Application For Student Funding – Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Application

Welcome to the Colchester Institute Advanced Learner Loan Online Bursary Application process for 19+ year old students. This form is for students over 19 at 31st August, 2023, who are taking out the Advanced Learner Loan to cover tuition fees.

The Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund is aimed at helping students with the costs associated with attending college.

Applications will be assessed on the assumption that you will be awarded and that you will accept the Advanced Learner Loan to cover your fees.  Awards from the College Support Fund will not be released until your Advanced Learner Loan has been confirmed and is in place.

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Before you proceed to the application form, we have broken down the different parts of the bursary guidelines so that you can see what you may be eligible to apply for and the supporting evidence you would need to provide.

You must upload your evidence first using the link at the bottom of the page, before you proceed to the application form. Applications without supporting evidence will not be processed until you have uploaded the required evidence.

Please read the information carefully to ensure that you are aware of what evidence you need to provide.

Supporting Evidence

Supporting documents must be uploaded before completing the application form, so you may wish to prepare these now.

If you are going to be submitting this form using a mobile device then please make sure that you save the files somewhere you can access them such as a folder within your iCloud / On My iPhone, or a OneDrive or Google Drive account.

When asked to upload your evidence, simply select the forms you wish to upload. On a desktop PC you will need to hold the Ctrl Key (or MAC equivalent) and select the required forms. Files can be submitted in a doc, docx, pdf, jpg or png format.

When submitting evidence of universal credit you must submit full statements for the last 3 months, showing all deductions and any take home pay. You can open the full statement by going to the PAYMENTS section of your universal credit account and then clicking on the payment date.

If it is not possible for you to save your supporting evidence now, please continue to read through these notes. Once your supporting documents are prepared, you can then skip through the guidance notes until you reach the application section.

If more than one benefit is claimed it is not necessary to provide evidence for each benefit.

Applications from households with a net income exceeding £30,000 are not normally considered. However, if you feel that your household is in financial hardship, please submit an application together with a supporting statement, evidence of household income and any evidence of the serious financial difficulties being experienced.

What is the Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund?

What is the Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund?

The Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund is provided to Colchester Institute by the government and is aimed at supporting students who are aged 19 and over, who have taken out an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of their tuition fees. The fund aims to help students overcome any financial barriers they may face in attending college.

Awards are based on specific financial needs for college related costs for such things as transport, meals, books and equipment. The bursary fund cannot provide help with costs unrelated to your course, such as general living expenses, nor can it be used as an attendance incentive.

Are you eligible for a discretionary bursary?

If you live with your parents and you are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits, or if you are financially dependent on your parents and your parents claim one of the following benefits, you can apply for a discretionary bursary.

If you live in the parental home and are not supporting yourself, your parent’s financial situation will be taken into account.

If you live away from the parental home, your application will be means tested against your benefits or income. If you have a partner, your partner’s income and any benefits claimed will also be taken into account.

Acceptable evidence for discretionary bursary

Qualifying BenefitAcceptable Evidence
Income SupportLetter from benefits agency dated within the last three months or current bank statement showing income support payment. Bank statements must show the account holder’s name and be currently dated.
Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based)Letter from benefits agency dated within the last three months confirming that jobseeker’s allowance is INCOME BASED. If letter more than 3 months old, please also provide current bank statement showing JSA payment. Bank statements must show the account holder’s name and be currently dated.
Employment and Support Allowance (income related)Letter from benefits agency dated within the last three months confirming that employment and support allowance is INCOME RELATED. If letter more than 3 months old, please also provide current bank statement showing ESA payment. Bank statements must show the account holder’s name and be currently dated.
Working Tax Credit / Child Tax Credit (annual net income + tax credits not totalling more than £30,000)

 

HMRC -Tax Credit Award Letter for 2022/23 full letter required + last 3 months payslips or latest accounts if self employed
Child Tax Credit (& not eligible for Working Tax Credit)HMRC – Tax Credit Award Letter for 2022/23 full letter required stating not eligible for working tax credit.
Pension CreditLetter from benefits agency dated within the last three months or current bank statement showing pension credit payment. Bank statements must show the account holder’s name and be currently dated.
Universal Credit (annual take home pay + UC payment totalling no more than £30,000)Last 3 universal credit statements (can accessed from your UC account; Click on statement dates) Full statements required. Latest set of accounts if self employed.
Employed and not receiving a benefitLast 3 month’s payslips for parents or student and spouse / partner
Asylum seekerARC card. If work permitted, student to confirm if employed and provide last 3 months payslips if working.
What can the bursary fund pay for?

