The Access to Learning Fund 2005/06 Application Pack

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1 Student Services The Access to Learning Fund 2005/06 Application Pack PLEASE READ GUIDANCE NOTES BEFORE COMPLETING THE APPLICATION FORM What is it for? The Government gives the University of Brighton money called the Access to Learning Fund every year for us to help students who need extra financial support because they have higher than expected costs. Who can apply? All undergraduate students who are getting support from their LEA or the NHS Grants Unit are eligible to apply. If you are studying part time you must be on a course which is at least half of an equivalent full time course. Overseas and EU students cannot apply to the Access to Learning Fund. Postgraduate students Before postgraduate students can apply to the Access to Learning Fund they need to demonstrate that they have made realistic provision for their tuition fees and living costs. Students should take out the maximum Career Development Loan (CDL) or other Professional Studies Loan that they are eligible for, or provide evidence if they have been unable to obtain such a Loan. Students are expected to apply for at least two Career Development Loans before they can apply to the Access to Learning Fund. For more information regarding CDLs visit: or call: Disabled Students Disabled students, especially those with dyslexia, can apply for help towards the cost of their preliminary diagnostic test prior to applying for a Disabled Students Allowance. Students need to contact the Disability Support Team directly on Intermitting Students If you are not attending your course for health reasons or because of caring responsibilities and you have not permanently withdrawn from your studies, you can apply for help from the Fund. Help with Tuition Fees The Fund cannot help you to pay your tuition fees. If you are studying on a part time undergraduate course you may be able to apply for a part time fee wavier through your LEA. Students studying a taster module of at least 12 credits (10% of a full time course) may be able to get help with fees and other course-related costs through the Access to Learning Fund.

2 When to apply? If you think you might need to apply for help from the Fund, don t wait until you have run out of money. You can apply for help from the Fund between and If your circumstances have changed you will need to reapply, in writing, providing evidence to show your change in circumstances. PRDN and postgraduate students can apply up until How to apply? FULLY completed application forms should be returned to an Assessor by post in the envelope provided. Students may be required to provide additional information or evidence in order to substantiate their claim of exceptional circumstances. All correspondence will be via the university ONLY. Students are expected to set up a university account or arrange to have their university mail forwarded to their personal accounts. For information on how to set up forwarding address for your university visit: /doc pdf If students wish to apply to the fund for a second time they must show a significant change in circumstances from their original application. N.B. The Summer Hardship Fund which opens in July is for students who are unable to work or receive any other source of funding for all or part of the summer period. How is the Access to Learning Fund assessed? The assessment formula is set by the Government nationally. When assessing the Access to Learning Fund we will look at your expected income and what the Government considers to be reasonable expenditure on living costs, rent, travel and course-related costs (including childcare). If you are facing a financial emergency, or there are special circumstances attached to your application, we will look at this on an individual basis. The assessment process for standard and non-standard awards is designed to identify students who have particular financial needs and those who are in unexpected financial difficulty. The Government expects the following of groups students to receive priority: Students with children (especially lone parents) Mature students Disabled students Care leavers Students from Foyers or who are homeless Final year students How long will it take before I hear about the result of my application? Completed applications received by 12pm on a Wednesday will be assessed the following week. If an award is made the payment should reach your account within 14 days of a decision being made. All complete applications will be dealt with within 28 days. PLEASE NOTE: incomplete applications will take longer than 28 days. Please ensure you have included all the documentation requested.

3 What do I do if I am unhappy with the outcome of my application? Any applicant who believes the decision made on their application is incorrect may appeal against the decision. Appeals must be made in writing or by within 14 days of the applicant being notified of the decision. Appeal letters should be sent to: Access to Learning Fund Appeal, University of Brighton, Student Services (Welfare), Tithe Barn, Moulsecoomb Place, BN2 4GA, or the address below. Advice on appealing against a decision is available at the following web address: Please note: the decision of the Appeals Panel will be final. Students wishing to complain about a decision after an appeal may do so in writing to: The Head of Student Services, Manor House, Moulsecoomb Place, Brighton, BN2 4GA. How to complete the application form Please read the following guidance notes on how to complete the application form. Answer all questions on the application form by printing clearly and by ticking the appropriate boxes. Part 1: Personal Details Complete personal details, including your term time address and university . Please note: all correspondence will be made via your university ONLY. (see How to apply on page 2 for details). Part 2: Bank Details Please complete this section in order to receive any payment directly into your bank account. Please provide 8 weeks of your most recent Bank statements/ledger prints for all your accounts. Any credit/debit over 100 will need a note beside it to explain what this was for. Part 3: Declaration Please read, sign and date your application form. Part 4: Accommodation Details Please provide a copy of your tenancy agreement or other evidence of your housing costs. Part 5: Your Dependants Please provide a copy of your Child Benefit book or evidence of adult care (such as confirmation from the Department of Work and Pensions). Part 6: Income/Expenditure Complete both income and expenditure sections. Please include all expenditure that you (and your partner/children if living with you) have on a weekly basis. It is important that you fill in these sections as accurately as possible. Please note that the figures you present should be your budget per week. You should divide any Student Loan or grants by 52. If you pay bills on a quarterly basis you should multiply these by 4 and divide by 52. If you pay your rent every calendar month you should multiply the amount by 12 and divide by 52. Parental Income Please state the actual amount your parents give you (if any), even if this is different from the amount your LEA specifies they should. Travel Costs If you spend more than 14 per week on travel you will need to provide evidence of the cost and explain why these costs are high.

4 Maintenance Grants If you receive any of the following please include this in the box labeled maintenance grant and specify which one you receive: Higher Education Grant, Opportunity Bursary (continuing students only), Welsh Assembly Learning Grant, Young Persons Bursary from Scotland, Mature Student Bursary from Scotland, NHS Social Work Bursary, Secondary Subject Shortage Scheme (SSSS) funding, Teacher Training Agency Bursary (training salary). Student Loan Please put in the maximum loan you receive. Please note: you must have take out the full student loan to which you are entitled before receiving help from the Access to Learning Fund. Scholarships/Trusts/Grants If you are a Postgraduate student in receipt of a research grant please include any funding under this heading. If you live with a partner/spouse If you have a partner who is living with you please indicate any income they receive as net. Place in the expenditure column all applicable household expenditure you and your partner have. If you have children, the expenditure should also include costs related to them. If you or your partner are in receipt of benefits, we will not take into account any non-means tested benefits which are for particular circumstances e.g. Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance etc. Supporting Statement Please provide a supporting statement succinctly explaining the reason(s) for applying to the Access to Learning Fund and what you would like assistance with. Details of information required On the following page of the application pack is a list of documents you will need to submit with your completed application form. If any applicable evidence is missing, no assessment will be made. In addition to this, you may also need to send in further evidence specific to your situation. We cannot accept original documents; therefore you are asked to supply legible photocopies. In certain circumstances you may be contacted separately by an Assessor and asked to supply relevant original documents. If you do not have any of the documentation requested it is your responsibility to obtain replacements. If you need a replacement enrolment/library card you will need to contact the Student Office at the Cockcroft site. If you need another copy of your Student Notification letter from your LEA you will need to contact your LEA directly or contact Student Support Direct on or visit If you need a copy of your Student Loan Company Payment Schedule you will need to contact the Student Loan Company on If you need a copy of your Tax Credit notification letter you need to contact the Inland Revenue on or visit Important note: Your application will not be considered until it is fully completed and all the necessary documentary evidence has been received. Applications that do not have all the necessary supporting documents are incomplete and will not be processed. If we need to contact you to request further information, the assessment of your application will be delayed.

