What support is available for mature Scottish students in higher education in 2004-05? updated February '04

DescriptionExplains what student support is available for mature students in 2004-05
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Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateApril 08, 2004

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    What support is available for mature Scottish students in higher education in 2004-05?
    updated February '04

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    Mature Scottish students who are either starting their higher education in 2004-05 or going into the next year of their course may be eligible for support from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This leaflet describes the support that may be available. Support for young Scottish students is described in the leaflet What support is available for young Scottish students in higher education in 2004-05?

    Contents

    INTRODUCTION
    Do I have to pay tuition fees?
    Who is eligible for support from the Scottish Executive?
    SUPPORT FOR SCOTTISH STUDENTS STUDYING IN SCOTLAND
    How much is the loan for new students?
    Mature Students' Bursary
    What is a Mature Students' Bursary?
    How will my bursary be calculated?
    What support can I get if I began studying before August 2001?
    SUPPORT FOR SCOTTISH STUDENTS STUDYING IN ENGLAND, WALES OR NORTHERN IRELAND
    How much is the loan?
    Am I eligible for the Mature Students' Bursary?
    ALL SCOTTISH STUDENTS
    Degrees in Allied Health Professionals (AHPs)
    Supplementary grants
    Disabled Students' Allowances
    Income Assessment
    Your application
    FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM OTHER SOURCES

    LOAN REPAYMENTS
    GRADUATE ENDOWMENT
    What is the Graduate Endowment?
    Will I have to pay the Graduate Endowment?
    Contacts

    INTRODUCTION

    The Scottish Executive is committed to widening access to higher education to students from all backgrounds.

    As well as paying tuition fees for all eligible students, we introduced a Mature Students' Bursary Fund to help mature students. This allows eligible mature students who entered higher education in or after 2001-02 access to a discretionary bursary to help meet additional living costs such as registered childcare, excess travel costs to your childcare facilities and housing.

    You should read this leaflet if you:

    • are or were 25 or over before - the first day of the first academic year of your course;
    • are or were married by the first day of the first academic year of your course;
    • have been supporting yourself with earnings or benefits for any 3 years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of your course;
    • are taking a full-time course of higher education (an HNC/D, degree or equivalent).

    If you are under 25 and not married or not self-supporting at the start of your course, you are described as a 'young student'. We have also introduced a scheme to allow eligible young students from low-income families access to a non-repayable bursary. This bursary will be available whether you stay at home or live away.

    For more information, please see our leaflet ' What support is available for young Scottish students in higher education in 2004-05?'. It is available from The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), your college or university.

    TUITION FEES

    DO I HAVE TO PAY TUITION FEES?

    The Scottish Executive has abolished tuition fees for all eligible Scottish students studying in Scotland. SAAS will pay tuition fees for all eligible full-time Scottish and EU students studying at publicly funded institutions in Scotland. The level of your family income does not matter. This payment will be at the standard rate (1,150 in 2004-05).

    You must still apply to SAAS for payment of your tuition fees even if you are not applying for any other means of support.

    Scottish students studying a full-time higher education course at an institution in England, Wales or Northern Ireland are liable for an income-assessed contribution of up to 1,150 (2004-05 rate) towards the cost of tuition.

    The actual amount of contribution required will depend on your own 'unearned' income and the income of your husband or wife, if appropriate. Any balance will be paid to the institution by SAAS. Students who want to apply for income-assessed support should contact SAAS. This could include assistance with your tuition fees as well as any other means of support. See pages 7 to 21 for further information.

    WILL I HAVE TO PAY TOP-UP OR VARIABLE TUITION FEES?

    The DfES HE Bill proposes to introduce variable tuition fees in England from 2006. This Bill will require to be considered and passed by Parliament before it becomes law. Individual institutions will decide what tuition fees to charge for each course up to the maximum of 3,000. Students starting courses before 2006 will not have to pay top-up fees. You can visit www.fundingforlearners.co.uk for updates about this.

