Advanced Learner Loans
For 19+ students taking a course at Level 3 or above
Government funding for Level 3 courses is available only to students who are aged between 19 and 23 at the start of their course who have not already achieved a full level 3 qualification.
If you are aged 19-23 and already have a full Level 3 (for example 2 A-level passes, a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma or an NVQ Level 3), or if you are aged 24 or above at the start of the course, you will have to pay the tuition fee. The Government has made available an Advanced Learner Loan to help students in these circumstances to fund their tuition. The Advanced Learner Loan will not cover the course registration fee, however students who apply and are eligible for a 19+ Bursary (see below) will have their registration fee paid from College Bursary funds.
To qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan you must:
Be studying for a qualification at level 3 or 4 such as Access to HE Diplomas, BTEC Level 3 Diplomas and other Level 3 or 4 Diplomas and Certificates which is on the approved list of eligible qualifications. The Advanced Learner loan does not cover Higher National Diplomas or degree courses.
Meet nationality/residency criteria: be living in the UK on the first day of your course, have been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 3 years before starting your course, be a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there’s no restrictions on how long you can stay).
You may also qualify if you are an EU national or a family member of one, a refugee, a migrant worker, the child of a Swiss national, the child of a Turkish worker.
The amount of money you can borrow depends on your course. You can take out a loan to cover your course tuition fees up to a set maximum level. The minimum amount you can borrow is £300.
When applying for an Advanced Learner Loan, there is no credit check and household income isn’t taken into account. Loan repayments are linked to what you earn when you’ve finished your course, not how much you borrowed.
You only need to start paying back your Advanced Learner Loan when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning more than £21,000 a year (which is £404 a week and £1,750 a month). You pay back 9% of the money you earn over £21,000.
If your loan is for an Access to Higher Education programme and you progress to complete a Student Finance England loan funded HE course, your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off and you will not have to pay it back.
How to apply to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan
To apply for an Advanced Learner Loan you must first apply to the College for the course and be offered a place. The College will then supply you with a ‘Learning and Funding Information’ letter which provides the details you will need to make your application. You can then make your loan application online or download an application form at www.gov.uk. (Advanced Learner Loan website not yet available) (Form expected to be available by 1 June 2016). If you have any queries regarding the Advanced Learner Loan please telephone the College on 01322 629420 and ask for Admissions or contact Student Finance England on: 0300 100 0619 (call charges apply).
Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund
The College has a 19+ Bursary Fund which provides financial assistance to eligible students who take out an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for registration fees, any other course costs, travel and limited childcare costs. To qualify for support your household income must be below £23,000 (for the previous tax year) after housing benefit or annual rent or mortgage payments has been deducted. For further information on the 19+ Bursary Fund please click here.
For further information or advice please speak to one of our Student Services Officers:
At Dartford Campus:
Jane Barge (A.M.) – Tel 01322 629428
Julie Carmichael (P.M.) – Tel 01322 629430
At Gravesend Campus:
Michelle Humble – Tel 01322 629649