Funding FAQs

 

I am coming to college to do an NC/NQ course. I now have to apply for funding. What can I apply for?

If your birthday is between 5th September 1998 and 28th February 2002 then you will be able to apply for EMA. This is based on household income. If your household income is £24,421 or less per year you will be eligible for £30 per week. If the household income is £26,884 and there is more than one dependant in the household you will be eligible for £30 per week.

 

If your birthday is between 5th September 1992 and 4th September 1998 then you will be able to apply for a bursary based on your parents’ household income. The maximum you will be eligible for is £77.01 per week.

 

If your birthday is between 5th September 1992 and 4th September 1998 and you are a self-supporting student (you need to provide proof of a complete 3 full tax years’ earnings or benefits or JSA or a combination of these to qualify), the maximum you will be eligible for is £97.33 per week. 

​If your birthday is before 4th September 1992 then you will be eligible to apply for a bursary. This will be based on your partner’s gross earnings or benefits/JSA as applicable for tax year ended April 2017. The maximum you will be eligible for is £97.33 per week.

I am under 25 but consider myself Self Supporting, how do I prove this?

You will need to provide documentary evidence that you have supported yourself through full-time employment or benefits claims for any three full tax years since leaving school. E.g. P60s, letter from HMRC.

If you have full time care of a child you will automatically be deemed to be independent of your parents.

If you are under 25 and married you will automatically be considered independent of your parents.

If you have been married and are now separated or divorced then you are not classed as self-supporting unless you have a child that is dependent on you or that you can prove three years self-support individually.​

I am estranged from my parents - What evidence do I need to provide?

A letter from an agency who has been involved in your care e.g. Letter from Social Work or a letter from The Department of Work and Pensions/HMRC confirming you were in receipt of Income Support when under the age of 19.​

I am being cared for by foster parents - What evidence do I need to provide?

A letter from your Social Worker confirming you are under their care.​

How do I get the funding application form and where do I hand it in?

Funding application forms will be sent to you once you have accepted an unconditional offer. You can hand in your form at your nearest campus – Have a look at our Summer Drop In Sessions page to find out when someone from the Student Funding Team will be on campus.​

What documents do I need to hand in with my form?

The forms listed below are the main forms of documentation you will be asked to provide. Applications are assessed on an individual basis and other documents may be requested. Please see the checklist in our Student Funding Application Form for more details.

 

EMA

18-24

19-24 Self Supporting

25+

ID

ID

ID

ID

Proof of your address eg bank statement

Proof of your address eg bank statement

Proof of your address eg council tax notification or bank statement

Proof of your address eg council tax notification or bank statement

Tax Credit Award 2017/18

Tax Credit Award 2016/17

Tax Credit Award 2017/18

Tax Credit Award 2017/18

P60 2017 for parents

P60 2017 for parents

3 years P60

P60 2017 for partner

Council Tax Notification 2017-18 if parent is single person

 Council Tax Notification 2017-18 if parent is single person

 Council Tax Notification 2017-18 if  you have own tenancy or to prove partnership

 Council Tax Notification 2017-18 if you are a single person

Benefit Letter

Benefit Letter

Benefit Letter

Benefit Letter

Can I get help filing out the form?

Yes, please contact a member of the Guidance Team who will be able to assist you.​

I have previously been funded. Will I be eligible for further funding?

If you were under 18 you will be funded. If you were over 18 individual circumstances will be considered. Please submit a letter along with any supporting evidence e.g. letter from GP with your application.​

How long will it take before I hear anything?

Once we have received your Student Funding Application Form and all of the supporting documentation your award will be processed within 28 days. This may be longer at peak times in August and September so hand your form and supporting evidence in as early as you can.​

Can I get help with travelling expenses?

If you are under the age of 18 and live out with a 2 mile radius of the campus you will be studying at then you will be automatically awarded travelling expenses. If you are over 18 household income is taken into account when awarding travel expenses.

 

Travel expenses are based on the cheapest public transport rates.

You will not be entitled to travelling expenses if you are in receipt of the mobility element of DLA/PIP.​

When will I be paid?

