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Funding Options

There are several funding options for students based on the type of course you are studying at college. Below are useful tables which highlight funding for eligible students full-time and part-time further/higher education courses. 

Further Education Courses

For example - National Certificate, Advanced National Certificate, SQA, SVQ, City & Guilds, BTEC, NPA or an Access Course. 

  Fees EMA Bursary Childcare Discretionary 
Full-time (16 hours a week or more) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Part-time (under 16 hours a week)

Yes Yes No Yes Yes

If you require any assistance, please also contact Student Services to meet with an adviser. 

Higher Education Courses

For example - HNC or HND 

  Fees SAAS Bursary Student Loan Lone Parent Grant Disabled Students Discretionary Childcare
Full-time Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Part-time Yes No No No Yes Yes No

For full information and to apply for any of these funds, please visit saas.gov.uk 

Who can apply for funding

If you are beyond your statutory school leaving date* and satisfy the residence requirements set out by the Scottish Funding Council you can apply for funding for a college course. 

*Students who are 16 by the 30 September can apply for funding from the start of the course. Students who are 16 between 1 October and 28 February 2022 can still apply for funding, however any award you are eligible to receive will not start until January 2022. 

Generally, you should meet the criteria below: 

  • Ordinarily resident* in the UK for 3 years before 13th August 2021 
  • Ordinarily resident* in Scotland on 13th August 2021 
    Be settled in the UK with no time restrictions on remaining in the UK 

(e.g British or Settled or Pre-Settled status if an EEA national or Indefinite Leave to Remain/Permanent Residence) 

* “ordinarily resident” means habitual and normal residence in one place. EEA nationals generally need to have been resident in the UK by the 31 December 2020 when the Brexit transition arrangements came to an end. 

If you do not satisfy the criteria, you may not be eligible for college funding. However, as residence requirements are complex and individual to each student, please contact Student Services for assistance if you are unsure. 

If you do not satisfy the above criteria, you may not be eligible for college funding. However, there are other categories of students who may be eligible to apply for funding depending on their nationality or UK immigration permission (e.g refugees). Fees status criteria and residence requirements are complex and funding eligibility depends on each individual’s circumstances. Please contact Student Services for assistance or complete 
a Fees Status Questionnaire and return it to the International Team who can determine whether you are a ‘home’ or ‘international’ student for funding purposes. 

If you are from Orkney or Shetland - you must apply to your Local Education Authority for Further Education Bursary funding. However, students who are eligible for EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) should apply to the college for this. 

If you are from England, Northern Ireland or Wales – you may need to apply to your Local Education Authority for funding assistance. Please contact Student Services for further information. 

Can I apply if I have studied before?

If you have previously received financial support for any further education full-time course(s) and you wish to study at the same level or a lower level course, your eligibility for bursary and/or EMA funding may be affected. Your eligibility for these funds may also be affected if you have studied at a higher level (HNC/HND/degree level courses) regardless of any funding you have received. You should still submit an application for bursary/EMA funding for consideration. There is a right of appeal if your application is rejected. 

The college has access to a national database which can be used to check for previous study. Please therefore ensure you disclose all previous courses on the relevant section of your application. 

What funding may I be eligible for?

Education Maintenance Allowance

Students may qualify for an EMA up to the age of 20 for full or part-time study. Please note that students who are 18 or over on the course start date and on a full-time further education course will normally be assessed for Further Education Bursary maintenance allowances rather than an EMA. Students under 18 will normally be considered for an EMA and travel and course expenses from the bursary fund.

Students who qualify for an EMA will receive an allowance of £30 per week. This allowance is means-tested against household income and the following thresholds apply:

Gross income for the 2020/21 tax year No. of dependant children in household Award
£0 - £24,421 1 £30
£0 - £24,421 2+ £30

This allowance is paid fortnightly in arrears and must be paid into a student’s own bank account and is dependent on attendance, conduct & progress. It is only payable during term-time and not paid for college holidays.

Further Education Bursary

Students studying on full-time further education courses can apply to the college for a bursary. Part-time courses are not funded by the College through the bursary fund but application can be made to the discretionary fund for assistance. A bursary award is typically made up of three elements:

  1. Bursary maintenance allowance
  2. Travel expenses
  3. Course expenses

Bursary awards are means-tested against parent’s/guardian’s/partner’s/student’s income (where applicable) and you may not be eligible for all elements of a bursary award. Bursary payments are dependent on attendance, conduct and progress and are paid fortnightly in arrears.

Bursary maintenance allowance

Parentally Supported Students

If you are between the ages of 18-24 on the first day of your course your eligibility for an award will be assessed using your parent(s)/guardian(s) income.

Examples of parent(s) income and the weekly maintenance amounts are as follows:

 

Living in parental home

Living away from parental home*

Parents Gross Income (20/21 tax year)

Weekly maintenance amount with no other dependent children

Weekly maintenance amount with one other dependent child

Weekly maintenance amount with one other dependent student

Student

Weekly maintenance amount with no other dependent children

Less than £24,275

£85.90

£85.90

£85.90

£108.55

£30,000

£70.06

£73.59

£77.98

£92.71

£35,000

£57.14

£60.76

£71.52

£79.37

£40,000

£44.22

£47.75

£65.07

£66.45

£45,000

£31.30

£34.83

£58.60

£53.95

£50,000

£18.38

£21.91

£52.14

£41.83

*To be eligible to receive these amounts, the parental home must be outwith a reasonable travelling distance of your college campus or you must provide evidence to confirm you have an established permanent home of your own.

The above amounts have been calculated based on a 42 week maintenance award. Please note the above amounts are approximate and the actual amount you may be eligible to receive may differ. The amount may also be reduced due to your own personal income.

Self-supporting students

If you are 25 years old or above on the start date of the course you will be considered as a self-supporting student. If you are not yet 25 years old on the start date of the course, you may qualify as a self-supporting student if you fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • Are married or living in an established relationship for at least 3 months prior to your course start date.
  • Have supported yourself from earnings or benefits for any 3 years prior to your course start date (other than periods spent in full-time education).
  • Have no living parents.
  • Have a child who is dependent on you.
  • Are estranged from your parents.

This list is not exhaustive. You will be required to provide relevant supporting evidence.

If you are single, your eligibility will be assessed for a maximum maintenance award of £108.55 per week. Please note, this amount may be reduced based on your own personal income. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, a maximum of £28 a week maintenance allowance is payable as anything above this amount will be deducted on a pound for pound basis from your Universal Credit claim. If you are receiving other benefits such as Income Support or ESA, we can only pay allowances toward your course and travel expenses.

If you live with a partner/spouse your eligibility for an award will be assessed using their income. Examples of partner/spouse income and the weekly maintenance amounts are as follows:

Partners Gross Income (20/21 tax year)

Weekly maintenance amount with no other dependent children

Weekly maintenance amount with one other dependent child

Weekly maintenance amount with one other dependent student

Less than £20,643

£108.55

£108.55

£108.55

£30,000

£83.32

£86.86

£95.93

£35,000

£70.40

£73.94

£89.47

£40,000

£57.58

£61.02

£83.01

£45,000

£44.56

£48.10

£76.55

£50,000

£31.64

£35.18

£70.09

The above amounts have been calculated based on a 42 week maintenance award. Please note, the above amounts are approximate and the actual amount you may be eligible to may differ. The amount may also be reduced due to your own
personal income.

Care Experienced Students

Please submit confirmation with your funding application that you have been/are care experienced, e.g. a social worker letter.

“Care experienced” can include care leavers, foster care, residential care, kinship care, compulsory supervision orders, adoption etc. Please check with the college if you are not sure.

