Higher and Dearer - CAREERS AND EDUCATION, SPECIAL REPORT; but Aid to Meet Costs Is at Hand

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), November 12, 2000 | Go to article overview

Higher and Dearer - CAREERS AND EDUCATION, SPECIAL REPORT; but Aid to Meet Costs Is at Hand


LIKE cheap beer and last-minute cramming, debt is part of student life, and the introduction of student loans and tuition fees has made higher education a more expensive business.

Tuition fees for this academic year are [pounds sterling]1,050, but this is likely to increase next September for students in England and Wales, and Scottish students studying in England and Wales.

The amount parents have to pay will depend on factors such as earnings and the course a youngster plans to study.

The Government estimates that 40 per cent of parents pay no tuition fees.

Loans are available from the Student Loan Company. They cover living costs and are partly means-tested.

The maximum loan for each year is [pounds sterling]4,590, for youngsters studying in London and living away from home.

Students who are applying for NHS-sponsored degree courses have all tuition fees paid and are also entitled to means-tested bursaries.

Students on some pre-registered nursing courses can apply for bursaries, too.

Disabled students may apply to the local education authority for disabled student allowances that will cover any extra costs incurred.

Bursaries and grants are also available from universities.

Access funds of up to [pounds sterling]1,000 are provided for some students over 25. And loans may be available in cases of severe financial hardship.

It is also possible to claim childcare and extra travel costs from eduction authorities.

Part-time work, scholarships, sponsorship and grants for studying overseas are the other funding options for students.

To ensure that your child receives the financial help he or she is entitled to, apply to your local education authority as soon as possible.

Here is the timetable to follow: November-December: Do your research and send off applications for sponsorship and scholarships.

January: Ask the school, college or education authority for an application form. Where applicable, apply for disabled student allowances and travel and childcare allowances. Complete the form and return as soon as possible.

If your claim is accepted, you will be sent an eligibility notification and financial form. Complete and return this within the deadline set by the authority.

It will send a financial notification form telling you how much of the tuition fee you have to pay and the maximum loan the student is entitled to.

June: Get your child to fill in the loan request on the back of the financial notification form.

August: Once exam results are known, confirm the university place with the education authority, the Student Loan Company, sponsors and so on.

UNLIKE higher education, further education has no formal loans system. Most students, especially if they are recent school-leavers, have to rely on their parents for living and study expenses.

But all tuition fees are paid and parents can claim child benefit for16 to 18-year-olds in fulltime education. Some also qualify for free or subsidised travel.

Local careers offices and libraries have information on charitable organisations and local trusts providing bursaries for further education students.

Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) in England and Wales, and Local Enterprise Companies (LECs) in Scotland, have information on Modern Apprenticeships giving work-based training with pay. TECs and LECs also have information on other work-related funding.

Some grants are available from local education authorities, but they are usually available only in special circumstances.

Cash to cover the costs of books and travel are usually available to students from low-income families. And disabled students may be able to claim allowances for travel, equipment and personal attendance.

The education maintenance allowance was set up this year to help 16 and 17-year-olds from low-income families. …

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Higher and Dearer - CAREERS AND EDUCATION, SPECIAL REPORT; but Aid to Meet Costs Is at Hand
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