable by Scottish students, entering their first, full-time higher education course in Scotland. Students must however apply to SAAS to have their fees paid for them on their behalf. Financial Support Young Scottish students For the purposes of living cost support, you are regarded as a Young Scottish student if you are aged under 25 before the first day of the first academic year of your course unless you are married, in a civil partnership, or living with a partner or have been self-supporting from earnings or benefits outside full-time education for any three years before the first day of the first academic year of your course. For a full definition of eligibility, please see Young Students Bursary (YSB) If you are a young Scottish student, entering a fulltime higher education course in Scotland, you may be entitled to a YSB payable by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). Please note that for students studying degrees in Nursing and the Allied Health Profession there are separate Bursaries available (see below) and these students are therefore not able to apply for the YSB. In 2008, the maximum amount available via the YSB was 2575 per annum. The amount you receive is dependent on your household income. If your household income is less than 18,820pa you will receive the full bursary, whilst those whose household income exceeds 33,330 will not receive the YSB. See Table below for a summary of the level of support you may be entitled to. Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland pay a flat-rate, non-variable and non-means-tested tuition fee ( 1775 in 2008) typically for each year of their course. The fee level does not vary between institutions or courses, with the exception of medicine where a fee rate in 2008 of 2,825 per year is payable. Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have access to a fee loan to cover this cost, which is repayable in the same way as a traditional student loan For further information on Tuition Fees is available from the University and your funding body. 14

2 All students, regardless of their status, who are or were under 25 on the first day of the first academic year of their course, who have a child that is dependent on them, can apply for the YSB. If you are single and are eligible to receive the YSB and get married, enter a civil partnership agreement or move in with a partner during your course, you will continue to be eligible to receive the YSB. From the academic year following the date of your marriage, civil partnership agreement or when you move in with someone, the amount of YSB you receive will depend on your husband's, wife's, civil partner's or partner's income rather than your parents', step parents's or parent's partner's income. If you turn 25 during your course and you are single, you will receive the maximum YSB from the following academic year as long as you do not have a break in study of one year or more. If you have received support from UK public funds for a course of higher education before or you have to repeat a year of your course, you may not be eligible for the bursary. Contact SAAS for more details. Student Loan Low interest student loans are available for help with living costs. In 2008, the minimum student loan per year for a student studying in Scotland, but living away from home is 870 and for a student living at their family home it is 575. An additional loan of up to 575 may be available if parental income is less than 20,695. Any payment you receive from the Young Students Bursary will reduce the amount you are able to obtain from the student loan. Repayments on the Student Loan start in the April of the year after the course has been finished, but only if your income is above a certain amount currently 15,000 a year. The mandatory repayment amount is 9% of your income above 15,000pa with payment being made alongside your National Insurance payments. Therefore, if after graduation you are earning 20,000pa, you would be expected to repay per month to your student loan regardless of how much or little you have borrowed. Additional Student Loan As well as the main student loan (See above), if you are eligible to receive the YSB, you may also be eligible for an Additional Loan. SAAS will pay the highest amount of 590 for a household income of 17,835 or less a year, which will go down to zero for a household income over 21,210 a year. SAAS do not reduce this part of the loan by any parents' or husband's, wife's, civil partner's or partner's contribution. Financial Support for Mature Scottish students If you meet the definition of a 'mature' student at the start of your course you can apply for a partly income-assessed student loan as well as nonrepayable supplementary grants. You may also be eligible to apply to the Childcare Fund. Although a mature student is generally considered to be anyone aged 21 and over, for funding purposes SAAS classify mature students as those aged 25 and over. Under SAAS's definition a mature student is one who: is 25 or over on the first day of the first academic year of the course, or is married or has entered a civil partnership agreement, by the first day of the first academic year of the course, or has been self-supporting, out of earnings or benefits, for any 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of the course. The main support available is the student loan. The amount available depends on your own and, your husband s, wife s, civil partner or partner s income. At the time of publication (September 2008) the maximum loan available for a 30 week course is 4,400. There is also a minimum loan available of 870 which is not income-assessed. You will only have to repay your loan after you have finished or left your course. You may also apply for income-assessed, nonrepayable supplementary grants, such as Dependants' Grant, Lone Parents' Grant and Travelling Expenses. You may also apply for the non income-assessed Disabled Students' Allowance, if eligible. 15

