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01 October 2020

Funding Your Studies When Returning to Education

Returning to college can be a daunting prospect if you have been out of education for a while. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you may have either had your work hours reduced or suffered job loss. Although this can be devastating, it may be your opportunity to return to education to take your career path in a new direction.

You may worry that with studying you may have to sacrifice income made from working. However, college can provide you with financial support while you are studying. This can help you build upon your education while providing funding for living costs, all with the end goal of building a career you enjoy. Here are some ways you can fund your studies when returning to education. 

Funding Tool 

A good place to start is to understand what type of funding you may be entitled to based on the study mode of your course (full-time or part-time) and your personal circumstances. An easy way to find this out is to use our Funding Tool.

Funding options for full-time courses 

Studying full-time usually means you are in college three to four days a week. Depending on the level of your course, you can apply for a college bursary or a student loan from SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland) which is paid to you every month for the duration of your course. Your bursary will be part of your Edinburgh College course application whereas you must apply for SAAS directly on their website before your course begins. The difference is that a bursary is provided by the College without the need to repay it, whereas a loan from SAAS will be repaid directly from your pay check (before tax) once you are earning above a certain amount and have completed your studies.

When you study full-time you will have time for independent study. It can also be an opportunity to apply for a part-time job to help gain further experience and skills while earning a second line of income. We provide a service called JobZone, which is a website where you can find part-time jobs. This is ideal for those who want to work while studying. 

Funding options for part-time or evening courses 

If you are looking to study a part-time or evening course, you may be eligible for funding options. Depending on the level of your course you may be eligible for SAAS funding. You must apply for SAAS directly on their website before your course begins.

Individual Training Accounts (ITA) funding provided by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), are available for those looking to build upon their skills or discover new ones. You could be eligible for up to £200 towards your course without the need to repay. This funding is only open for a limited amount of time and there is a limit on the total number of applications that can be made. You must apply for ITA funding directly on the SDS My World of Work website and be approved before applying for a college course. 

If you are considering returning to education after a break and need further advice, please contact us for more information at studentfunding@edinburghcollege.ac.uk.