Undergraduate Full-time Finance Information 2016

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1 Undergraduate Full-time Finance Information

2 You ll probably already know that there are lots of benefits of going to university - you ll meet new people, develop new ideas, and get the skills and knowledge that will make you attractive to employers. On average, graduates earn a lot more than non-graduates, start on higher salaries, are more likely to get promotions and are less likely to be unemployed during their working life. You will also know that being a student generally means making the most of limited resources and careful budgeting. There is lots of help to support you with the cost of studying, and this booklet will explain what is available. It is important to note some of the bursaries available through our partner universities have a deadline, so it is essential you complete your application to Student Finance early. You should also ensure your application has been fully processed and that you have confirmation of the grants / loans you may be eligible for before starting at university. You do not have to wait until your place is confirmed to apply for your funding, you can change details later; the important thing is that you submit your application. If you do not hear back in writing after submitting your application you should contact Student Finance on their helpline number What does a degree cost? It is important to work out a budget and try to stick to it so that you know exactly where you are with your money. There are basic costs for all courses, such as tuition fees, books, stationery and photocopying. Some courses incur other costs, for example: Field trips Materials fees DBS check Specialist equipment. Accommodation costs If you are moving away from home this will be your biggest single expense. Weston College student accommodation prices vary between per week (2015/16) figures, depending on the type of room you choose. This includes all bills for heating, lighting, hot water and Internet access, but not for food (all of our student accommodation is selfcatering). Private rented accommodation generally works out at a similar cost. Although rent may be slightly cheaper, bills are usually not included and you may have to pay agency fees. You generally have to pay at least one month s rent as a deposit and some landlords may ask for a fee or half of the rent through August in order to retain the property until you move in. If you plan to use a television in your room (or watch TV online) you will need your own TV licence. In our halls of residence we provide a TV with a licence in all communal areas. Households made up exclusively of students do not pay Council Tax, but you will need to obtain an exemption certificate. Be aware that if you live with other adults who are working you may need to contribute to the Council Tax.

3 What support is available to me? Tuition Fee Loan You don t need to pay your tuition fees in advance (unless you want to) you can take out a Tuition Fee Loan to cover the cost of your fees. These are available to all students regardless of their household income. The funds are paid directly to your university. Maintenance Loans You can also take out a student loan to contribute to your living costs (accommodation, food, books and general living expenses). This is known as a Maintenance Loan. For new starters in 2016/17 and beyond, the government have stopped paying the non-repayable Maintenance Grant to students and instead increased the amount of Maintenance Loan Available. The maximum rate of Maintenance Loan will be 8,200 for students not living with their parents whilst studying (the elsewhere rate), or 6,904 for students who continue to live with their parents whilst studying (the Parental Home rate). Your entitlement for this loan will be calculated by Student Finance. A minimum amount of Loan is paid if your household income is above the threshold shown below. The Maintenance Loan is paid to you by the Student Loans Company in three instalments per year, at the start of each term, direct into your bank account. Household Income Your parents income (including that of your natural parent s spouse/partner with who you live) is assessed unless you qualify for Independent Status. You can be classed as independent from parents, and therefore their income is not counted, if you meet one of the following conditions: you are 25 or over at the start of the academic year; or you have been married before the start of the academic year; or you have supported yourself for at least 3 years before the start of your course (you will need to show evidence of earnings / welfare benefits); or you have no living parents; or you are responsible for a child/children; or you are irreconcilably estranged from your parents. If you are married, or you are aged 25 or over and living with a partner, then your spouse/partner s income is taken into account in assessing your entitlement to Maintenance Loan. Repaying your loans You won t start repaying your loans until you ve finished university and are earning over 21,000. The Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan are combined into a single outstanding balance / repayment. The amount you repay depends on your income. You will repay 9% of your income above 21,000 - so, for example, if your annual income is 25,000 you will repay approximately 30 per month. Remember, as this is a loan, there is interest added to the amount you borrow. The amount of interest attached to the student loan balance relates to how much you earn. For more information visit Your repayments explained Disabled Students Allowances (DSAs) DSAs are grants to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, ongoing health problem, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty, for example dyslexia. This can be in terms of specialist equipment or additional support you may need. Other Funding for Parents/Carers If you have children or other dependents, you may be entitled to: Parents Learning Allowance: up to 1,573 a year, dependent on household income Childcare Grant: up to a week for one child in approved childcare, or up to a week for two children Adult Dependents Grant: students who have an adult who depends financially on them (other than their adult children), may be entitled to this grant worth up to 2,757. How do I apply? Once you ve applied to the universities of your choice you can apply for student funding; you don t need to wait until your university place is confirmed. You apply for all loans and grants through Student Finance on one application form at: Make sure that you submit your application before the deadline. Some of the bursaries available through our partner universities have a cut off date so it is essential you complete your application to Student Finance early and that you ensure it is fully processed and you have confirmation of the grants / loans you are going to receive before you start at university. What other costs will there be - and any tips on budgeting? Cooking your own meals is a lot cheaper and often healthier than relying on takeaways. Try to do a weekly shop to cover your food needs, and stick to a list when you shop. Buying in bulk and sticking to supermarket own brands can also save you money and generally you won t be able to tell the difference. Look out for the best deals when you are food and clothes shopping. Don t forget students can get a range of discounts in many different shops using their NUS Extra card. You can purchase an NUS card online at To help you get to College we offer our full-time students a substantial discount on bus travel. The 70 per term bus pass (2015/16 cost) can be used on any local First Bus and Crosville routes anytime Monday to Friday during term-time. Running a car is an expensive alternative which you should only consider if you have to travel from a long distance, or if you have childcare or other responsibilities which make a car essential. There is no parking at Knightstone Campus and only limited parking at University Campus. Some of our student properties have limited parking, or no parking at all. You should also budget for your journeys home and to see friends for weekends and holidays. Consider buying a Student/ Young Person s Railcard, investigate cheaper bus/coach options and book as far in advance as possible to reduce the cost. Buying separate tickets for different parts of your journey could also save you money, even if you are on the same train. Income 25,000 Elsewhere rate of loan 8,200 (maximum) Parental Home rate of loan 6,904 (maximum) 35,000 7,023 5,740 45,000 5,845 4,576 55,000 4,667 3,412 62,180+ 3,821 (minimum) 3,039 (minimum) Income each year before tax Monthly salary Approximate monthly repayment 21,000 1, ,000 2, ,000 2, ,000 2, ,000 2, ,000 3, ,000 3, We recommend that you save some money before you start with us, as your funding will not be paid into your bank straight away. Your first instalment can also be delayed if there are any problems with your application or registration. If you are facing financial difficulties, act quickly to get help and advice. HE Student Support (known as HEART) can provide support; contact us on or don t ignore financial problems.

