Lowestoft College and Company FE Fee and Refund Policy for the Academic Year 2015/16

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1 Lowestoft College and Company FE Fee and Refund Policy for the Academic Year 2015/16 This Policy is available in alternative formats; please contact the College s Human Resources Team for further information. Page 1

2 Fees The College is paid a predetermined sum by the Local Authority, Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and Education Funding Agency (EFA) to provide further education. The amount varies according to the area of study undertaken, the duration and nature of the study and for the age group of the learner Tuition Fees for UK and European Union Nationals Funding of students is derived from the EFA for classroom-based provision based on the number of students undertaking Programmes of Study predominantly comprising English, maths, work experience and a vocational qualification, and by the SFA for apprenticeship provision, based on study of a framework of qualifications. Further Education courses are fully funded for those aged 16 to 18 who are European Union Nationals, or who qualify under a wider set of rules defined in EFA Funding Guidance, updated each year. 19+ Tuition Fees for UK and European Union Nationals Funding of Adult (19+) students is derived from the SFA; it is paid per student enrolment and is based on the size of qualification and the vocational weighting of the qualification. The SFA has set the fee element as 50% of the unweighted base rate of the qualification, this is an indicative figure derived from the size of the qualification and means no programme weighting has been applied to our fees. The exception to this is for those aged 24 and over who are undertaking a level 3 qualification, in this case the fully weighted fee will need to be paid or an FE Loan may be available to cover the cost of the course. The categories detailing where a 19+ student can obtain fee remission, not having to pay a tuition fee, is available on page 3 of this document. Fees and any additional charges must be paid prior to the commencement of the course. Exam retake fees for commercial courses must be paid prior to that retake. All fees and charges can be paid in cash, cheque credit card or debit card. Please note if you are on a two year course, the cost of the second year may differ from the cost of the first year. The College does offer students the opportunity to pay for both years at the start of the course using the fee level relevant to the year of start. FE Loans are available in some circumstances for students aged 24+ and studying at level 3 and above. For information on FE Loans please call the Advice Centre on Apprenticeships Apprentices are not subject to fees, however their employer is expected to make a contribution of up to 50% of the weighted funding value for each qualification within the apprentice s framework. Additional Charges Costs associated with materials will be included within the course s tuition fee. Exam Registration fees students on commercial courses or those aged 19+ and co-funded will pay exam board registration fees; the cost is available from the Advice Centre. Exam Retakes students of any age undertaking commercial courses will pay for the costs associated with retaking exams. Students who are funded will not pay for retaking exams, unless they fail to attend the exam. Additional Fees may be charged to fully funded students for materials, uniforms, equipment that is over and above that required to undertake the course, these are items that are typically kept by the student on completion of the course. Optional trips and visits are also included within this category. 2

3 Assistance With Fees National Fee Remission Certain categories of students are not expected to pay tuition fees on some of our courses. Dependant on course, the categories of students who are entitled to fee remission are listed below. Please check with the College s Advice Centre on to see if this applies to your circumstance and the course you are interested in. 16 to 18 year olds 19 to 23 year old students studying an Entry Level or Level 1 learning aim to progress to a first full Level 2 qualification. 19 to 23 year old students studying their first full Level 2 or first full Level 3 qualification 19 to 23 year old students studying their first full Level 4 without having a Level 3 19 to 23 year old students studying a Level 2 qualification with max prior accreditation of Level 1, intention to progress to full level 2 19 to 23 year old student studying up to a Level 4 qualification in order to move into work, in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group or universal credits and mandated to undertake skills training. Those students aged 19 to 23 who are unemployed and in receipt of a different state benefit will need to self declare a need for training to enter employment. 19+ studying GCSE English or maths where they have not previously achieved a grade C or above 19+ studying learning aims that are funded as Adult Skills for Life and Functional Skills in English and maths, and the student is on a level above that which they have been assessed 24+ studying up to a level 2 qualification in order to move into work, in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group or universal credits and mandated to undertake skills training. Those students aged 24+ who are unemployed and in receipt of a different state benefit will need to self declare a need for training to enter employment. The above areas of fee remission are correct at time of print but may be changed at short notice by the College s Funding Agencies. Please contact the Advice Centre at Lowestoft College to determine if you are eligible for fee remission on In addition to the fee remission detailed above students may be able to receive assistance with the cost of their courses through the Learner Support Fund. For those students who are aged 24 and over and require studies at Level 3 and above, FE Loans may be available with advice available by calling the Advice Centre on College Instalment Plan The college operates an instalment plan, offered to students on a course that lasts 15 weeks or more, costing more than 100. The student is required to pay 33% of the fee on enrolment and the remaining balance will be collected by direct debit in two equal instalments on the 28 th of the following 2 months. Where the course cost is less that 100, the student must arrange for full payment to be made at enrolment. The instalment plan is not available to employers or students on commercial courses. An additional fee is not charged to students paying by instalment and as such this is not a credit agreement: Offering Credit to Consumers Offering consumer credit can be an effective way to boost sales. But under the Consumer Credit Act, most businesses that offer consumer credit must have a consumer credit licence. If you offer consumer credit, you will also need to ensure that your credit agreements are legal and enforceable. 3

