The information below is for students who began full-time higher education before September 2006-07, are continuing on the same course, who have dependant children, and in some circumstances may retain an underlying entitlement to benefits.
HELP FROM YOUR LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY (LA):
1. TUITION FEES:
Full-time undergraduate students are required to pay a tuition fee to the University of £1,255. If you are assessed by the Local Authority (LA) as being eligible for assistance with tuition fees, the following applies: if your parents/step-parents/spouses income is less than £23,660 then your LA will pay your fees. If your parents/step-parents/spouses income is above £23,660, then you will pay a proportion of your fees, depending upon what their income is. For independent eligible students who do not have a spouse or partner, if your income is less than £11,020 then the LA will pay your fees.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are assessed as having to pay some or all of your tuition fees, then you may (depending upon previous study) be able to borrow a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company to pay the cost of your fees. This is repaid in the same way as the student loan after you graduate.
2. STUDENT LOAN:
This is a loan to help with your living costs, 25% of which is assessed on your/parents/step-parents/spouses income. The remaining 75% is a basic entitlement, which does not depend upon your/parents/step-parents/spouses income. The maximum loan for 2008-09 is £4625. Any amount you receive will be counted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP-formerly the Benefits Agency) as income when assessing any entitlement you may have to benefits, minus any disregards. The Inland Revenue will not count your student loan as income when assessing you for Tax Credits.
Interest is linked to inflation and you would only begin to repay what you owe after leaving university. Repayments are currently set at 9% of any income over £15,000. For example, if you earned £16,000 you would repay £7.00 per month.
3. HIGHER EDUCATION GRANT:
This is a grant of up to £1000 if you have a household income of £16,750 or less. Students who have a household income of more than £16,750 but less than £22,735 will be eligible for a proportion of the grant.
4. THE PARENTS LEARNING ALLOWANCE:
This is a grant to help with course-related costs for students who have dependant children. How much you will receive will depend upon your family's income. The maximum amount you can receive is £1,470 and the minimum amount you can receive is £50. The DWP and Inland Revenue will not take this allowance into account when calculating any entitlement you have to Income Support, Housing Benefit or Tax Credits.
5. ADULT DEPENDANTS GRANT:
This is a grant for students with an adult dependant who is wholly or mainly financially dependant upon them. It does not have to be repaid but will be taken into account by the Inland Revenue (who administer Tax Credits) and the DWP (when assessing any entitlement you may have to Income Support or Housing Benefit). How much you will receive will depend upon your own and your dependants income. The maximum amount of dependants grant is £2,575 pa.
6. CHILDCARE GRANT:
This is a grant for students with dependant children. How much you receive will depend upon your income. The maximum childcare Grant is 85% of actual childcare costs up to £148.75 per week. If you have two or more children, you can receive up to £255 per week.
PLEASE NOTE: any money you are awarded for childcare for the summer period will be included in the term three instalment of your childcare grant.
This grant is only available for students with registered or accredited childcare (this can include after school clubs) and should not be taken into account by the DWP or the Inland Revenue when assessing any entitlement you have to benefits and/or tax credits.
HELP FROM THE UNIVERSITY:
ACCESS TO LEARNING FUND (ALF)
University Access to Learning Fund (ALF), which can assist with living costs (including rent and household bills), childcare, course costs (excluding tuition fees) and essential travel. Support will usually be in the form of non-repayable grants. Please note the Access to Learning Fund is a discretionary fund, which means you are not guaranteed an award and it cannot pay your tuition fees.
Part time students who meet the criteria may also apply for additional help from the Access to Learning Fund for help with costs such as travel, childcare and fees. Help with fees cannot be given from the fund for full time students.
If you would like further information on ALF funding please contact the money doctor on you campus: [email protected] or pick up and ALF form from the Student Advice Centre on your campus.
DISABLED STUDENTS ALLOWANCES (DSA)
Full time students and part-time students studying who incur extra course costs as a direct result of their disability may be eligible to apply for a Disabled Student Allowance. For information on how to apply for DSA funding please visit the Directgov Disabled Student Allowance pages or visit the Disability Support Manager on your campus.
EARLY EDUCATION PLACES
All children are entitled to free education sessions a term after their third birthday up to commencing school. You can claim the grant if your child is aged 3 or 4 and is attending a private/voluntary childcare setting that is registered with the Local Authority. The funding entitles your child to 5 sessions per week (lasting two and a half hours each) at a registered setting. You can claim a maximum of 2 sessions in any day and the grant is available for 38 weeks of the year. You will be required to pay for any childcare over and above the 5 free sessions per week. For more information and to find your local Family Information Service please visit the Directgov Pre School Development and Learning pages.
SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
As of October 2009, you can apply if you are a single parent responsible for a child under 10. If you began your studies prior to the academic year 2009/10 or are receiving Income Support on grounds of illness, please seek further advice.
You can apply over the summer vacation if you are single and responsible for a child aged 10 - 15 OR you are a couple who are both full-time students and responsible for a child under the age of 16. The person claiming must be 'available for and actively seeking work' and meet other Jobseekers Allowance rules. Visit Directgov for more information on Jobseekers Allowance.
You can apply if you are a single parent responsible for a dependant child aged under 20 OR you are a couple who are both full-time students and responsible for a dependent child aged under 20. You may also qualify if you have been signed off work for at least 28 weeks or are in receipt of a disability benefit. Visit Directgov for more information on Housing Benefit.
Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance and Housing Benefit are means-tested and therefore any Career Development Loan/ Professional Studies Loan for living costs, (but not for fees or course costs), certain bursaries and tax credits/ Child Benefit which you receive will all be counted as income when assessing your entitlement. Dependant upon your period of study, your entitlement may increase during July and August.
Incapacity Benefit is not means-tested and therefore any student income you receive is not counted when assessing your entitlement. Becoming a student does not mean you are capable of work. Please seek further advice if you are in receipt of this benefit.
EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT ALLOWANCE
Once you become a full-time student, you cannot continue to receive Income-based Employment Support Allowance unless you receive Disability Living Allowance. Please seek further advice from your local JobCentrePlus if you are receiving contribution-based Employment Support Allowance. You can continue to claim Income-based or Contribution Based Employment Support Allowance if you are a part-time student.
CHILD TAX CREDIT
If you have a new baby or you're responsible for any children under 16, you could get Child Tax Credit. You can also qualify if you have children aged 16 to 19, as long as they're in certain types of education or training. For further information, please see Directgov Child Tax Credit pages for more information.
If you are a full-time student living with other full-time students, then you will not be liable to pay Council Tax. Full-time students living with non-students are also not liable for Council Tax but the house will still attract the tax which the non-student will have to pay. If there is only one adult non-student in the house, the Council Tax bill should be reduced by 25%. This has been the position since 6th April 2004. If you are a part-time student, you will be liable to pay Council Tax. Visit the Directgov Students and Council Tax pages. Remember to request your Council tax letter through the myRecords tab on myUCA.
STUDENT OVERDRAFT FACILITY
Most high street banks offer an interest-free overdraft facility, subject to satisfactory credit references. Provided that you operate your account within the agreed overdraft, there are no bank charges .To find out more information about student overdrafts visit our Bank and visit our Bank Accounts and Overdrafts pages.