Think you’ve maxed out your funding allowance? Here’s what else you may be entitled to
The way unemployment, disability and childcare benefits are paid in the UK is about to change. Over the next few years, several benefits payments will be scrunched into a monthly ‘Universal Credit’ pay-out that most full-time students won’t be eligible for. If you’re a parent/carer or have a disability, and are a UK resident, you may still be eligible — either way, check for yourself to see if you qualify: talk to your student support team.
Full-time students can apply for a Childcare Grant and Parents’ Learning Allowance. If you’re financially responsible for another adult, there’s also the Adult Dependants’ Grant. All three are means tested but don’t need to be repaid — apply for them along with your student finance package. What’s available, and what it’s called, may vary according to region.
Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
If you’ve got a physical or mental disability (including learning and other non-seen difficulties that affect your studies) you may get DSA. It’s not means tested, doesn’t have to be repaid and covers extra costs you incur while studying as a result of your condition. You’ll need proof of your entitlement from your doctor and may need to have a more formal assessment, too. If you’re eligible, you may get money for specialist kit, travel, general assistance or a helper — some of which is paid each year and some per course. Next step: talk to your uni’s welfare adviser (the uni may cover assessment costs) or your regional student finance body.
If you’ve got the grades but not the family income to support higher ed, see if your uni or college offers any scholarships (or bursaries, which aren’t grade-dependent). Both can be niche offerings — for students from particular backgrounds or studying certain subjects — but you won’t know till you ‘ave a look. There’s cash lodged in private scholarships, bursaries and local awards — not all of which are widely publicised. Talk to your uni to see what’s on offer or do a grants and benefits search at turn2us.org.uk or family-action.org.uk. Students from England: most universities and colleges in England offer the National Scholarship Programme (NSP), a mix of fee waivers, discounted accommodation and cash grants — though 2014 will be the last year it’s offered to undergrads.
First aid for funding
Some health and medicine courses come with annual NHS funding, which pays for tuition fees, a means-tested bursary for living costs and a non-means-tested grant. Unlike other student finance, you may be eligible even if you’ve previously done a course, and can also apply for the usual disability, parents’ and dependants’ allowances if you’re entitled. Some awards are dependent on where in the UK you usually live — check your country’s NHS portal or start with nhsbsa.nhs.uk for pointers.
There’s other funding floating about out there that covers a host of circumstances, from money for those leaving care to teacher training. Get more detailed advice from: