Study with us
Access to Higher Education
If you’re applying to UCEN Manchester and you’re over 19, then some tuition and exam fees might apply, but there are some helpful opportunities to help you reduce or even eliminate these costs.
The funding you’re able to claim will depend on your personal circumstances and the course you’re studying with us. We’ve outlined the options you may have below, but if you’ve got any questions or concerns about finance and funding, then our Careers and Welfare team will be happy to help.
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Advance Learner Loan
What is it?
If you’re going to be 19 or above at the time you start a Level 3 or Level 4 course (levels explained) with us, you could take advantage of an Advanced Learning Loan, available from the UK government. This loan can be used to pay some, or all, of your tuition fees, meaning that you can improve your knowledge and skills without worrying about paying upfront. If you want to pay a part of your tuition fees yourself, you can just take out a loan for the remaining amount.
You’ll then make repayments to your loan, based on your earnings. They’re taken directly out of your salary by your employer or you make them yourself as part of your Self Assessment tax return. When you start to earn, you won’t have to make any repayments until you are earning over £25,000
And for anyone who takes out a loan for an Access to Higher Education Diploma, if you go on to a complete a degree-level course that’s eligible for Student Finance (such as an HNC or Foundation Degree), then the Advanced Learner Loan for the Access to HE course will be written off, meaning you won’t have to repay any more of it.
If you’re between 19 and 24 and wish to study a course at Level 2, 3 or 4, and you do not currently have a qualification at this Level, then you may not have to pay or apply for tuition fees for your course. In addition, you may still qualify for the 19+ study award for exam, childcare and travel. Please note that Level 4 entitlement does not include any courses classed as Higher Education.
Am I eligible?
The Advanced Learner Loan is available for those over 19 who are studying a Level 3 or Level 4 course in further education and training. You’ll need to have been resident in the UK for the last three years to be eligible. The minimum loan amount you can take is £300 and the maximum is the full cost of your tuition fees.
How do I apply?
Once you’ve been accepted on to your course, you’ll receive a letter telling you what to do, together with the amount you need to apply for and any reference numbers you need for the application. The process is simple and there is no means testing or credit rating check. You just apply online and then your tuition fees are paid automatically.
Level 3 Entitlement
If you are aged 19 to 23, studying your first full level 3 qualification your course fees will be remitted.
19+ Study Award
What is it?
The Manchester College has some funds available to help anyone over 19 years old who may be living on a low income (including the joint total income of a partner). The 19+ Study Award is made up of 4 different elements: tuition fees, travel awards, exam fees, and childcare. The elements you can apply for will depend on your circumstances and the course you are studying. You could get help for tuition and exam fees, support for travel in the form of a System One Travel Pass, and contributions toward childcare costs, up to a maximum of £150 per child (maximum entitlement is £300 per student).
Am I eligible?
You may be eligible if your household income is less than £20,000, and you must have lived in the UK or EU/EAA for at least three years. You’ll need to have your residency assessed as HOME STUDENT. Tuition fees support is available for courses up to and including Level 2 and learners aged 19-23 without a Full Level 3 Qualification. Travel awards are dependent on the length of your course and your attendance. Travel is available for Level 3 learners who are on a low income/benefit regardless of age. For childcare support, your childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted, and you’ll be expected to pay 5% of the cost yourself.
How do I apply?
When you enrol, you’ll be given an application to fill in. This should be completed within two weeks, and returned with any evidence that proves your eligibility. This could include bank statements, a P60 and wage slips to show your income, and passports, visas or a letter from the Home Office to show your residency.
Terms and Conditions
- The 19+ Study Award funds are paid from the college allocation of Discretionary Support Funds from the Skills Funding Agency and the Advanced Learning Loan Bursary.
- These funds are paid to meet some of the costs associated with learning, to enable learners to attend college courses where financial issues may not have made this otherwise possible.
- The funds are paid subject to learners meeting the conditions of your learning agreement in terms of learning goals and the standards of behaviour and maintain a good attendance pattern in line with the college expectations, which must be at least 10 guided learning hours per week.
- Where a learner has been awarded a study award but they do not meet the attendance, behaviour and effort requirements, payment will not be made.
- Where a learner has been awarded childcare support, attendance will also be monitored and this support may be removed, with one months’ notice in writing to the learner and the childcare provider, where the learner does not have an appropriate level of attendance or where they are not progressing with their studies.
- If a learner withdraws from their studies or stops attending the college, all support through the Study Award will immediately cease and no future payments will be made – this includes the study award and childcare support, where appropriate.
- If a learner loses their bus pass, there will be a £5 charge for administration costs for a replacement. A refund will not be given for passes later found.
- The LSF funds are limited and not guaranteed these will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and will close when the full allocation has been spent. The fund will be reviewed on a termly basis. The college reserve the right to adjust the criteria in year according to funds available.
- Continued personal eligibility to the study award and childcare support through the Study Award system is checked prior to any payments being made and should the learner’s programme of study or number of hours have changed, the college will amend the amount of financial support available to the learner and notify them of this change in writing.