**Important:  The college support fund will not make any reimbursements for items purchased by you prior to your form being assessed, unless authorised by the Student Services Manager.**

If your award is paid to you by BACS, please retain receipts for items purchased as we may request a copy, to be held with your application for audit purposes.

Course costs – the bursary fund can help with payment of course costs confirmed by your tutor as essential to the course.  Course costs may include books, equipment, uniform, membership fees, compulsory trips and DBS checks.  If you need help with any of these costs, please make sure that you tick the relevant box on the application form.

  • Books – the fund will make a contribution towards the cost of books confirmed by your tutor as essential for your course.  Payment may be made by either BACS payment into your bank account or if course books are available through the college on-line store, we will make the on-line store payment on your behalf.

  • Equipment and uniform – for sports, catering, hairdressing and beauty therapy students, payment for equipment and uniform will be made directly by the College either to the supplier or via the on-line shop.  All other equipment and uniform payments will be made by BACS payment into your bank account.

  • AAT Membership Fees (Students on Accounting courses); – a contribution towards the cost of AAT membership will be made by BACS payment into your bank account.

  • Compulsory trips – When you apply for your bursary you may not know details of compulsory trips for your course.  If you have requested help with trips from the discretionary fund, it is important that you speak to Student Services as soon as you become aware of the trip dates, location and price. All compulsory UK trips will automatically be considered. Compulsory trips outside of the UK will be considered on an individual basis.  Student Services will make payment for the trip via your College on-line shop account.

Trips are paid for on a first come, first served basis as funding is limited and it is not possible to guarantee payment for trips if the funding has been exhausted.

  • DBS check (Students on Health and Social Care, Childcare and some Sports courses) – If you are required to pay for a DBS check, payment will be made by the college as an internal transfer.
  • Tuition fees – in exceptional circumstances, an award for tuition fees may be considered. Any award towards tuition fees will not exceed 75% of the fee payable and you will be responsible for paying the balance of the fee.
  • Meals – If you have been made a discretionary award for meals at college, you will receive a meal credit to the value of £5.00 for each day that you have timetabled lessons at College. No cash payments can be made for free college meals if there is a refectory on the campus that you attend. However, if you attend a campus without a refectory or you are undertaking work placement, a cash award will be made by BACS payment into your bank account.
    Please contact Student Services at least two weeks prior to starting placement if you require a cash payment for your placement weeks.
  • You can also top up your meal award by using Upay, the easy to use payment system at Colchester Institute refectories and cafes, which is open to all students. Upay will always use College awarded meal credits first, so any college funding is deducted from your account before any top-up credit is used. To register for your Upay Account, go to https://www.upay.co.uk/app/
  • Travel – to receive support with travel you must live over 1 mile away from the campus that you attend. We use the AA Route planner to calculate the distance from your home address to college. If you wish to check the distance yourself the website is: http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp

The Colchester campus postcode is CO3 3LL, and the Braintree campus postcode is CM7 5SN.

As funding is provided by public money, we are required to ensure support given provides the best value for money. Travel support may be in the form of a bus pass or train pass (whichever is the cheapest option), or a BACS payment and cost maybe a factor when assessing a travel award.

If your journey to college can be made on an Arriva bus, Hedingham bus (journeys starting outside Colchester area) First bus or a Greater Anglia train, the College will purchase a travel pass on your behalf.  Travel passes will be automatically renewed each term, if attendance for the previous term is at an acceptable level.  You should be aware that that it is your responsibility to fund your travel to college on the first day of each term.

If you use any other bus company to travel to college, payment for a travel pass will be made by BACS payment into your bank account.

If you drive to college and would like help with petrol costs, the distance to college from your home address will be calculated using the AA Route planner website.  Mileage is paid at 20p a mile (cars) and 10p a mile (motorbikes and mopeds) and will be based on the distance of your return journey to college x the number of days you attend college. Payments will be made by BACS payment into your bank account. Parking costs of up to £2.50 per day can be applied for if the student is driving themselves to campus (Colchester campus students only). Payments for petrol and parking will not exceed the cost of travelling to college by public transport.

It is important for you to be aware that it can take up to two weeks after the start of a term for the travel payment to be made into your bank account and therefore you must budget for any travel costs prior to the travel payment reaching your account.

Travel support for the spring and summer terms may be affected if you do not maintain an attendance of at least 90% in the preceding term.

  • Stationery

You will be given a £25 WH Smith voucher in order that you can purchase the items of stationery necessary for your course. The voucher can be used in store or online.

  • Printer Credits

If you require additional printing credits during the year, please let Student Services know and we will arrange for additional credit to be added to your printer account

  • University Interviews and Open days

If you incur travel costs as a result of attending a university interview or open day then we may be able to help you with this expense. This will be dependent on the budget that we have available at the time.

You will have to cover the upfront costs yourself then we will refund your transport costs on the production of public transport tickets and university interview or open day letter. If you travel by car we will pay towards petrol costs, providing this does not exceed the cost of travel by public transport. We will not pay for overnight accommodation.

Funding for travel to interviews and open days will be capped at £200 in total.

  • Travel to Job / Apprenticeship Interviews

As for travel to university interviews and open days. Payment on production of tickets and interview letter.

  • UCAS application fee

A contribution towards the cost of applying to UCAS. Confirmation will be required from the Careers office that you have made a UCAS application.

  • Device Loan Scheme – to enable learning from home

If you need a device in order to engage in online learning from home, you may apply for a device loan if you have no access to any other device in the household (such as home computer, laptop, chrome book).  The supply of devices is limited and will be targeted at students who would not be able to participate in their online learning without a device.

You should provide a covering statement on the online application form advising why your household does not have access to a device, PC, laptop. We may also seek information from your tutor.

What will I get? You will be loaned a device, such as a College chrome book or laptop.

Is it mine to keep? No unfortunately not, this is a College device which we will lend to you for the academic year.

What if I come back next year? Eligibility for devices will be assessed each academic year and will be dependent on you being required to participate in online learning for a further year. , we will assess for a device. A device award for a second year of learning is not guaranteed.

Can I use the device for personal use? No – this device is provided by the College so that you can engage in online learning for your course only.

Will you check on the device? Yes, we will. We will routinely call in devices to be checked by our IT department. This will ensure they are kept updated.

What if the device gets damaged while I’m at home? In line with College policy, any damage to college property will result in the cost being recovered and possible disciplinary action for the student.

When do I have to give the device back? All devices must be returned in a good condition by the end of the academic year (June 2024) or before if your situation regarding learning from home should change. If you leave your course or are withdrawn from the College you will need to return your laptop at this time. Failure to return the device in either situation above will result in you being invoiced for the cost of the device.

  • Childcare for students aged 20+ If applying for help with childcare, the childcare application form must be completed in addition to the student funding application form.  All Colchester Institute childcare awards will be subject to the provider being Ofsted registered.  Providers can include nurseries, childminders, breakfast clubs and after school clubs.

Full details of the help available can be found when completing the separate childcare application form.

  • Childcare for students under 20+ Please contact Care2Learn for assistance with childcare costs: https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn
  • Other course related costs If you require funding for any course related costs not specified above, please complete an Application for Student Funding in the normal way.  You should include full details of the item that you are looking for help with and a short statement covering why you consider the item to be necessary for your course.
What can't the bursary fund pay for?
  • Locker Deposits– students requiring a locker are asked to pay a deposit which is returned at the end of the year. As the deposit is refundable, we cannot provide support with this cost.
  • Extra-curricular activities – any extra-curricular activities that are not essential to your study programme.
  • Attendance bonuses / incentives– all payments to you are based on you achieving a minimum of 90% attendance and displaying satisfactory behaviour during your time at Colchester Institute. The bursary fund does not reward students with additional monies if they achieve good attendance levels throughout the year.
  • General living costs– e.g. accommodation, utility bills, mobile phone bills
  • Associated trip costs– funding for passports, suitcases etc will not be covered by the fund
  • Exam re-sits
Childcare (students aged 20 and over)

If applying for help with childcare, the childcare application form must be completed in addition to the student funding application form. Childcare funding provides targeted support for students who are at risk of not starting learning, or not continuing learning, as a result of difficulty getting childcare due to the cost. Colchester Institute may offer childcare funding to pay for childcare and all awards will be subject to the provider being registered with Ofsted. If a learner withdraws from College or has funding declined because attendance has fallen below 90%, the College will take no responsibility for payment of outstanding fees to childcare providers. Students who withdraw will be liable for any childcare costs incurred after their last day of attendance.