EMA and Bursary will be paid every two weeks in arrears, depending upon satisfactory attendance. Please see our College Attendance Policy for further details. You will be sent a payment schedule with your award letter and once you are a student you will be able to see this on your student portal. Payment will be made straight into the bank account that you provide us with on your application.​

Do I have to pay tuition fees?

In general students do not pay fees for full-time NQ level courses; these are covered by the SFC Fee Waiver Policy. If you have already been funded for courses in the past you may be have to pay the fees yourself, these are £1,008 for home rate students. You have to fill in a Student Funding Application form for your fees to be paid.​

My parents worked and lived abroad for 2 years and I have only been back in Scotland for the last year. Will I still be eligible for funding?

If you were born in Scotland, have spent the majority of your life in Scotland and were only living abroad temporarily because of your parents’ employment, your tuition fees would be paid on your behalf by the SFC. You may also be eligible for bursary or EMA funding depending on your age and household income.​

I am separated from my partner. We have no legal agreement on the amount of money I get. At present I get £1,000 per month to support me but this could change. How does this impact on my award application and what evidence will I need to submit?

The income of £1,000 would be treated as unearned income*. Any unearned income over £20.52 per week would be taken into account and would reduce the bursary on a pound for pound basis so there could be a significant impact on any bursary award made. We would require bank statement evidence of amount received.

 

*Unearned income is Trust Income, Pension Income, Bank/Building Society Interest, Dividends, Income from property, Working Tax Credit, Bereavement Allowance, Carer Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Maternity Allowance, SSP, Widowed Parents Allowance and War widow’s Pension/War Pension.​

Are there any support funds for Childcare?

We have a discretionary fund which is for help with childcare. You have to have applied for every other support fund you are entitled to before you can put an application in for this. E.g. NC level courses: bursary and tuition fees. HNC or above: bursary, tuition fees, loan, and single parent grant from SAAS.​

Is there help towards the registration fee for childcare places?

No, the contract is between the parent and the childcare provider and we cannot help towards this cost.​

Are childcare expenses paid over the holidays to ensure places are kept?

Where appropriate we will do this but not to places that are only open during term-time.​

What is the maximum level of support I can get to help towards rent/mortgage payments?

£60 per week. This fund is awarded based on essential household income and expenditure.​

If I do not pass the course can I be funded again next year?

Individual circumstances will be considered. You may be required to complete an appeal form and provide relevant evidence to support the appeal e.g. medical evidence.​

Can I stay on my benefits while I am at college?

Full-time students do not qualify for Job Seekers; you must tell the job centre that you are now a full-time student when you start on your course.

Students who are eligible to claim Department for Work and Pensions benefits and are NOT required to register as being available for work while attending a full-time course, will not qualify for a maintenance allowance, but may be considered for an allowance towards the cost of travel.

Housing Benefit is not normally available to students who are on a full-time course, however full-time students who have children, students on certain benefits and students who are single and under the age of 21 may be eligible for Housing Benefit.​ 

Do I need to pay council tax?

Most full-time students are eligible for Council Tax exemption as long as your course is for 24 weeks or more. Please follow the link below to apply for an exemption: https://www.fifedirect.org.uk/MyHome/index.cfm?fuseaction=ctax.getFrom&formid=64B1F6BB-DF71-4E30-B319-D8A9A5FD43EB​

My 18th birthday is during term time at college. Will I be calculated for Bursary mid-way through the year?

No, your funding is based on your age and circumstances on the official start date of the course.​

If my circumstances change through the year can I be reassessed?

Yes, please provide a written statement detailing the changes and provide supporting evidence of the changes. Please note, it is important that you let us know as soon as your circumstances change.​

I have a part-time job will this affect my bursary?

Your salary will not affect your bursary but any unearned income* could. Any unearned income over £20.52 per week would be taken into account and would reduce the bursary on a pound for pound basis so there could be a significant impact on any bursary award made.

 

*Unearned income is Trust Income, Pension Income, Bank/Building Society Interest, Dividends, Income from property, Working Tax Credit, Bereavement Allowance, Carer Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Maternity Allowance, SSP, Widowed Parents Allowance and War widow’s Pension/War Pension.​

What happens if I am absent from college. Will I still receive my payments?

