Student Funding Guide

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1 2016/17 Student Funding Guide Bursary, Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and Support Funds

2 Welcome Welcome to our Student Funding Guide for In this Guide you will find all the information you need regarding applying for a Bursary, Education Maintenance Allowance and Support Funds. If you still have questions, please don t hesitate to give us a call. Student Funding Team Before you start factors which may affect your funding All students may apply for funding but there are National Policies and Guidelines which must be followed. As a result, not everyone is eligible for funding (although most people are). The following are examples of issues that may affect your eligibility for funding: Previous Study You may not be eligible for funding if: You have had funding before You have undertaken a full-time course of study at NC, HNC/D, or degree level, within the last six years and you were 18 years of age or over. Your student funding award application will be considered subject to guidelines laid down by the Scottish Funding Council. You will be required to give full details of your previous course of study and your reasons for wanting to study your new course choice. We will contact you to let you know the outcome of your funding application. If we cannot offer bursary support, options for part-time study may be available. Residency Residency rules apply. In most cases, if you have been living in Scotland for three years before the start date of the course, you are likely to be eligible to apply for funding. If you normally live in England, Northern Ireland or Wales you will not be eligible for funding from the College (including fees) and should apply your Local Authority. If you live in Shetland or Orkney Islands, you should apply to your Local Authority for funding. EU applicants will, in most cases, be eligible for their tuition fees to be paid, but have to meet the residency rule of 3 years in the UK and settled status in Scotland to be eligible to apply for living costs. Applicants from outwith the UK or who do not have settled status should contact the Student Funding Team for further advice. You may be asked to provide Home Office documentation and will be required to provide proof that you have lived within Scotland for three years such as P60s and/or tenancy agreements. Household Income Income from parents, step parents or parents partners is taken into account, as well as any spouse or partner income. This may reduce the amount of award you receive. Fees It is important that all students who are studying non-advanced courses (ie. NC, NQ, City and Guilds, etc.) complete a Student Funding Award application form for fees to be paid for their course. You may not qualify for EMA or maintenance bursary but you still need to complete this form so we can check if you are eligible for your fees to be paid. Most students will be eligible but this is subject to residency status and previous study. Please remember it is your responsibility to ensure that you have secured the relevant funding prior to commencing your course. 2 Fife College Any questions? Call us on or

3 Which programmes are eligible for financial support? Level of course Funding for Funding body Funding Source HNC, HND, full-time Maintenance SAAS* Student loan (ie. living expenses) Travel SAAS* Student loan Rent / Mortgage College HE (Higher Education) Discretionary Childcare College HE (Higher Education) Childcare NC, NQ, City and Guilds Maintenance College Bursary/EMA full-time (ie. living expenses) Travel College Bursary Rent / Mortgage College FE (Further Education) Discretionary Childcare College FE (Further Education) Childcare NC, NQ, City and Guilds Maintenance College N/A part-time (ie. living expenses) Travel College Bursary Rent / Mortgage College N/A Childcare College FE (Further Education) Childcare * To apply to SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland), visit their website at What funding is potentially available to me? There are four funds that provide support for eligible students on non-advanced courses (ie. NC, NQ, City and Guilds, etc.). Most of these take into account your personal and financial circumstances. There are two funds that provide assistance with living expenses. These are: The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) (if your birthday is between 30/08/97 and 28/02/01) and The Further Education Bursary Fund (for all other students). All funding described is subject to your meeting specific residency and eligibility requirements. Any questions? Call us on or Fife College 3

4 Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) Flowchart For students aged START Is your date of birth between 30 August 1997 and 28 February 2001? NO Please refer to the Applying for Bursary Funding information on pages 6 and 7 Is your household income less than 24,421 gross per annum ( 26,884 if there is more than one dependant in the household)? NO If your parents gross household income is more than 24,421 gross per annum ( 26,884 if there is more than one dependant in the household) you will not be eligible for Education Maintenance Allowance. You do not need to enclose proof of household income. You will be eligible for up to 30 per week Education Maintenance Allowance. Please enclose proof with your Student Funding Award application. This should be your parents Tax Credit Award Notice (TCAN) 2016/17 If you live outwith a 2 miles radius of the campus you will mainly be studying at, we will assess from your Student Funding Award application form if you can get help with travel expenses. If your parents do not have a TCAN, please enclose P60s for tax year ended April 2016, proof of any pensions they have received in that tax year, and/ or proof of any benefits they have received in that tax year with your Student Funding Award application. If you turn 16 between 1st October 2016 and 28th February 2017, and you live outwith a 2 mile radius of the campus you will mainly be studying at, you will get a Fife Council bus pass until January From January 2017 travel expenses will be paid to you. If you live outwith a 2 mile radius of the campus you will mainly be studying at, we will assess from your application form if you can get help with travel expenses. Based on your application form and the evidence provided, we will assess what help you can get and will contact you to inform you of the outcome. 4 Fife College Any questions? Call us on or

5 Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) This applies to you if your date of birth is between 30 August 1997 and 28 February Education Maintenance Allowance is paid every two weeks in arrears to your bank account. If you do not have a bank account you will need to open one. For this to be paid you need to attend 100% of your classes. As payment is based on attendance, no payment will be made for the short holiday weeks i.e. Easter, October Break, Christmas so please plan your budget accordingly. Please also note that you will not be eligible to receive payment until you have returned you Learner Agreement and attended your first class. Payment dates will be outlined in the payment schedule on your award letter. It is important that you start saving in order to cover your first couple of weeks at college. How do I apply for an EMA? You need to complete a Student Funding Award application form and send it to: Student Funding Team Student Information Management Fife College Halbeath Campus Pittsburgh Road Dunfermline Fife KY11 8DY We will need proof of your parents household income and proof of your date of birth, e.g. full birth certificate or passport. You must attend all your classes and sign an EMA Learning Agreement with the College. Rate of EMA If your household income is: You will get: 24,421 or less 30 per week 26,884 (if there is another dependant in the household) 30 per week Applicants in Care If you are in foster care or other Local Authority care, you are eligible to apply for full EMA support. A letter from the Local Authority stating that you are under their care should be sent with your Student Funding Award application form. Additional Information Your parents can still claim Child Benefit for you as long as you are attending a full-time non-advanced course of education. It is College Policy that if you are estranged from your parents and are under the age of 20, you should apply for Income Support during your time at college. EMA funding does not affect any benefits you may receive. Any questions? Call us on or Fife College 5

6 Applying for Bursary Funding if you are aged START Is your date of birth between 30 August 1991 and 29 August 1997? NO Please refer to the flowchart on page 7 Please complete the Bursary section of the Student Funding Award application form. Remember to enclose ID (birth certificate, passport, driving licence or NHS Medical Card) Are you married or living with a partner? NO Provide proof of your partner s gross earnings or benefits/jsa as applicable for tax year ended April Please also provide proof of any dependent children you have, and proof of where you live. Have you been supporting yourself from full time earnings or JSA/benefits for a complete 3 year period? NO We may be able to assess you as an independent student. You need to provide proof of a complete 3 full tax years earnings or benefits or JSA or a combination of these to qualify. Are you a lone parent? NO Your bursary is assessed on your parents income. Please provide proof of gross household income for tax year ended April 2016 and any dependent brothers and sisters you have. You may be eligible to claim Income Support while you are at college depending on age of child/children. You will not get a maintenance bursary but you may qualify for help with travel and you can apply for help with childcare costs. Please provide proof of your Income Support and proof of where you live. Based on your Student Funding Award application form and the evidence provided, we will assess what help you can get and will contact you to inform you of the outcome. It is important that you do not give up work until you know what financial support you will receive and how much you will have to live on while you are attending College. 6 Fife College Any questions? Call us on or

