Availability of Student Grants

Grants are available to a wide range of students which is claimed from your Higher Education Institute including students in nursing with the NHS. You'll need to check with your own institution to see what is available to you and the main scheme in the UK is the NHS student bursary scheme but universities offer bursaries also.

What Are Grants ?

A grant is a non repayable financial support cash amount you receive as a student generally provided to new students on lower incomes. The smaller the income the more the grant awarded.

The amount is paid directly to the student and you should not have to complete additional forms to get it. Some universities are based on academic qualifications whilst others are not. Student grants are normally used like top up fees and are meant to be used towards tuition fees or cover living expenses. Therefore there are two main grant schemes - maintenance grant and tuition fee grant are paid in three instalments at the beginning of each term.

Maintenance Grants

From 2006 the UK Government introduced maintenance grants to help with living expenses of up to £2,835 per year to new full-time undergraduate students from lower income households. The grant is available to English and Welsh students and does not have to be re-paid.

The level of grant will reduce if your family income increases. UK students from families with an income of less than £25,000 are likely to receive the full grant. Partial grants are available for those with family incomes between £25,000 and around £50,000. For general advice contact the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) on their free information line: 0800 731 9133. Your Local Authority can also provide more specific advice. Grants are payable in three instalments, one at the start of each term, and do not have to be repaid.

For students in Scotland maintenance grants of up to £2000 per year are available in the form of a means tested non-repayable bursary. Please refer to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for more information by emailing: saas.geu@scotland.gsi.gov.uk, or by using the automated telephone answering service on 0845 111 1711.

Tuition fee grants

The tuition fee grant is money paid by the government to your college or university to help cover your tuition fee costs while you are studying. It can cover all or part of your tuition fee depending on your income and the income of your household. Although this grant is means-tested you will not have to repay any of it at any time.

Depending on your household income the tuition fee grant is designed to cover some or all of your tuition fees. The maximum amounts for 2008/ 2009 are £1,255 a year. If you get the maximum tuition fee grant you will have no tuition fees to pay. If you don't get the maximum grant you can take out student loans for tuition fees to cover any shortfall you may have.

Single independent students will get the full tuition fee grant if they have an income of less than £11,020 in 2008/ 2009. Therefore the maximum you'll have to contribute towards your tuition fees represents around a quarter of the actual cost of the average higher education course. The rest of the cost is automatically covered by the government. The tuition fee grant is paid by Student Finance Direct straight to your college or university.

Adult Learning Grant

The Adult Learning Grant (ALG) is aimed so you can get paid to go back into education and get the skills you may need to get the job you want if you didn't get the qualifications first time around. If you're eligible you'll get up to £30 a week while you're studying which equates to around £1,000 a year to help pay for travel, books, materials and other costs. You can choose from a whole range of courses to gain qualifications that are relevant such as BTECs, NVQs, GCSEs and A-levels to improve your employability and knowledge. And there may be no fees to pay for college courses either if you're studying for your first full level 2 or level 3 qualification.

If you are thinking about studying at the College you may be entitled to the Adult Learning Grant if you can answer yes to the following:

If you're working part-time or living at home you could still get ALG. The amount you receive will be dependent upon your income and that of any co-habiting partner. For ideas on what to study, talk to the Student Services team at your local college, or contact the Careers Advice Service. Just phone 0800 100 900.

Higher Education Grant

The Higher Education Grant is means tested and available to full-time higher education students from lower income households. It is available to students who started a full-time course in 2004/2005 or 2005/2006 (or if you come under the rules for student finance for 2005/2006). You do not have to repay this help. The amount you can get will depend on your household income. For 2008/2009 and 2007/2008, the maximum Higher Education Grant is £1,000 a year if your household income is below £16,750. If its between £16,751 and £22,735 you'll receive a partial grant of at least £50 and if your house hold income is over £22,736 you receive no grant.

The Higher Education Grant is paid to you by Student Finance Direct at the start of each term - usually straight into your bank account.

Other Grants Available

Look on your university or college website for details of other grants available. Some examples of what's on offer include:

Additional Funding and Help

There is a range of extra help available for full-time students in higher education such as the following:

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