5 PLEASE CONFIRM YOU HAVE SUPPLIED THE FOLLOWING PHOTOCOPIED EVIDENCE ALL students must provide a copy of each of the following: a photocopy of your enrolment/library card; Support Notification letter from your LEA or NHS Grants Unit (Undergraduate Students only) Please see overleaf for an example (PLEASE NOTE: you must send a copy of both sides of your Support Notification letter); SLC Payment Schedule (Full-time Undergraduate Students only) Please see overleaf for an example; 8 weeks of the most recent bank statements or ledger prints for all your accounts. If the statements supplied do not show your Student Loan and other regular income, please provide ones that do; tenancy agreement, or other evidence of your housing costs; and a covering letter that fully explains your current circumstances and reasons for applying. Students with dependants in addition to the evidence requested above will need to provide: evidence of childcare costs; evidence of Child/Working Tax Credit; and a photocopy of your Child Benefit or DWP letter. Students who live with their partner need to provide: evidence of your partner s income (including any benefits they receive). Postgraduate students need to provide: evidence of sponsorship or other funding; and evidence of Career Development Loan applications (Please see the Guidance leaflet for details). NHS students need to provide: NHS Bursary Award Notification letter; SLC Payment Schedule (if you are in receipt of means tested bursary). PGCE students need to provide: details of Training Salary and/or Secondary Shortage Subject Scheme award letter. Where applicable: Please provide any other evidence which supports your claim, for example: a medical certificate or letter from your Doctor; a copy of your Council Tax bill (if you are expected to pay Council Tax); evidence of any benefit you or your partner receive; or any other evidence which supports your claim. Please return your application form along with your supporting evidence to: UoB Box ALF, University of Brighton, Manor House, Mouscoombe Place, Lewes Rd, Brighton, BN2 4GA. PLEASE ENSURE YOU WEIGH THE ENVELOPE BEFORE YOU RETURN IT. IF YOU HAVE NOT PUT ON THE CORRECT POSTAGE WE WILL NOT RECEIVE YOUR APPLICATION.

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7 Please ensure you have read the guidance notes before you complete the application form. Once you have completed the form please detach and return, along with ALL the necessary documentation, in the envelope provided. Student Number: Part 1: Personal Details Surname:... Forename(s):... Address: Postcode: DOB: Phone number: Course:... Site of study (and building):... School:... Level of study: UG PG Year of study: Other Is this your Final Year? Yes No Are you: Full Time? Part Time? Part 2: Bank Details ALF awards are credited direct to your Bank / Building Society account. Please provide details of the account you would like any payment to be credited to. Name of Bank... Name of Account Holder... Bank Sort Code (6 numbers): Bank Account Number (8 numbers): Roll Number (if applicable): Part 3: Declaration There are no restrictions on my stay and I am therefore settled within the United Kingdom (UK) I declare that the information that I have given on this form is correct and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that giving false information will automatically disqualify my application and may also lead to disciplinary procedures resulting in possible expulsion from the university. I further undertake to repay any grants obtained by me as a result. SIGNED... DATE... CONFIDENTIALITY Applications are seen only by Student Services staff. However, it may be necessary for additional supporting information to be sought from other university staff in order to reach a decision.

8 Details Do you live alone? with your partner or spouse? Part 4: Accommodation in shared accommodation? with your parents or guardian? How many other adults live at this address?... Please provide a copy of your tenancy agreement or other evidence of your housing costs. Part 5: Your Dependants Do you have any children or adults who are financially dependent on you? Yes No If YES, Give details (names/date of birth). Children Are you applying to ALF for assistance with Childcare costs? Yes No Adults (If you need to, continue on a separate sheet and attach it to this form.) To be completed by ALL Students: Part 6: Income/Expenditure WEEKLY EXPENDITURE WEEKLY INCOME Rent / Mortgage Student Loan Council Tax *if applicable Childcare Grant Electricity Adult Dependants Grant Gas Maintenance Grant Food/Household/Laundry Parents Learning Allowance Telephone Sponsorship/CDL Water Child Benefit Travel costs Child Tax Credit Books/equipment/course costs Working Tax Credit Childcare costs Housing Benefit/LHA/Council Tax Benefit Entertainment/Clothing Disability Benefit Fees JSA TV licence Other benefits (please specify) Household Insurance Earnings Other (please specify) Partners Income (Net) Exceptional Parental contribution TOTAL TOTAL OFFICE USE ONLY Received date... Award date... AWARD Standard... Non-Standard...

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