4 Are there other sources of funding? Do you offer any scholarships? Federation of Schools Scholarship One student from each college or sixth form in the local area will be awarded a 250 scholarship (paid in two instalments) during their first year of study. Students will need a reference from their school / college to support their application. Part-time work Most students need to supplement their income with a part-time job. If you are working for a national company they may be able to transfer you to a local branch during term-time whilst still being able to work in your home branch during the holidays. There are a range of part-time opportunities available locally and we post all details of jobs we receive on the HE at Weston College Facebook site You need to be sure that any part-time work you commit to does not interfere with, or jeopardise, your studies. It is recommended that you do not work more than 15 hours a week. Some of our courses involve out of hours rehearsals and performances so weekend work may be best. Student Bank Accounts Banks and building societies offer student accounts. This usually means that you will be entitled to free banking and an interest free overdraft to a prescribed limit individual banks set their own limits. Banks will be keen to entice you to open an account with them because of your long-term earning potential, and will often offer all sorts of incentives. We recommend that you shop around and see beyond the promotional enticements and get the best deal for you, which is likely to mean accessing the biggest interest free overdraft available. Emergency Loans We offer emergency short-term loans up to a maximum of 250, to help students with cash flow problems, most frequently if a loan instalment has not arrived. You can apply for these via HE Student Support at Weston College. Access to Learning Funds (ALF) ALF may be able to provide additional financial support to students who are experiencing financial hardship. Applicants are required to provide firm evidence of hardship, including bank statements and bills. It is also expected that applicants will have accessed all funding available to them prior to making an application. The Government has identified certain priority groups for this fund. They are: Student parents, especially lone parents Students from low income families Students from foyers or who are homeless Care leavers Mature students who have other financial commitments Final year students Weston College Scholarships In addition to the loans and grants already mentioned, and the support that is available through your partner university, Weston College also offers a number of scholarships: Weston College Progression Scholarship 250 (paid in two instalments) in the first year of study is available to all students who completed a Level 3 course at Weston College within the last five years and continue at the College for their Higher Education. Weston Excellence Scholarship We will be awarding a 400 Excellence Scholarship to students that have achieved a Distinction/Distinction/ Merit (DDM) or ABB (or equivalent grades) in their Level 3 qualification (e.g. BTEC Extended Diploma or A Levels). Students will need to provide evidence of their grades to support their application. Student finance timeline Students apply for these scholarships using a form available from HE Student Support, these will be sent out automatically to all students who accept a place with the College as their firm choice. Applications generally close at the end of September. All payments are made in two instalments, one in the autumn and one in the beginning of the spring term. Principal s Scholarship This is a one-off scholarship of 500. It is awarded to a student for outstanding academic achievement in Year One of their Higher Education studies who then progresses into Year Two of their studies at the College. This award is announced in the spring term at our annual Celebration of Success event. A student will be selected following a proposal and supporting reference from their tutor. Part Time Scholarship If you are studying any of our degrees on a part-time basis you will be eligible for one of our 750 Scholarships for part-time study. You will not need to complete an application form as we will automatically award these Scholarships to students. We advise you to avoid credit cards and store cards altogether due to their very high interest rates. Winter 2015 Find out what student finance you are entitled to by visiting Spring 2016 Apply for student finance online by visiting Summer 2016 You will receive a Student Finance Entitlement letter that will tell you how much money you are going to receive. September 2015 Register your student finance with us you will not receive any payments until you do. You will need to sign and return your student finance declaration form at this point.