Applicants do not have to submit proof of parental income but confirmation that they are care experienced and proof of identity such as a birth certificate or passport or driving licence or Young Scot Card.

The Care Experienced rate is £202.50 a week. In addition, allowances such as travel and course expenses are paid, as applicable. Please either contact Student Services to discuss your circumstances in more detail, or the Student Funding Team studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk for assistance.

Student’s Own Income

Income from employment will not impact your award. Please note that unearned income is included in the assessment, such as working tax credits, pension income, income from property etc. The first £20.91 of any unearned weekly income will be disregarded when your award is calculated.

Students currently in receipt of benefits

If you are in receipt of benefits and are not required to be available for work, you may be able to study full-time and continue to receive benefits. For students who are in receipt of Universal Credit, you may be eligible to receive a bursary maintenance payment of £28 per week. Students in receipt of other benefits, such as Income Support or ESA, will not be eligible to receive any bursary maintenance. Please note that PIP is not taken into account in award assessments.

All students entitled to remain on benefits may be eligible for assistance towards travel and course expenses.

Part-time students currently in receipt of JSA may be entitled to continue to receive benefits while studying up to 16 hours per week. You may then be eligible to receive assistance from the discretionary fund towards travel and essential course expenses.

Please contact DWP directly for further information and advice.

Travel and Course Expenses

Students studying on full-time courses can apply to the bursary fund for assistance with travel and course expenses such as books, equipment, clothing, kit etc. You do not need to be eligible to receive bursary maintenance to apply for assistance with these costs. Eligibility for travel and course expenses will be considered automatically as part of an assessment for bursary maintenance or EMA funding.

Assistance with travel costs can only be considered for students who live outwith a 2 mile radius (as the crow flies) of their college campus. The amount awarded is based on the cheapest form of travel, usually a monthly bus pass and is paid fortnightly in arrears.

Travel and course expenses are also subject to mean-testing against parent’s/guardian’s/ partner’s/student’s income. If you are under 18 years old on the start date of your course, you can apply for travel and course expenses without providing income details.

Halls of Residence

Students who live outwith a reasonable travel distance of their college campus may be eligible for assistance towards college halls of residence costs up to £121.15 per week. This allowance is means-tested against parental income.

If you are awarded assistance towards halls of residence costs, you would not be eligible to receive the full bursary maintenance advised above. You will however be considered for a personal allowance of up to £31.73 per week, or EMA of £30.00 per week, depending on your age/circumstances.

Dependants Allowance

If you have care, financial or legal responsibility for an adult dependant, you can apply for a dependant’s allowance of up to £58.41. To be eligible to receive this allowance, you must provide evidence to confirm you have responsibility for an adult dependant, and the adult dependant’s income must be lower than £58.41 per week.

Childcare Funding

If you have children, you can apply for assistance towards registered childcare costs for the times you attend college. The fund is income assessed and is available for full-time and part-time further education students, and full-time higher education students.

What is the fund for?

Costs for registered childcare provision. This includes costs for:

  • Nursery care
  • Childminder
  • Breakfast clubs and after school care

Please note your childcare provider must be registered with the Care Inspectorate.

Awards will only be made for childcare provision for periods of timetabled classes or periods on mandatory work placement. Awards can also include costs incurred during college holiday periods – these vary from provider to provider.

The childcare fund does not cover:

  • Deposits
  • Payments for notice periods
  • Provision out with college term time
  • Duplicate funding i.e. where funding has been claimed from an alternative source

e.g. Working Tax Credit (Childcare Element), Universal Credit (Childcare element) and Local Council partnership funding.

How does the fund work?

Students must satisfy the residence requirements set out by the Scottish Funding Council. Please see section 2 of this guide for further information.