    Tuition fees for Scottish students in higher education are paid by the Scottish Executive. Scottish Ministers have pledged not to re-introduce them and not to introduce top-up fees.

    ELIGIBILITY

    WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT FROM THE SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE?

    If you are a mature Scottish student studying full-time in the UK you should apply to SAAS for support with your living costs.

    You must be:

    • ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for 3 years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of the course;
    • settled in the UK as described in the Immigration Act 1971;
    • ordinarily resident in Scotland on the first day of the first academic year of the course;
    • studying full-time in higher education.

    If you are not sure if you qualify, you should contact SAAS for further details. SAAS is responsible for processing applications from eligible Scottish students.

    More detailed information about the amounts of loan in 2004-05 is available in the SAAS booklet SAS4. This is available from your university, college, Career Advisory Service or SAAS. It is also available on the SAAS website at www.saas.gov.uk

    SUPPORT FOR SCOTTISH STUDENTS STUDYING IN SCOTLAND

    Fees

    SAAS will pay the tuition fees for all eligible full-time Scottish and EU students studying at Scottish institutions. The level of your family income does not matter.

    Living Costs

    Support for living costs for students studying in Scotland will mainly be through a student loan with a possible contribution from your husband or wife, if appropriate, depending upon their income.

    Mature Students' Bursary

    You may be able to apply to your college or university for a discretionary Mature Students' Bursary to help meet your additional living costs such as registered childcare, excess travel costs to your childcare facilities and housing.

    Supplementary Grants and Travel Expenses

    Some students will be entitled to extra help through non-repayable supplementary grants and travel expenses.

    Hardship

    Another source of financial help may be from the Hardship Funds.

    Benefits

    Some students may also be helped through Social Security benefits, but the vast majority will not be eligible.

    Tax Credits

    You may be eligible for the new tax credits if you have children. Contact your local Tax Office or telephone the helpline on 0845 300 3900 for more information. You can also use the online calculator at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk

    Others

    Students not eligible for the support described in this leaflet may be eligible for Career Development Loans (CDLs).

    HOW MUCH CAN NEW STUDENTS GET IN A LOAN?

    Student loans are income-assessed. This means that your own 'unearned' income and the income of your husband or wife is taken into account in assessing the size of loan available. You will be entitled to a maximum loan support of 4,095. The amount of loan decreases as the income of your husband or wife increases. For example, at an income of 47,900, or more, students will be entitled to a minimum loan of 810.

    The maximum and minimum loan support available for 2004-05 is:

    Table A (new and existing students attending Scottish institutions since 2001-02)

    Full year

    Maximum loan

    4,095

    Minimum loan

    810

    Additional loan payments are available for each week you are required to attend your course in excess of 30 weeks and 3 days.

    WHAT IS A MATURE STUDENTS' BURSARY?

    It is a non-repayable grant for mature students who are studying higher education full-time in Scotland for the first time in or after 2001-02 or who are returning to higher education after a gap of one year or more. The bursary payment is additional to any loan entitlement. It will be income-assessed and your personal and financial circumstances will be taken into account.

    Colleges and universities rather than SAAS will administer the bursaries. The maximum bursary in 2004-05 is 2,000. Institutions may not always be able to pay the maximum and not all students who apply for assistance from the Mature Students' Bursary Fund will necessarily get help. To qualify, you must be eligible for tuition fee support and you must have taken out the maximum amount of student loan to which you are entitled.

    WHAT IS THE BURSARY FOR?

    The bursary is available primarily to help towards the costs of registered or formal childcare, particularly for lone parents. Your family and friends are not covered by the 'formal childcare' provision. A payment may also be made towards your housing costs, and excess travel, i.e. the extra cost incurred by travelling to your institution via the place of childcare which is not covered by your travel reimbursement claim made to SAAS. The bursary is not intended to meet general living costs, assistance from the institutions' Hardship Fund can be used to help you with this need. However, up to 150 can be awarded to students to help towards other costs not covered by the above categories or by the Hardship Funds.