Pleases refer to our College Attendance Policy.​

What does paid in arrears mean?

This means that you will be paid for weeks you have already attended, not for current or future weeks.  ​

Is there any other funding I might be eligible for?

f you have children in registered childcare, you can apply to the Childcare Fund.  If you have rent or a mortgage to pay, you can apply to the Discretionary Fund. You can apply for this by completing a Student Funding Application Form.​

How do I contact the Student Funding Team?

Student Funding will be out at campuses over the summer holidays. Have a look at our Summer Drop In Sessions page to find out when someone from the Student Funding Team will be on campus. You can also call us on 0344 248 0115 or email us at studentfunding@fife.ac.uk​

What happens if I cannot provide details of my household income?

If you are unable to provide evidence of your household income the College will not be able to assess you for an award. You should contact a member of the Student Funding Team by emailing studentfunding@fife.ac.uk  or calling 0344 248 0115 who will be able to advise you based on your circumstances.​

I am in receipt of benefits – do I still need to apply for anything?

Yes, all students must complete a Student Funding Application Form regardless of benefit entitlement.  Certain benefits may affect your Bursary/EMA award but it is recommended that you do still apply otherwise you may miss out on assistance you might be eligible for. This application form will also cover your course fees. Please check with the Department of Work and Pensions that coming to college on a full-time course will not affect your benefit claim.​

Do I still need to apply for funding if I am a Christmas Leaver?

If your 16th birthday falls between 1st October and the last day of February you will be classed as a Christmas Leaver.  You must still apply for your funding but you will not be eligible for any payments until January 2018.​

I already know my household income is too high for an EMA - do I still need to apply?

Yes, all full-time students must complete a Student Funding Application Form regardless of level of income.  You do not need to supply evidence of household income but you do still need to complete the application for the College to consider assistance with fees and travel.  You need only supply ID for yourself and proof of your address.​

Does the College take into account other forms of childcare support when calculating awards?

Yes, any other childcare support already being claimed will be deducted prior to granting an award.​

Why do I need my siblings’ birth certificates?

Proving that you have other siblings can make a difference to your award so it is in your best interest to hand in photocopies of birth certificates as it could mean that you get more money every payment.​

Can I use my mum’s (or anyone else’s) bank account for payments?

Yes you can but we cannot be held accountable if that person does not then give you the money. We strongly suggest that you get your own bank account so these issues do not arise.​

I do internet banking on my phone and don’t get paper statements - what should I do?

You should be able to print these out, as long as we can see that they are your bank statements e.g. have you name and account number on them then it will be ok for us to accept these. They cannot be exported to excel format.​

I sometimes live with my mum and sometimes my dad. What address should I use and whose income will be used?

You should use the address/income of the parent that claims the Child Benefit and/or child tax credit for you or who last claimed the benefit for you if you are over the age of being eligible for child benefit.​

I can’t prove I am homeless but I actually live on friends’ sofas, what can I do?

We would suggest that you come in to see us as we can help support you throughout your time at college as well. You can make a guidance appointment or come into any campus and speak to someone from the Student Funding Team who will be able to advise based on your individual circumstances.  You may be eligible to claim Income Support while you are at college depending on your age and circumstances.​

I only want to be considered for Fees and Travel, however, the award letter I’ve received states I have applied for a ‘Bursary’. Is this right?

Travel expenses come out of the Bursary account so this is why it is referred to as Bursary so yes, it is right.​

Can I apply for bursary and EMA?

Depending on your age then yes. Bursary includes travel expenses so you can claim for this part.

If you are under 18 years of age you can apply for Education Maintenance Allowance and travel expenses, depending on where you stay.  If you are 18 or over you can apply for a bursary which includes travel expenses, if eligible.​

If my payments are suspended but I was absent for an authorised reason, is there anyone I can discuss this with to get my payments released?

Please refer to our College Attendance Policy​

I’m unsure as to what evidence I need to provide with my funding application, is there anyone who can advise me?

Yes, you can contact the Student Funding Team by telephoning 0344 248 0115 or by emailing us at studentfunding@fife.ac.uk  for advice, or have a look at our Summer Drop In Sessions page to find out when someone from the Student Funding Team will be on campus.​


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