The level of assistance will be based on the amount of the household income. Household income is calculated using the student’s own income for the current tax year plus, if appropriate partner/spouse income for the previous tax year. The following table shows the level of support available:

Gross income per household Percentage of costs you may be eligible for

£24,000 or less

100%

£24,001 to £27,000

80%

£27,001 to £30,000

60%

£30,001 to £33,000

40%

£33,001 to £37,000

20%

£37,001 or more

0%

Lone parent students who have to pay all or part of the cost for registered childcare can receive up to £1,215.00 a year in the form of a Lone Parent Childcare Grant. This grant is not income assessed however a student must provide proof that they are a lone parent with registered childcare costs. Childcare costs in excess of £1,215.00 will be considered for additional support from the Childcare Fund however this part is income assessed.

Please note that Edinburgh College makes childcare payments directly to the provider and not to the student.

Childcare contracts are between the student and the provider. The college will not enter into any discussions with childcare providers regarding contracts and will not take part in any disputes.

What should I do prior to submitting an application?

You must find your own registered childcare provision that you require to attend college. The college cannot provide assistance in finding childcare provision. You may be asked to provide contracts and/or appropriate terms and conditions from your provider.

Before applying you should ensure you have claimed for all eligible support that is available to you. This can include:
n Free Local Council nursery places.
n Pre-school funding provided by your local council in partnership nurseries. This is

available for all 3 and 4 year olds and some 2 year olds. You should contact your

nursery and the local council for further information including making an application. n Child tax credits.
n For Higher Education full-time Students - Maximum student loan, bursary, fees

and lone parent grant (if applicable). Please note that you must have been awarded payment of tuition fees by SAAS to be eligible for childcare funding (other than the Lone Parent Childcare Grant).

n For Further Education full-time Students – Further Education Bursary funding. How do I apply?

Childcare applications are made via the online application system.

Discretionary Funding

The Student Discretionary Fund can assist students who experience financial difficulty while at college. You can apply to the college for help with a grant, not a loan, towards some of the costs of:

  • Travel expenses
  • Disability related costs
  • Books and equipment
  • Living costs
  • Accommodation
  • Emergency situations

Before applying you should have taken up your maximum entitlement to all other funding, such as bursary, student loan or any other grants. More information on other funding options can be found in the brochure. Students must satisfy residence requirements set out by the Scottish Funding Council to apply to the Discretionary Fund. You must provide evidence to support your application. Student Services staff will let you know what evidence we need from you, as it will differ depending on your reason for applying.

Student Services run virtual drop-ins and face to face drop-ins. You can speak to a Student Advisor about the Discretionary Fund or any other financial issues you are having. All drop-ins are confidential.

Please note that the Discretionary Fund often cannot help to fully cover a student’s expenses while at college, and it is the student’s responsibility to cover any shortfall between income and expenses. Also, the college only receives a limited amount of Discretionary funding and this money may run out at any time.

Housing benefit

Most full-time students are not eligible to claim housing benefit, however housing benefit may be available to the following groups:

  • Part-time students
  • Those who have a dependent child
  • Those in receipt of certain benefits, such as Income Support or Income Based Employment Support Allowance
  • Those under the age of 21
  • Those who have reached the qualifying age for state pension n
  • Those who are disabled and receive a disability benefit.

For further information including how to apply, please contact your local council.

Council Tax Exemption

Full-time students can claim exemption from council tax. You are not automatically exempt from Council Tax when becoming a full-time student. Please refer to your local authority website for instructions to claim this exemption. Forms can be submitted to Student Services for completion.

Tax Credits

Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to claim child tax credits or working tax credits. For further information.

For more information visit the Governments website.

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Try our funding tool

To assist you in finding out whether your course fees will be covered and what financial support you may be able to apply for, please use our funding tool. 

Use the Funding Tool
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Funding Evidence

You may be required to provide certain evidence to prove your eligibility. This evidence may also need to be provided as a specific document and sent clearly in order to be verified.

Funding Evidence
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Contact us

If you need any help completing your funding application please contact us:

0131 669 4400
studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk