As a student parent, there is a lot of juggling of university work, family and looking after yourself. We understand that your degree is just one part of your busy schedule and that knowing what financial support is available can feel like a minefield. Student parents are able to apply for funding in addition to their student finance to help with childcare costs and the additional costs associated with having a family. It’s important to note that the funding available may depend on what year you started your course. The information below refers to new students starting in 17-18, unless otherwise stated.

 

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT FINANCE

 

Student Finance England

In addition to the Maintenance Loan, and depending on household income, some student parents are eligible to apply for three additional grants via Student Finance. These include:

The support you can apply for will depend on the year you started your course. Any single parents who started their course from September 2016 would no longer get the Special Support Grant and are now eligible for a higher rate Maintenance Loan.

From Sept 2017 NHS students studying midwifery and nursing will no longer receive an NHS Bursary. Students can apply for regular funding from Student Finance England, as noted above.

 

Student Awards Agency Scotland

If you are a Scottish student studying outside Scotland, you will be responsible for paying your own tuition fees and can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost. You can also apply for a loan to cover your living costs. There are also additional sources of funding if you have dependent/s or a disability. More details can be found at: www.saas.gov.uk

 

Student Finance NI

Students who are normally live in Northern Ireland who wish to study in the UK can apply for a Tuition Fee loan to pay their tuition fees. You can get help with living expenses with a Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant and a Maintenance Loan. Further support is available if you have a disability or dependents. Further information can be found at: www.studentfinanceni.co.uk

 

Student Finance Wales

Welsh, full time undergraduate students can apply to Student Finance Wales for a tuition fee loan and a fee grant to cover the costs of their tuition fees when studying in England. You can also receive a means-tested maintenance loan to help with your living costs. You may also qualify for the Welsh Government Learning Grant if your household income is £50,020 or less. Part-time students can apply for a tuition fee loan and course grant. There are additional sources of funding if you have dependent/s or a disability. Student Finance Wales have a useful calculator on their website.

 

NHS AND SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS

Although nursing and midwifery students will now be funded via Student Finance, the NHS will provide additional funding in the form of a Travel Grant to reimburse costs associated with being on placement, and a Child Care Additional Funds allowance of £1000 per year. From 1st November the Learning Support Fund will become available instead. The Learning Support Fund has been set up to provide financial assistance to students in three areas - child dependants allowance, travel and dual accommodation expenses and the exceptional support fund. Social Work students can apply for a Social Work Bursary in their second and third years of study via AsKBU.

 

POSTGRADUATE STUDENT FINANCE

 

Postgraduate Loan

Students due to start a Masters degree can now apply for a Postgraduate Loan via Student Finance. The maximum award is £10,280. The deadline for applying depends on when you start your course. You need to apply within nine months of the first day of the last academic year of the course. For more information: www.gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study

 

Professional and Career Development Loan

You can also apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan. You can borrow between £300 - £10,000. Check with your benefits office before you take out a loan as it can affect the benefits you’re entitled to. More information can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/career-development-loans/overview

 

Future Finance

Future Finance is another option for those students who do not qualify for the Postgraduate Loan. Visit www.futurefinance.com for more information.

 

When do I apply? 

The sooner you apply for funding the better. There are deadlines in place to ensure you funding is available for Sept 17, however these have all now passed. Apply now! You will need to ensure your student finance award is finalised before submitting an application for benefits. If you are already in receipt of benefits then you will need to ensure you inform the relevant party of your changes of circumstances, once you have had the Student Finance award come through. With this in mind, it’s essential that you apply for your student finance in good time as it can take sometimes for your benefits and tax credits to be amended.

 

BU SCHOLARHSHIPS AND BURSARIES

Full details of the funding available from BU can be found on ther website.

 

HARDSHIP FUNDING

If you are struggling to make ends meet please look at our hardship funding page and contact us for advice.

 

TAX CREDITS AND BENEFITS

As a student parent you are entitled to apply for benefits to supplement your income. What you receive will depend on your individual circumstances. Contact us to ascertain what exactly you can apply for. Unfortunately we cannot advise you as to how much you may receive as we are not trained assessors.

 

Universal Credit has been created to support people who are on a low income or out of work. It has been brought in to replace six existing benefits : Income based JSA, Income based ESA, Income support, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. It depends where you live in the country as to whether you apply for this. Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset are soon to go over to Universal Credit. We will add details about this when we have learnt more at the next Connecting Advice in Dorset briefing on the 27th Sept 17

 

Child Tax credit is means-tested (based on your income) and both part-time and full-time students can apply. It is paid to families with children and most student support is ignored in the assessment.  If you receive income support, income based JSA or income related ESA, or Pension Credit then you will automatically get the maximum amount of CTC. You can call the Tax Credit helpline on 0345 300 3900 to request a claim form.

Working Tax Credit is also means-tested and aims to top up low wages. It is available for part-time and full-time students. You have to be over 25 years of age to qualify and work at least 30 hours a week. However, if you have a child, a disability or are over 60 then you may be eligible if you work at least 16 (single parent) or 24 hours a week (combined working week if part of a couple). You can call the Tax Credit helpline on 0345 300 3900 to request a claim form. Working Tax Credit might also include a childcare element – be mindful of this because Student Finance also provide full time undergraduates with a child care grant. Student Finance pay more – you cannot claim both of these.

 

Child Benefit is paid to those who are responsible for a ‘qualifying young person’. It is not means-tested and both part-time and full-time students can apply. Be aware that the benefit cap limits how much benefit an individual can claim when aged between 16-64 years of age.

Weekly rate from April 2017:

  • Eldest child £20.70
  • Other children (each) £13.70

 

Housing Benefit can help you pay your rent and you can claim if you are a loan parent or part of a couple who have a child. Other full-time student can apply if they can get income support, income based job seekers allowance or income related employment support allowance, have a disability or are in receipt of pension credit. Housing benefit is means-tested and there are limits as to how much you can receive if you qualify. If you are a single parent then you should be eligible for housing benefit for the whole year.You can submit a claim by contacting your local authority.

During term time you may be expected to pay part of your rent with contribution from HB. In the summer vacations your student finance is ignored and you should receive full HB. If you have a partner who works full time, you will need them to apply for you both as their income could affect your eligible amount.

 

Income Support provides financial help for those who are not expected to ‘sign-on’ for work. Part-time students can claim if they are a loan parent with a child under five years of age, a carer, pregnant (and sick or nearly due). Full-time loan parents can also claim if they have a child under five years of age. Student loans and grants are taken into account. This can mean you may not receive any income support during term time, but may qualify over the summer vacation as no student finance is provided for this period. To make a claim you will need to contact your local Jobcentre on 0800 055 6688.

 

Council Tax exemption is available to all full time students. Part-time students may not qualify. Disregarded persons aren’t taken into account when counting adults in a residence. Even if a property has more than two adults, a discount of 25% or 50% may still apply. You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working. Any reductions available will depend on:

  • where you live - each council runs its own scheme so contact them directly to find out more about what is available to you
  • your circumstances (eg income, number of children, benefits, residency status)
  • your household income - this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income
  • if your children live with you
  • if other adults live with you

Bournemouth Council: www.bournemouth.gov.uk/CouncilTax

Poole Borough Council: http://www.poole.gov.uk/benefits-and-council-tax/

 

You will need a Council Tax Exemption Certificate which is issued to you when you enrol at BU. If you lose this or your course end date changes, you will need to apply for a new certificate via AskBU.

 

Part of a couple?

If you are part of a couple and both of you are students then you can claim child benefit, child tax credits and housing benefit for the duration of your course. During the summer vacation you can claim income support of job seekers allowance, whichever is appropriate to your circumstances. During summer vacations full-time student couples who both study can claim income support. If you already get income support in term time you may be entitled to more during the summer vacation, please call 0800 055 6688 to check your eligibility.


If you are a full-time student and your partner isn’t a student then your partner can claim benefits for you under the usual benefit rules.

 

Benefit disregards

It is useful to know what benefits are effected by you student finance and visa versa. We have produced a guidance sheet to list what is and isn't considered.

 

Benefit cap

There’s a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called the benefit cap. Click here to find out more.

 

USEFUL LINKS AND INFORMATION

www.studentparents.org/

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