5 What support does Bath Spa University offer? What support does University of the West of England (UWE) offer? You do not need to complete a separate application for the bursaries / scholarships. Once you ve applied for your loans / grants via Student Finance England your details will automatically be sent to your chosen university, providing you have given consent. For more information on eligibility criteria for the UWE bursary and how to apply visit * These figures apply to the academic year. For up to date information please visit their website. All Foundation / Honours Degree courses run in partnership with Bath Spa University (BSU) at Weston College have a tuition fee of 7,500. Bath Spa Bursaries* Bath Spa is offering 320 bursary awards worth up to 3,500 each to eligible English first year students new to Higher Education. The bursary is open to students who have a household income assessed by Student Finance England as being below 25,000. The university will give priority when allocating to students from the following groups: Students who are in receipt of Special Support Grant Care Leavers Foyer Students Students coming from a home postcode area with low participation in higher education Full-time students will be automatically assessed for the award using the information from Student Finance assessments. The bursary is a cash award and will be paid in three instalments within each academic year. If you have any further questions about the Bath Spa University bursary scheme you can contact the bursaries team at * These figures apply to the academic year. For up to date information please visit their website. All Foundation / Honours Degree courses run in partnership with UWE have a tuition fee of 7,500. UWE Bursary* UWE is offering bursaries to students who are English residents from lower income families (with a household income of 25,000 or less). Over 500 full-time students will receive a 2,000 cash bursary and a further 500 students will receive 500 in cash (If you are living with your parents during your studies, you will only be eligible for the 500 bursary). Eligible part-time students will receive a pro rata cash award based on how much of a full-time course is studied in the first year. For example, if you are taking 50% of a full-time course in your first year, you will be entitled to a bursary of 250. Students who receive a bursary in their first year will be eligible for a Progression Bursary of 1,000 cash in the subsequent years of study. For students who received 500 in their first year, the Progression Bursary is 500 each year up to the maximum award. These bursaries will be paid in instalments, and priority will be given to care leavers, disabled students, refugees, students who have completed an Access to Higher Education course, students who have completed the Heading Higher Passport (HHP) scheme, those students from areas of low participation in Higher Education and those from families with the lowest incomes. There are a limited number of bursaries and meeting the above criteria does not guarantee entitlement for a bursary. Bursaries will be allocated before the start of the academic year so you should apply for your funding through Student Finance England early and ensure you have firmly accepted your place at UWE. If all of the UWE bursaries have been allocated, you may be entitled to other non-repayable help from UWE s Access Fund or the government s Access to Learning Fund once you start your studies. What support does Weston College offer? Weston College HE Bursaries If you are studying a full-time Weston College degree programme and are paying tuition fees of 7,500 you are automatically eligible for a non-repayable Bursary from Weston College up to 500. This Bursary is means tested and will be based on household income: Household Income Weston College Bursary Under 17, ,000 25, Above 25,000 0 The Bursary is paid each year of study (as long as your household income remains the same) and it is non re-payable. You do not need to complete a separate application for our Bursaries; once you ve applied to Student Finance England your details will automatically be sent to Weston College, providing you have given consent.

6 What other Information is there? There are useful student finance guides that can be downloaded from You can apply for funding through: (England) (Wales) (Scotland) (Ireland) Other useful sites: Disclaimer Information correct at time of print, however, many details regarding the financial package for students starting their university studies in 2015 are still being discussed and therefore could change. We recommend that you look on the suggested websites for the latest information or contact us in order that we can update you on any changes.

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