    WHEN WILL THE BURSARY BE PAID?

    The bursary will not be paid until you have enrolled and are attending your course. However, institutions can assess your application and inform you of the outcome before you enrol. If your circumstances change during the academic year and you require financial assistance as a result, you can apply to your institution to reconsider your application.

    Institutions may pay MSBF awards in one or more instalments so as to ensure that it suits your needs. Payments can also be made directly to a third party, e.g. your childcare provider or your landlord. However, if you were to subsequently withdraw from the course or your circumstances change, bursary payments can be stopped.

    HOW WILL MY MSBF AWARD BE CALCULATED?

    Your college or university will determine how much you will receive. They will want to look at estimates of your childcare, travel or housing costs, and your ability to meet these costs. The type of information that will typically be needed to support your application is detailed below.

    HOUSEHOLD INCOME

    EXPENDITURE

    Gross Income/Earnings from Employment

    Mortgage/Rent

    Pension Income

    Council Tax

    Benefits Income

    Formal Childcare Costs

    Income from Rent/Lettings

    Bank Loan Repayments

    Career Development Loan

    Food/Housekeeping

    Scholarship Income

    Gas/Electricity

    Child Support Payments

    Child Support Payments

    Student Loan

    Supplementary Grants

    (other than DSA)

    Institutions may ask you to provide any other information which they believe is relevant to your application (e.g. marital or personal status; number of dependent children and their ages; whether you are a homeowner or tenant; any outstanding debts incurred prior to the start of the course; whether you have savings over 5000).

    WHAT SUPPORT CAN I GET IF I STARTED STUDYING BEFORE AUGUST 2001?

    If you are on a continuing course of study that started before August 2001 you will still be eligible for the support arrangements that you were entitled to at the start of your course.

    Table B (existing students attending Scottish institutions on courses started before 2001-02)

    Full year

    Students living in a hall of residence or in lodgings

    Maximum loan

    4,095

    Minimum loan
    (regardless of income)

    1,920

    Students living in the parental home

    Maximum loan

    3,240

    Minimum loan
    (regardless of income)

    1,280

    Additional loan payments are available for each week you are required to attend your course in excess of 30 weeks and 3 days.

    You will not be eligible for a Mature Students' Bursary but will still be eligible for Hardship Funds.

    STUDYING IN THE UK OUTWITH SCOTLAND

    SUPPORT FOR SCOTTISH STUDENTS STUDYING IN ENGLAND, WALES OR NORTHERN IRELAND

    Scottish students studying a full-time higher education course at an institution in England, Wales or Northern Ireland are liable for an income-assessed contribution of up to 1,150 (2004-05 rate) towards the cost of tuition. The actual amount of contribution required will depend on the income of your husband or wife, if appropriate. Any balance will be paid to the institution by SAAS.

    HOW MUCH IS THE LOAN?

    Support for living costs will be mainly through a loan, which is income-assessed, with a possible contribution from your husband or wife. This means that the amount of loan will depend on your own 'unearned' income and your husband or wife's income. Some students will be entitled to travel expenses and extra help through non-repayable supplementary grants.

    Students who want to apply for income-assessed support with fees or a loan should contact SAAS.

    Table C (students attending UK institutions outwith Scotland)

    Full year

    Students living outside the London area

    Maximum loan

    4,095

    Minimum loan
    (regardless of income)

    1,960

    Students studying in the London area

    Maximum loan

    5,050

    Minimum loan
    (regardless of income)

    2,115

    Additional loan payments are available for each week you are required to attend your course in excess of 30 weeks and 3 days.

    AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A MATURE STUDENT'S BURSARY?

    You will not be eligible for a bursary if you are studying at an institution anywhere else in the UK. But other forms of support for living costs, including loans, will still be available.