3 What are Supplementary Grants? These are other types of extra support you can claim, depending on your personal circumstances. These are grants - not loans - so you won't normally have to repay them unless you drop out of your course. My husband/wife doesn't work, can I get any extra help? You may claim the Dependants' Grant for your husband or wife or for a civil partner if you have entered into a civil partnership agreement. This grant is income-assessed and can pay up to 2,510 a year. I have children, can I get any extra help? If you are responsible for at least one child, you can claim Child Tax Credit, whether or not you are in paid work. The Child Tax Credit also covers free school meals. You can visit the Inland Revenue website at or call them on to find out if you are eligible. I am a lone parent, can I get any extra help? If you are bringing up children on your own, then you will be eligible for the Lone Parents' Grant. If you have a least one dependent child, extra support is available either as a grant of 1,240 or through SAAS giving you more allowances against your income. You may also be entitled to the Lone Parents' Childcare Grant if you pay for registered or formal childcare (up to 1,155 extra a year, depending on your childcare costs). See also info. on Childcare Fund. I have a disability, can I get any extra help? Yes. You may be eligible to claim for the Disabled Students' Allowance for certain extra expenses that arise because you are on a course. This allowance is not income-assessed. You will need to fill in an additional application form. Depending on the nature of your disability you may be referred to a local assessment centre for advice on the equipment you may need. This can take time so it is important that you apply as early as possible. If you have a disability or health concerns please contact our Disability Adviser on You can get in touch at any stage - pre or post application. See Page 10 for further details of our Disability Service. in Audiology (normally Year 3). In the initial and final years of the course you will be entitled to the standard funding of fees and income-assessed loan. Funding for Allied Health Professions (AHP's) The following courses are classed as AHP's: Podiatry Physiotherapy Occupational Therapy Radiography Dietetics Speech and Language Therapy Support for students on these AHP courses is made up of free tuition fees, an annual income-assessed Scottish Executive Health Department (SEHD) Bursary, up to 2,335 (which if awarded, doesn't need to be paid back), and a non income-assessed student loan, 2,155 in 2007 (which does have to be paid back after graduation). Extra support is available for those with adult dependants and lone parents (see previous section for supplementary grants information). Students on AHP courses can apply to QMU for extra support through the Discretionary Fund but they are not entitled to support from the Childcare Fund. Funding for Nursing Students Those planning to study a degree course in nursing will receive support under the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary Scheme. This entitles you to a non-means tested bursary for each year of your course. This is a bursary rather than a loan and does not need to be paid back on completion of your course. Audiology Students NHS Scotland National Education Services (NES) and the Scottish Government Health Directorate introduced a new 6000 bursary in for students on the placement year of a degree course Students who began their course on 1 August 2007 or later Graduates who have been accepted for a two year training course Years 1-3 Year 4 6,255 4, ,691 16