7 Applying for Bursary Funding if you are 25 and over START Is your date of birth on or before 29 August 1991? NO Please refer to the flowchart on page 6 Please complete the Bursary section of the Student Funding Award application form. Remember to enclose ID (birth certificate, passport, driving licence or NHS Medical Card) Are you married or living with a partner? NO Provide proof of your partner s gross earnings or benefits/jsa as applicable for tax year ended April Please also provide proof of any dependent children you have, and proof of where you live. Are you a lone parent? NO You may be eligible to claim Income Support while you are at college depending on age of child/children. You will not get a maintenance bursary but you may qualify for help with travel and you can apply for help with childcare costs. Please provide proof of your Income Support and proof of where you live. Are you a single person with no dependent children? NO Please provide proof of single person status, proof of recent earnings or JSA/ benefits, and proof of where you live. Are you eligible to remain on Incapacity Benefit/Employment Support Allowance while you are attending College? Based on your Student Funding Award application form and the evidence provided, we will assess what help you can get and will contact you to inform you of the outcome. It is important that you do not give up work until you know what financial support you will receive and how much you will have to live on while you are attending College. It is in your own interests to check this with the benefits agency and your doctor. You will not receive a maintenance bursary to live on, but you may get help with travel. Please provide proof of where you live, proof of your benefit and any other household income this is means tested. Any questions? Call us on or Fife College 7

8 Bursaries This applies to you if your date of birth is on or before 29 August 1997 i.e. 19 years old or over by the start date of the course. The amount of money you receive will depend on household income. It may help pay for:- Travel Expenses Maintenance - food, clothing and other living expenses Bursary is paid every two weeks in arrears to your bank account. If you do not have a bank account you will need to open one. For this to be paid you need to attend 100% of your classes It supports you during the programme and the short holidays but not over the summer holidays so please plan your budget accordingly Please also note that you will not be eligible to receive payment until you have attended your first class. Payment dates will be outlined in the payment schedule on your award letter. It is important that you start saving in order to cover your first couple of weeks at college. How to Apply for a Bursary You need to complete a Student Funding Award application form and hand it into any reception or send it to: Student Funding Team Student Information Management Fife College Halbeath Campus Pittsburgh Road Dunfermline Fife KY11 8DY We will need proof of your household income and proof of your ID. If you are in receipt of unearned income of more than per week (e.g. working tax credit, maintenance payments, etc). There is a student contribution element taken off your bursary award. Additional Information Bursary Rates - Rates of Maintenance Allowance (weekly rate) The table below provides an indication of the maximum amounts you may receive per week please note that you may receive less than this. The actual amount of bursary awarded will depend on your personal situation and household income. Standard (at parental home) Higher (away from parental home) 25 and over or Self-Supporting Parentally Supported n/a 25 and over or Self-Supporting n/a n/a The rate of per week maximum may be available to students under 25 years of age who are married/living with partner/self-support status. See self-support section on page 9 for more information. You are likely to receive the full amount of bursary applicable to your status if your parents /partner s total gross income for tax year ended April 2016 is less than: 19 to 24 years Parental income under 24,275 gross per annum Married/partner Partner s income under 20,643 gross per annum If you are under 20 years of age, your parents can still claim Child Benefit for you as long as you are attending a full time, nonadvanced course of education (ie. NC, NQ, City and Guilds, etc). 8 Fife College Any questions? Call us on or

9 Self-supporting status for students under 25 Your parents/guardians have a financial responsibility towards you while you are undertaking a full-time course of study in accordance with the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, whether you live in the parental home or not. This applies up to the age of 25 unless you can show documentary evidence of three full tax years self-support. Self-support is considered to be periods where you have supported yourself from earnings from full-time employment and/or been in receipt of JSA or benefits. Annual income must be equal to, or more than current benefit rates to be considered as self-support. If you wish to be considered as self-supporting you must provide complete evidence covering three full years, e.g. P60s, letter from Inland Revenue, printout from Job Centre, letter from Benefits Agency. If you do not have P60s covering the three year period preceding the start date of the course you can request a statement of earnings from the HMRC. HMRC can be contacted on If you are unable to provide acceptable evidence of self-support you will be assessed on parental income and awarded at parentally supported rate. The reason the self-supporting age is set at 25 is that the obligation for parents to support children undergoing education or training is set out in Section 1 (5)(b) of the Family Law (Scotland) Act This sets out the obligation of aliment and it covers both fees and student support. This can be found via the following link: Travel Expenses You may be given help with travel expenses if you live outwith a 2 mile radius of the campus you will mainly be studying at. Costs will be based on public transport rates using the most economical and direct route. The amount you are awarded will depend on where you live. If you are under the age of 18, this help will be awarded to you regardless of your household income. If you are 18 years of age AND know that you will not qualify for EMA, we will require proof of your parents household income to assess your entitlement to travel help. Travel is means tested for all students aged 18 and over. This will be paid every two weeks, in arrears, into your bank account. Note that travel costs are calculated only on term weeks although you will receive a fortnightly payment. Please note that if you are 18 years of age and you DO NOT qualify for EMA, you may still be eligible for help with travel, depending on your parents household income. Any questions? Call us on or Fife College 9

