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Other Financial Support
In addition to the loans and grants available to students, there are other sources of financial support and funding for some students who fit particular circumstances.
Bursaries and Scholarships
- Bursaries and scholarships are made directly by universities and colleges in addition to any student loans, and grants and do not have to be paid back.
- Some commercial companies and charities also offer funding.
Disabled Students' Allowances
- Disabled Students' Allowances provide extra financial help for disabled students.
- They are designed to meet the extra costs that a disabled student may face, such as a note-taker or specialist equipment.
- Each of the national student finance organisations offer different support.
Extra financial support for students in financial hardship
- The Access to Learning Fund has been replaced in England and universities now distribute earmarked funds via their own Hardship Funds.
- The equivalent financial hardship support in Northern Ireland is called the Support Fund; in Scotland the Discretionary Fund; in Wales the Financial Contingency Fund.
- In all cases, you normally apply through the student services department at your university or college, after you start your course.
- The university decides which students need support and what the level of that support will be. This may simply be help with day-to-day study and living costs or to meet an unexpected or exceptional cost.
- Priority groups tend to be older or disadvantaged students and finalists.
- This funding is a back-stop and is normally given as a non-repayable grant according to need.
- It can be available as a one-off sum or in the form of a bursary payable every year.
If you are ineligible for any of the above financial support, you may still be able to apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan.
- These loans are available through some major high street banks in partnership with the government.
- Students on a wide range of vocational courses can borrow from £300 to £10,000 at a fixed rate of interest to help fund up to two years of learning and not pay anything back until you have finished your studies.
- You pay no interest on the loan while you are studying and start repaying the loan one month after your course has finished.
- Student Finance England
- Student Finance Wales
- Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)
- Student Finance NI
- Access to Learning Fund (England)
- Support Fund (Northern Ireland)
- Discretionary Fund (Scotland)
- Professional and Career Development Loan
Next page: University Bursaries and Scholarships