    You may be eligible for other sources of financial help, such as Hardship Funds. Some students may also be helped through Social Security benefits, but the vast majority will not be eligible.

    You may be eligible for the new tax credits if you have children.

    If you are not eligible for the support described in this leaflet you may be eligible for Career Development Loans (CDLs).

    ALL SCOTTISH STUDENTS

    DEGREES IN ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONS (AHPs)

    Students on degree courses in AHPs will have different funding arrangements, consisting of Scottish Executive Health Department Bursary and student loan. If you think you may be one of these students you should contact SAAS for more details.

    The relevant courses are:

    • dental hygiene
    • chiropody
    • dietetics
    • orthoptics
    • radiography
    • language therapy
    • dental therapy
    • podiatry
    • occupational therapy
    • physiotherapy
    • speech therapy
    • prosthetics and orthotics

    Dentistry and medicine

    Students on degree courses in dentistry and medicine are entitled to the same student support package as most other students in years 1 to 4. In years 5 and later, they are entitled to the Health Department Bursary. Their support will then become loan and bursary. For more detailed information on the funding available from year 5 please contact SAAS.

    SUPPLEMENTARY GRANTS

    The following grants are available to eligible Scottish students studying in the UK. You should claim supplementary grants when you are completing your application to SAAS.

    DEPENDANTS' GRANT

    You may claim this grant for your husband or wife. Any grant for an adult partner is only payable if you are legally married to that partner. If your dependents have any income this may affect your entitlement to the payment of this grant.

    If you are married, you must declare the income of your husband or wife. If you get married after the start of a course, you can claim a Dependants' Grant for your husband or wife from the date of marriage, but you cannot claim Dependants' Grant if your husband or wife is also an award holder.

    The first payment is usually made on the first day of your course each year. But if this would cause hardship, please write to SAAS and ask for part of your grant to be issued early, to cover the period from 1 August to the start of your course.

    NB: If you have received an advance payment on the grounds of hardship but then fail to start your course, SAAS will seek repayment of the amount overpaid.

    LONE PARENT'S GRANT

    There are special provisions for widowed, divorced, separated or single students bringing up children. If you have at least one dependant child, you can claim an additional grant of 1,150 or additional disregards of income.

    The first payment is usually made on the first day of your course each year. But if this would cause hardship, please write to SAAS and ask for part of your grant to be issued early, to cover the period from 1 August to the start of your course.

    NB: If you have received an advance payment on the grounds of hardship but then fail to start your course, SAAS will seek repayment of the amount overpaid.

    LONE PARENT'S CHILDCARE GRANT

    If you receive the Lone Parent's Grant you can get extra help with your formal childcare costs. Formal childcare includes childminders, after school clubs and providers of day care and education. If your children are aged 8 or under, the childcare provider must be registered with the local authority. You apply to SAAS for up to 1,075 per year to help pay for these costs at the same time as you apply for your other support.

    TRAVEL EXPENSES

    You may claim travelling expenses if you have travel costs that are necessary in connection with your course. If you are living away from home, you may claim three return journeys each session to and from your term-time residence, in addition to term-time travel to and from your institution. There is a maximum amount payable to eligible students.

    SAAS will only allow the most economical fares available for the type of transport you use. If the cheapest fares are offered under the Student Railcard or Bus Pass Schemes, claims will be reimbursed at the cheapest rate plus the cost of the Student Railcard or Bus Pass.

    How to claim

    Travelling expense claim forms (Form AB4) are supplied to institutions in December each year, and can be downloaded from the SAAS website. Completed forms should be sent to SAAS as soon as possible after the end of the first term.

    Travelling expenses are normally paid directly into your bank account within 28 days of the completed form being received by SAAS, but special arrangements can be made to pay them earlier if you are in particular hardship. Please contact SAAS for further details.