10 Application Checklist The list below highlights the supporting evidence that you will need to submit with your Student Funding Award application form. It is important that all evidence is submitted. Please do not send original documents, photocopies will be accepted. Please note that there are 3 lists. If you are having any issues with gathering the evidence required, please contact us to let us know at the earliest opportunity to ensure there are no unnecessary delays to your application. Evidence required from Parents/Guardians Please see key to categories below Evidence of their income from A B C D E F G H I J K from employment P60s for April 2016 self employer latest accounts showing profit received and a personal drawings taken or HMRC form SA302 private, employer or state pensions P60s for April 2016 the Department of Work and Pensions e.g. Benefit Letter from 2016 bank/building society interest, trust funds or from dividends Adoption/Fostering Allowance property owned by parents (tenancy agreement or statement from letting agency) any other income received in tax year Their Tax Credit Assessment for If they are a lone parent we will require evidence of this, the Council Tax Notice for or Tax Credit Assessment for Evidence of any child maintenance payments received by your parents or made by your parents to other children out with your household e.g. lawyer or CSA letter Your brothers /sisters birth certificates Key to Evidence Required Continued... A Student who is under 18 and who only wishes Fees and Travel B Student who is under 18 and applying for EMA C Student who is under 25 and lives with parents/legal Guardian D Student who is under 25, supported by parents and who are living on their own E Student who is over 25 living on their own or independent students F Student who lives with a partner or spouse G Student who is applying for help with rent H Student who is applying for help with childcare I Student who is self-supporting and applying for fees, travel and childcare J Student who has a partner and is applying for help with childcare costs K Student who has a partner and is applying for help with rent 10 Fife College Any questions? Call us on or

11 Application Checklist continued... Evidence required from Student Please see key to categories below Evidence of your income from A B C D E F G H I J K employment P60s for April 2016 the department of Work and Pensions, e.g. Benefit Letter for (you must also include your full DLA letter if you receive this) private, employer or state pensions P60s for April 2016 rental income any other income Your birth Certificate, passport, driving licence or NHS Medical Card Proof of your address e.g. bank statement, council tax notification, letter from an official source e.g. GP Your Tax Credit Award Notice Your Council Tax Notice for Evidence of your current rent/mortgage costs (if you wish for help towards these costs) Children s Birth Certificates if you have children who are dependent on you Your bank statements SLC & SAAS Award Notice (including lone parent grant if applicable) Proof Housing Benefit has stopped Payslips Key to Evidence Required Continued... A Student who is under 18 and who only wishes Fees and Travel B Student who is under 18 and applying for EMA C Student who is under 25 and lives with parents/legal Guardian D Student who is under 25, supported by parents and who are living on their own E Student who is over 25 living on their own or independent students F Student who lives with a partner or spouse G Student who is applying for help with rent H Student who is applying for help with childcare I Student who is self-supporting and applying for fees, travel and childcare J Student who has a partner and is applying for help with childcare costs K Student who has a partner and is applying for help with rent Any questions? Call us on or Fife College 11