4 Consumer Credit Licences Your business is likely to need a consumer credit licence if you sell on credit to individual consumers (as opposed to business customers) or hire out goods to them for more than three months. This also applies for business customers who are sole traders or small partnerships. You do not generally need a consumer credit licence to offer credit to limited companies or for business sales which are always worth more than 25,000. You do not need a consumer credit licence to accept payment by credit card (unless you issue the card yourself). You can allow customers to pay in four or fewer instalments, within a year, without needing a consumer credit licence. If you need a consumer credit licence, you apply to the Financial Conduct Authority (previously the Office of Fair Trading) and pay a fee. The financial Conduct Authority can reject your application if they think you are not a fit person to hold a consumer credit licence for example, if you have a record of treating customers unfairly. Offering consumer credit without a consumer credit licence is a criminal offence. As well as facing a fine or even imprisonment, any credit agreement will be unenforceable. Consumer Credit Terms If you offer consumer credit, you must give customers a credit agreement to sign. The credit agreement must give detailed information about terms such as interest rates, credit charges and so on. Unless the customer signs the credit agreement on your business premises at the time, there is a cooling off period during which they can cancel it. There are no set limits on what interest rates you can charge, but an unfair agreement will be unenforceable. You may want to take advice on how you can use the consumer credit agreement to protect your business for example, by retaining legal ownership of goods until they have been fully paid for. Other requirement of the Consumer Credit Act include providing statements to customers with outstanding balances, and notifying them if they fall behind with their payments. Customers must also be allowed to repay a debt early, generally without paying future interest charges. 4

5 Fee Policy for Non-EU Nationals and Commercial Courses Tuition Fee Lowestoft College will charge non-eu nationals the full funding that would be available for those aged 16 to 18 from the Education Funding Agency. This will vary dependent on the course type and duration. Fees and any additional charges must be paid prior to the commencement of the course. Exam retake fees must be paid prior to that retake. All fees and charges can be paid in cash, cheque, credit card or debit card. Please note if you are on a two year course the cost of the second year may differ from the cost of the first year. The College does offer students the opportunity to pay for both years at the start of the course using the fee level relevant to the year of start. Additional Charges Non-EU Nationals and Commercial Courses Costs associated with materials will be included within the course s tuition fee. Exam Registration fees students will pay exam board registration fees; the cost is available from the Advice Centre. Exam Retakes students of any age undertaking commercial courses will pay for the costs associated with retaking exams. Additional Fees may be charged for optional extras, including trips, visits or equipment. DEFINITIONS EU NATIONALS You are an EU national if you are a national or citizen of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Republic of Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or the UK. THE EEA The EEA is made up of the all the countries in the EU (see above) plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway and each of their overseas territories. Students who are nationals of certain British Overseas Territories and of certain European Overseas Territories may also reside in this category. Detailed advice can be sought from the Advice Centre on

6 Lowestoft College Refunds Policy 2015/16 Student Cancellation Once a student has signed their learning agreement, a place on that course has been filled and a commitment to other students is no longer available to be made by the College. If the student were to withdraw there would be a significant loss in funding to the College, sometimes resulting in no funding. Courses are planned by filling a number of places in order to cover their cost of delivery. It is for that reason that no refund can be made once a student has committed to their place. College Cancellation If the College cancels a course full refunds will be given to all students; no administration fee will be charged. For further information please contact Lowestoft College Advice Centre on

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