4 If you are taking the four-year honours degree course (such as that available at QMU) and you are eligible for the bursary, you will get the full bursary rate in years 1 to 3 and a 75% bursary for year 4. Additional financial support is also available for those who have dependants. Because of the relatively high level of bursary support available, nursing students are not entitled to any additional support through the Childcare Fund or Discretionary Fund. Additional Discretionary Funds managed directly by QMU I have already been on a course. Will I still be eligible for assistance? This is likely to effect your entitlement to further support, although as with the information outlined above it depends on what course you now want to do and how much previous support you received. If you already hold a degree level qualification, you may not get any help towards your fees. However, there are some exceptions. If you now want to study nursing and you have previously received public funds for courses of further or higher education, you can still receive the full support package available under the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (NMSB) scheme as above. If you now want to study an AHP and you have previously received public funds for a course of higher education, you may receive free tuition fees, an income-assessed Scottish Government Health Department bursary and a student loan for the first two years. SAAS will restrict the funding for any other years of study to the non income-assessed loan only. Are you a parent? You may also be able to benefit from the Childcare Fund, particularly if you are a lone parent or mature student with children. This fund is managed by QMU and is available to help you to meet the costs of formal/registered childcare. Usually students only apply once they have started their course and are matriculated. However it is sometimes possible for students with children (especially lone parents) to complete their application form before the start of their first semester in order that their case can be considered by a committee just prior to the semester commencing. Are you in financial difficulty? Students who find themselves in financial difficulty can apply for help through the Discretionary Fund administered by QMU. Eligibility criteria include having exhausted all other available sources of income, financial hardship and unexpected exceptional circumstances. Priority is given to students with disabilities, lone parents, mature students and families on low income. Further details are available from Student Services. 17 If you have completed an HNC, you may get assistance to take an HND or degree level course. If you have completed an HND, you may get support from the second year of a degree level course. Previous study does not effect your entitlement to a student loan or to appropriate supplementary grants. If you think your previous study and financial support could effect your entitlement to further support please contact our Finance Adviser or SAAS. Over 50? To qualify for a student loan, you must normally be under 50 when you start your course. You may also qualify if you are aged 50 to 54 and you intend to take up employment when you finish your course. Those aged and not intending to work and those over 55 are not eligible for a student loan. However, you can still apply for supplementary grants. All students studying at Higher Education level for the first time are entitled to apply for tuition fees to be paid (including those aged 50+).

5 Part-time Students The funding system is different for part time students and you should contact QMU and ILA Scotland (rather than SAAS) to discuss what you may be eligible for. Part time students will also be eligible to apply for discretionary funds and childcare funds (see above). Fee waiver scheme If you are in receipt of benefits it is likely that you will be entitled to have your part-time fees paid for under the fee-waiver scheme, designed primarily to assist students from low income backgrounds, or who were previously unemployed, to participate in higher education. You will be eligible if you are studying on a part-time basis for a degree and meet at least one of the following conditions: Your family is in receipt of income support, or working tax credit, or housing benefit; You are in receipt of Severe Disablement Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Incapacity Benefit; You are a registered job seeker, and have been so for a continuous period of no less than six weeks prior to the date of application; Your family's sole income is Department of Work and Pensions' benefits; and its net income is lower than the threshold for receiving support. If you think that you may be eligible for a tuition fee waiver, please discuss your individual circumstances with Bill Stronach, Student Finance Adviser, Student Services on Support for part time students who are not eligible for fee waiver If you are over 18 and living in Scotland you will soon be able to apply for up to 500 fee grant. To get this fee grant your income must be less than 18,000 a year or less and you must be studying for at least 50% of the time needed to complete a full-time higher education qualification. The fee grant will be paid directly to your university and will reduce the amount of fees that you have to pay. The total cost will vary depending on the number of modules you choose to study. Application forms for the new scheme will be available in June 2008, through the existing ILA Scotland helpline on Those studying less than 50% of a full-time degree, for example those choosing to do one module, cannot apply for this fee grant, however they may be eligible for other support through the ILA scheme, see for more information. How and when do I apply for financial support? All full-time Scottish students who have applied for a place on a QMU university degree course should apply to SAAS for funding. Funding application forms (paper or on-line version) are usually available from late March onwards in the year you intend to commence your studies. You don't need to wait until you have an unconditional offer before applying. Prospective full-time students who would like further funding information should contact SAAS via their website or call them on Part-time students should contact QMU in the first instance to discuss what financial support they are entitled to and how and when to apply. Our Student Finance Adviser, Bill Stronach, will be happy to assist you and can be contacted on or Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland. Students from outwith Scotland should contact the following funding bodies to find out what support they will be entitled to: England: Wales: Northern Ireland: Students from outwith the UK should refer to the SAAS website for information regarding eligibility for funding: 18

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