12 Application Checklist continued... Evidence required from Partner Please see key to categories below Evidence of their income from A B C D E F G H I J K P Employment P60 for April 2016 Self-employment latest accounts showing profit received and personal drawings taken or HMRC form SA302 (you will be given a provisional award if income for tax year is unavailable) Private or state pension P60 for April 2016 From the Department of Work & Pensions Benefit Letter for Adoption/fostering allowance (part 2 only) From bank/building society interest, trust funds or from dividends (if over 250 interest certificate or statements) Property owned by your partner (tenancy agreement or statement from letting agency) Any other income received in tax year Evidence of any child maintenance payments received by your partner or made by your partner to other children out with your household e.g. lawyer or CSA letter Partner bank statements Payslips Childcare Costs Contract from childcare provider detailing rate and registration number Key to Evidence Required A Student who is under 18 and who only wishes Fees and Travel B Student who is under 18 and applying for EMA C Student who is under 25 and lives with parents/legal Guardian D Student who is under 25, supported by parents and who are living on their own E Student who is over 25 living on their own or independent students F Student who lives with a partner or spouse G Student who is applying for help with rent H Student who is applying for help with childcare I Student who is self-supporting and applying for fees, travel and childcare J Student who has a partner and is applying for help with childcare costs K Student who has a partner and is applying for help with rent 12 Fife College Any questions? Call us on or

13 Payment of Tuition Fees Flowchart Full-time FE (NQ/NC/City & Guilds) Does student meet residency requirements of the policy? See Learner Guide: Payment of Tuition Fees Section 5.1 Yes No Is the student an asylum seeker on an ESOL course? or Is the student a child of an asylum seeker or a young asylum seeker on a full-time non-advanced course? Yes No Eligible to apply to the College for a Fee Waiver Not eligible to be considered for a Fee Waiver Full-time FE students must complete a Student Funding Application Award Form as soon as the award application forms are available. Student is liable to pay fees Part-time FE (NQ/NC/City & Guilds) Does student meet residency requirements of the policy? See Learner Guide: Payment of Tuition Fees Section 5.1 Yes No Does student meet residency eligibility requirements? See Learner Guide: Payment of Tuition Fees Section 5.1 Yes No Eligible to apply to the College for a Fee Waiver Not eligible to be considered for a Fee Waiver Eligible to apply for ILA Funding Student is liable to pay any fees not funded through Fee Waiver or ILA Full-time HE (HNC/HND/Degree/Professional Qualifications) Eligible to apply for SAAS Funding (course not eligible for Fee Waiver) Student must apply online to SAAS for funding If student does not qualify for SAAS funding, student will be liable to pay their own fees. Part-time HE (HNC/HND/Degree/Professional Qualifications) Does student meet residency requirements of the policy? See Learner Guide: Payment of Tuition Fees Section 5.1 Yes No Does student meet residency eligibility requirements? See Learner Guide: Payment of Tuition Fees Section 5.1 Yes No Eligible to apply to the College for a Fee Waiver Not eligible to be considered for a Fee Waiver Eligible to apply for SAAS Part-time Fee Grant or ILA Funding Student is liable to pay any fees not funded through Fee Waiver, SAAS or ILA Any questions? Call us on or Fife College 13