    DISABLED STUDENTS' ALLOWANCES

    STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

    If, in order to attend/undertake your course you need a major item of specialist equipment, non-medical personal help or certain other course related costs as a result of your disability you may be able to claim Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). These additional costs may, for example, be due to physical disabilities, mental health problems, sensory impairments, specific learning difficulties or medical conditions such as diabetes. DSA is not intended to assist you with disability related expenditure which you would incur whether you were studying or not, for example, the DSA payment must arise from your attendance on or undertaking the course as well as from your disability.

    DSA does not cover the cost of support, counselling or tutorial services which the institution makes available to all students, nor is it intended to meet the costs of extra academic tuition or support in your subject area. Support from DSA would also not be given for any service that can reasonably be expected to be provided by your institution or by some other agency, for example, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

    WHAT ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE THROUGH DSA?

    There are three allowances that comprise the DSA, all of which are subject to maximum amounts:

    • The Basic Allowance
    • Special Equipment Allowance
    • Non-medical Personal Help.

    The Basic Allowance

    This is an annual allowance of up to 1,525 that you may claim towards general expenditure such as tapes, Braille paper, radio aids, medically-certified, special dietary needs and small items of equipment.

    Special Equipment Allowance

    This is an allowance of up to 4,565 for the purchase of major items of equipment, for example, a word processor or a portable loop. The maximum amount available is set at the time of your initial claim and the sum available is for the duration of your course, not each year of your course.

    Non-medical Personal Help

    This is an annual allowance of up to 11,550 for non-medical personal help, for example, readers for the blind, note takers, etc.

    HOW CAN I MAKE A CLAIM FOR DSA?

    You must complete a separate DSA application form (form DSA (F/T)) each year in order to claim your DSA payment. This application form needs to be completed by both you and an authorised person at the institution. The form requests details of your disability and the additional expenses you incurred.

    You will have to provide a recent disability assessment from a qualified person, for example, your doctor or educational psychologist. If you are claiming the Special Equipment Allowance, the assessment must specify your equipment needs and costs. Where it does not or where SAAS are not satisfied with the initial assessment, SAAS may refer you to a member centre of the National Federation of Access Centres for an additional assessment before fully considering your request for the equipment. Regardless of the outcome, SAAS will pay the cost of the assessment. These funds will not come out of the basic allowance, but will be paid directly by SAAS. DSA cannot be used to establish whether or not you have a disability.

    DSA is not income-assessed, but you must be resident in Scotland. Contact SAAS for further advice.

    Application forms are available on the SAAS website as well as from your college, university or SAAS.

    WHAT IS AN INCOME ASSESSMENT?

    All support for living costs for higher education students, except Disabled Students' Allowance, is income-assessed. This means that your financial and personal circumstances are taken into account before a decision is made about what support you will receive. Parental income is not a factor in assessing mature students, but your own 'unearned income' and the income of your husband or wife will count.

    HUSBAND OR WIFE CONTRIBUTION

    You may not receive the maximum amount of supplementary grants or the maximum student loan if you are married or your own income is too high. The income of your husband or wife will be taken into account for any assessment made.

    The income that is assessed is defined as 'residual income' - i.e. gross income, after various allowances have been taken into account. This takes account of dependants and certain premiums that qualify for tax relief, as well as certain allowances disregarded for Income Tax purposes.

    WHEN SHOULD I EXPECT A HUSBAND OR WIFE CONTRIBUTION?

    Your husband or wife is asked to declare their financial resources. They will be expected to contribute to your living costs depending on the balance of their income after certain allowances have been deducted (their 'residual income').

    If the residual income is less than 18,260 they will not be asked to contribute. Above 18,260, the system has two different stepped rates (1 in 9 and 1 in 6.50). This means that spouses at the upper income levels will contribute more than those who are less well off.

    Every student will be entitled to a minimum loan of 810 a year no matter how high their husband or wife's income is.

    WHAT IF THERE ARE CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY?

    If there are dependent children in the family, the assessed contribution will be reduced by 165 for each child.

