Financial support for adult learning

At YMCA Training we are committed to supporting our learners access all available funding and financial support available. You may be entitled to support towards the cost of your studies based on your age, the course you choose and your employment status.
Changing career path or enhancing your skills need not be as costly as you think.
Course funding categories relate to the fee that UK/EU students will need to pay depending on whether they are eligible to receive funding or not:
Fully-funded
Tuition, exam fees and essential materials and resources are funded by the government.
Co-funded
You are required to pay a contribution towards the cost of your learning, with tuition, exam fees and materials partially funded by the government.
Unfunded
If you do not meet the criteria for funding you are required to pay the full fee, however, payment plans and Advanced Learner Loans are available on some courses.
Care to Learn
The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study.

Am I eligibile for funding?

You may be eligible for a free or reduced course fee. The criteria for funding can be quite complicated but we’re here to help and will be able to assess your eligibility at enrolment.

Apprenticeships
Students aged 19 and over who are undertaking an Apprenticeship are subject to different funding criteria and there is an expectation that the recruiting employer will contribute towards the cost of the course.

Advanced Learner Loans for Level 3-6 Qualifications

If you are not eligible for funding and have to pay the standard tuition fees, registration fee and any examination or materials fees, you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Eligibility
If you are aged 19 or over there is help available to fund your course of choice through the government’s Advanced Learner Loans scheme.
Advanced learner loans:
  • are easy to apply for
  • have low rate of interest
  • don’t take your household income into account
  • don’t involve a credit check
· you don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course - you can pay for some of it yourself
· only start to pay back your loan when you start earning over £21,000
To be eligible for the Advanced Learner Loan you need to be:
  • aged 19 or over on the first day of your course.
  • starting your course on or after 1 August 2016
  • enrolling on an eligible Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 qualification, including Advanced Apprenticeship or Higher Apprenticeships.
  • 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 prior to the start of your course.
You may also be eligible depending on your nationality or residency status. Please visit gov.website for more details.

Applying for a loan
You can apply for a loan from May 2016 for courses starting between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
When you have been offered a place with YMCA Training for an eligible course, you will receive a letter with information that you will need to include in your application to the loan company.
Once you have received the letter, you can register and apply on the Student Finance website or you can download paper forms from the government website along with more information about how to apply.
More information about the Advanced Learner Loans
Find out more about Advanced Learner Loans on Gov.uk or go to the Student Loans Company web site.
Additional information can also be found via:

Help with Childcare - Care to Learn

The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study.
What you get: You may receive up to £175 a week (deposits paid and holiday retainers).
You need to be a parent aged under 20. You can claim this benefit as long as the other parent is not available to provide childcare (e.g. if they are working) and they are not claiming Childcare Tax Credit. More information about Childcare Tax Credit at GOV.UK.

NUS Extra or Apprentice Extra Discount Cards

What you get: A wide range of discounts in shops and leisure centres, including Oasis, ASOS, Amazon, Odeon cinemas, Ticketmaster and Pizza Express. Using your student card could save you hundreds of pounds! Buy it for £12. For more information, visit: www.nus.org.uk/en/nus-extra or http://www.apprenticeextra.co.uk/ .

Travel discounts

Each centre will be able to provide details of discounted travel in your area and will gladly support with application forms as required.

18+ Student Oyster photocard (London Only)
Get 30% off the price of adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.

If you're 18 or over, live at a London address, are in full-time education or on a mandatory work placement in London, you may be eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard. Got to the Transport for London (TFL) website for more details.

Six Essential Money Saving Tips for Students[AH1]


This National Student Money Week the guys at Save the Student give it to you straight: simple ways to make your cash go further – guaranteed.
Want to know the secret to staying in control of your cash? We’ve narrowed it down to the essentials: here’s what you can do to get on top of your money, get a better deal on your spending, and grab extra funds. Let’s go!
1. Get the bigger picture
Grab yourself some paper and a calculator and start by listing all the cash you have coming in for the month: pocket money, wages from a job, benefits, grants, or anything else.
The total amount is what you’ve got to play with. The aim of the game is to not spend more than that during the month – and, ideally, have a little extra left over.
2. Get tweakin’
Getting on top of your cash by taking charge of where it goes.
It can help to list all your costs by category: essential spending you can’t avoid (things like bills or food), then important but flexible costs (such as getting around) and finally your treats and non-crucials (everything else!).
If your income won’t stretch to all your costs, you’ll need to tweak how much you give yourself to spend on each category.
The golden rule is: when it comes to giving yourself an allowance, start at the top (pay essentials or important costs before anything else). To make your allowance go further, start at the bottom – cut your treats first.
3. Keep a diary
If you really want to see where you cash goes, keep a money diary for a month or two.
Logging the date, what you bought and how much you spent should do it – but writing up all your spending will give you the best insights into your shopping habits. You can then plug your sums into your money plan to see how you’re faring.
First-off, check you’re not blitzing cash on non-essentials ahead of paying for priorities. Then see whether you could get a better deal on your spending, or make or earn extra income – we’ve got the details below.
4. Make the most of what you’ve got
If you’re going to spend a penny, spend it wisely – there are heaps of ways to go about it.
· Buy what you need, not what you want
· Save up for stuff instead of borrowing to buy (i.e., on credit cards that charge you for the privilege!)
· Compare costs on everything: whether it’s bills, broadband or butter, shop around to get it for less
· Bulk buy or share to keep costs down
· Keep money for essentials separate from everyday cash – two bank accounts can help. You get your income paid into your main account, but only use the funds in it to pay your essential or important costs. Siphon off enough to cover daily spending into another account that you can dip into whenever you need.
5. Get more money
Who doesn’t want extra money? No one, that’s who – but where you get it from is the $64,000 question:
· Make your own income: that could be by selling things you don’t use, or working freelance gigs on the side (hobbies – music, art or languages – are prime places to start!). Or check out these 40 money-makers to inspire you
· Use the benefits and grant calculators at turn2us.org.uk: there may be funds out there you don’t even know you’re eligible for
· If you’re at uni or college, ask your student money adviser about any cash going (scholarships, bursaries or hardship funds)
· See what your awards your council has: grants for staying in education, starting a business or something else to give you a boost.
If you’re working, you’ve got a couple of options for upping your salary:
· Work more hours
· Ask for a raise, promotion or job benefits, such as travel expenses
· Train-up so you can bag a better-paying position!
6. Earn free cash
Savings give you cash for emergencies and big splurges, plus you can earn extra – for free – with a bank account. Earning interest is easy money, so make savings an essential when you divvy up your income, if you can. Otherwise, slice off a bit every time you get extra cash (birthday money, for instance) and stick it in the bank.
· Look for savings accounts that pay interest – the higher the rate, the more you can earn (if you’re under 18, you’ll need someone older to open the account for you)
· Check you can withdraw money whenever you want, but aim to leave it untouched as long as you can for the biggest returns
· Keep an eye out for bonuses or freebies for opening an account (but watch you don’t get a lower interest rate as a trade-off!)
· Keep your eyes on the prize. Put away just a fiver every month and after just 10 years you could make a hefty chunk in interest alone. The earlier you start, the better off you can be.
Think of this as a starter kit – there’s loads more ways to be smarter with money that anyone can profit from. It’s your cash, and it can make you better off. That’s the real bottom line. Good luck!