Childcare will pay for:

  • time spent in timetabled classes or placement and continued nursery and childminder places during the Christmas, Easter and half term holidays as it is recognised that students need time during the holidays to focus on their College work (eg coursework, assignments etc )
  • Travel time to and from college
  • 100% fees for first two children, 50% for third and fourth children. There is no assistance for any other children
  • A maximum award of £7,000 per year per student
  • Ofsted registered childcare

Childcare will not pay:

For deposits, make advance payments or be responsible for late payment fees

If the learner changes the number of days or hours their child attends their childcare provider and fails to inform the College Childcare Administrator

If there is a partner at home who can look after the child/children while you are studying

Please note that any free government funding for 2, 3 and 4 year olds must be used for college and placement days before additional hours can be paid for with college funding.

Colchester Institute reserves the right to cap childcare fees if they are considered to be excessive. Funds are capped and allocated at the discretion of the Colchester Institute College Support Fund Committee, in line with current policy. The funds are limited and childcare funding applications received when the fund is low or exhausted may be refused.

Colchester Institute reserves the right to alter or amend the childcare funding policy at any time. Options for Childcare Your children must be placed with either a private nursery or an Ofsted registered childminder. School age children can be placed with a registered childminder, or after school club.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I be informed about an award?

Contact details: please ensure that your home address, email address and phone number(s) are input accurately on the form. We will contact you by email if we require any additional information or to confirm details of your award from the bursary fund, so please make sure that you check your emails regularly.

Please note that at extremely busy times (usually from the end of August to the end of September) we may contact you by phone and we will leave a message if we are unable to speak to you. During this busy period, please check your voicemails regularly for information regarding your award.

Why do you ask for 3rd party details?

3rd party details: if you are happy for us to leave messages regarding your application or discuss your application with anyone other than yourself, please complete the third-party details on the application form.

When and how should you apply?

You can make an online application from 1st July 2023.

For courses starting in September 2023, applications should be made by 1st November 2023. If you find yourself in financial hardship after this date it is important that you still contact Student Services. Applications received after 1st November will be considered on a pro-rata basis subject to need and the availability of funds.

What happens after you submit an application?

We will assess your application and email you with a decision. If you are successful then we will tell you how much you have been awarded, what the award is for, how the award will be made and when you can expect to receive any payment.

Please note that all payments are dependent on your attendance record and you displaying satisfactory behaviour during your time at Colchester Institute.

Colchester Institute reserves the right to remove support due to students’ misbehaviour, fraud or if the reputation of the College is brought into disrepute. You will be expected to demonstrate commitment to your course through completion of work and engagement in class activities. The College will expect to see attendance of over 90% maintained throughout the year.

If your application is unsuccessful we will contact you by email to explain why.

Do you need to have your own bank account?

Yes. We cannot make payments to you in cash or by cheque.

If you make an application are you guaranteed support?

No. Unfortunately the budget we have available is limited and we may not be able to meet your funding requirements. We would advise you to put in an application as soon as possible as funds are limited and can run out.

If you are successful in your application are there any conditions on your award?

Yes. If you are awarded a discretionary bursary then you will need to meet conditions of attendance and behaviour in order to receive your award. The College will expect to see attendance of over 90% maintained throughout the year.

If you feel that you have extenuating personal circumstances that have affected your attendance, it is important that you speak to Student Services as soon as possible.

If you are in receipt of a benefit from the Department of Work and Pensions and you receive an award from the bursary fund, it is your responsibility to tell the DWP about the award as it may affect your eligibility to some benefits.

What should you do if you are not happy with the outcome of your application?

You can appeal our decision if:

  • You think that we have assessed your application in correctly
  • You think that the level of support you have been awarded is significantly less than you need to attend

Appeals should be made in writing to the Student Services Manager. Appeals should be made within 15 working days of you receiving a decision from us.

What should you do if you are not sure if any of this applies to you or if you have any questions regarding financial support?

Contact Student Services (email student.finance@colchester.ac.uk). We can talk you through whether or not you are eligible. We can help you complete the application form, advise you on the evidence we need from you and answer any questions you may have.

What happens to my funding if I withdraw from my course?

If you leave Colchester Institute you will not be eligible to receive further payments and may need to repay a proportion or, in exceptional cases, all of the money paid to you. You may also be asked to return any equipment you have received that has been funded by this scheme.

When should I re-apply for financial assistance?

Applications for financial help are valid for one academic year only. Should you return to College in September 2024 and still require financial assistance, a new application form must be completed and up to date supporting evidence supplied.

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Please use the link below to upload your supporting evidence into your account.

This page will open in a new tab, so please do not close this tab, as you will need to click on the application link at the bottom of this page once you have uploaded your evidence.

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Only proceed if you have uploaded your evidence using the link above. Once you have uploaded your evidence you may proceed to the application form using the link below.