14 Benefits and Bursary Award You are not entitled to receive a maintenance bursary and Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)/Employment Support Allowance (ESA)/ Income Support (IS) benefits at the same time: If you are in receipt of JSA or Income Support and are required to be available for work, you must apply for a maintenance bursary and sign off during your time at college. If you are a lone parent in receipt of Income Support, you will be able to continue to claim Income Support if you have a child who is under 5 years of age at the start of the course. You will not receive a maintenance bursary, as another source of income is available. You should apply for help with travel where applicable. Help is also available for registered childcare costs. Please check with your Lone Parent Advisor at the Job Centre. Lone parents who have been working prior to starting college and who are giving up work should claim Income Support while they are attending a full-time college course if they have a child under 5 years of age at the start of the course. If you are under 20 years of age and are estranged from your parents, it is College Policy that you should claim Income Support during your time at College. Applicants who currently receive Employment Support Allowance should contact the Benefits Agency for advice.* You should continue to claim your benefits and should apply for help with travel where applicable if: You have the right to certain disability benefits and are not required to register as being available for work while on a fulltime college programme. You are not required to register as being available for work AND your spouse/partner has a right to claim benefits. *Note: Are you in receipt of Incapacity Benefit/ESA? If you are in this category, you should obtain permission from the Benefits Agency/doctor to undertake a full time course of study. This is to safeguard health and right to benefit. Additional Information If you are a single student, under the age of 21, and you are a tenant, you may be able to qualify for housing benefit/rebate while you are a student. Please check with your local council. You should consider carefully if you will be able to meet your housing costs from your bursary award. Other help may be available, see section on Student Support Fund on page 15. If you live in a flat or house on your own or with other students, the property is exempt and you will not pay Council Tax if your course lasts for 24 or more weeks. If you live with someone who is not a student you will not be counted towards the Council Tax bill and the household may be eligible for a discount if your course lasts for 24 or more weeks. You will have to submit an Application for Council Tax Discount/Exemption Student form to the Council. Bursaries are assessed in accordance with National and College Policies and rules. As part of College Policy there is provision for an appeals procedure and information about this procedure will be provided on request. Student Funding Award applications received more than six weeks after the start of the course will not be backdated. Payment will commence from the date that the Student Funding Award application form is complete and all supporting evidence is received. For all Student Funding Award applications supporting documentation is required. This should be copied in full, i.e. all pages where it is a multiple page document. Please do not post original documents as we can take no responsibility for lost original documentation. If you post original documents to us we would advise that you enclose a prepaid recorded delivery envelope to ensure the safe return of documents. Posted original documents will be returned by standard post if no prepaid recorded delivery envelope is enclosed with the application form. We can take no responsibility for lost documentation returned by standard post. It is your responsibility to inform the Student Funding Team of any change in your circumstances, including a change of address, or if you leave your course to enable reassessment of your award to be undertaken. If you enrol on your course but do not take up your place, it is important that you notify the Student Funding Team immediately. Any overpayment will be reclaimed. 14 Fife College Any questions? Call us on or

15 Student Support Fund You may be able to get additional money to help keep you while you are studying at college. Help can be given for: Registered/formal childcare Housing costs (Mortgage/Rent) Student Funding Award applications are means tested. It is important to read the form carefully and provide photocopies of all required supporting documentation to allow a decision to be made quickly. A letter will be sent to you telling you what we are supporting you with and the amount of money you will receive. There will be another copy of this letter for you to give to your landlord/childcare provider. This will only be paid once you have started College. Payment is made every four weeks, in arrears, and is paid directly to your childcare provider or landlord (rented properties). If your application is unsuccessful we will contact you to advise you of this. If you wish to appeal this decision please write a letter and provide us with further information and send to: Student Funding Team Student Information Management Fife College Halbeath Campus Pittsburgh Road Dunfermline Fife KY11 8DY You can apply to the Student Support Fund at any time during the session. However, payment will only be backdated for complete forms received within the first six weeks of session. Overpayment of Award Your award may be revised by the College at any time if: You fail to comply with the conditions of the award; You have omitted to submit any relevant documentation; You have made a false declaration in your Student Funding Award application; and/or An error has been made in the computation of your award. If this does occur, our Student Funding Team will contact you to discuss this matter and any repayments if applicable. The College administers government funding and has an obligation to recover any overpayments however they occur. What are your responsibilities? You must ensure that you complete all College enrolment procedures. No payment will be authorised until this is done, and your entitlement to support will only start from the date of your enrolment. Your award is dependent on your satisfactory attendance, conduct and progress during the programme for which the award was made. In cases where your conduct and/or progress and/or attendance is, in the opinion of the College, unsatisfactory in any given period without any satisfactory explanation, your payments will be withheld. If you withdraw from your course and have been overpaid, you will be required to repay this overpayment. You must cover all absences, as per the Student Attendance Policy. Who to contact of you need help? As everyone s circumstances are different you may wish to come into any of our main receptions, phone us on or if you have any questions. Any questions? Call us on or Fife College 15

16 Fife College Pittsburgh Road Dunfermline KY11 8DY Tel: Published May 2016 The information published in this guide was correct at the time of print.

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