    WILL MY STUDENT SUPPORT BE REDUCED IF I HAVE ANY INCOME?

    Every student who applies for assistance is required to make a formal declaration of his or her total income from all sources during the academic year:

    • income earned by working during the year will not affect your student support entitlement. It does not matter how much you earn, or whether you work during term-time or the holidays;
    • unearned income in excess of specified limits will reduce your entitlement on a for basis.

    HOW DO I APPLY FOR SUPPORT?

    Application forms and the booklet Student Support in Scotland: A Guide to Student Support 2004-2005 (SAS4) will be available from your college, university or SAAS from Easter 2004. It can also be downloaded from the SAAS website at www.saas.gov.uk

    Once you have completed the application form and sent it to SAAS, your entitlement to supplementary grants and loan will be assessed and electronically forwarded to the Student Loans Company (SLC), who will issue your loan payment. If you are entitled to any supplementary grants, it will be paid by SAAS.

    You must provide:

    • the sort code and account number of your bank or building society account;
    • your UK National Insurance number;
    • your most recent student loan account number (if applicable);
    • the names and addresses of two contacts.

    The people named will not be asked to act as guarantors for any loans, but they may be asked to provide your current address if the SLC loses touch with you.

    HOW SOON WILL I GET MY PAYMENT?

    For most students the first instalment of your loan will be paid by direct transfer into your bank account. A few students will be paid by cheque through their university or college. After that it will be paid by direct transfer into your bank account.

    The earliest loan payment date will be the first day of your course, but this will depend on when you apply to SAAS. All payments will then be paid each term.

    SAAS will aim to process all fully completed application forms that are accompanied by the necessary supporting documentation, and issue a letter of award, within 28 calendar days of receipt.

    HOW DO I APPLY FOR A BURSARY?

    Application forms and guidance notes will be available from your college or university.

    HOW SOON WILL I GET MY BURSARY?

    The earliest bursary payment dates are likely to be during the autumn term, but your college or university will be able to tell you when you can expect your claim to be processed.

    FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM OTHER SOURCES

    The following types of support are not paid to you by SAAS and therefore you will need to apply separately.

    HARDSHIP FUNDS

    Students who are experiencing particular financial difficulty can apply for assistance from their Institution's Hardship Funds. Hardship Loans have been abolished from 2004-05.

    The Scottish Executive provides these funds, but individual colleges and universities administer them. They are specifically targeted to help students who have financial difficulties that might prevent them gaining access to further or higher education, or continuing their course. Colleges and universities have discretion to provide payments to students who are moving from the benefit system to take a course.

    You must have taken out your full loan entitlement before you can receive this help.

    RETURNING TO STUDY AFTER ILLNESS OR CARING

    Students who are absent from their studies because of illness or caring responsibilities can continue to receive support through SAAS. After recovering or ending your caring responsibilities, if you have to wait until the start of the next academic year to re-join your course, you will be entitled to claim Job Seekers Allowance.

    TAX CREDITS

    Students and their families could be entitled to more money through tax credits. Child Tax Credit takes the place of Dependants' Grant for dependent children. Students with children are entitled to claim the new Child Tax Credit which, for the first time, will be paid to those who are responsible for at least one child, whether or not they are in paid work. Students who are receiving the maximum amount of Child Tax Credit are entitled to free school meals for their children (please contact your Local Education Authority for more details on how to apply for free school meals).

    Students who work more than 16 hours a week could also be eligible for Working Tax Credit, which is designed to make work pay for those on lower incomes. Extra help is also available to those who are disabled or who are caring for disabled children.

    How much help you get depends on your circumstances. To find out, visit www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/taxcredits (the website allows you to check how much you could get, and to claim it on-line there and then) or call the response line on 0800 500 222. For more information about how tax affects students, check www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/students . You can also drop into your local Inland Revenue Enquiry Centre (listed under Inland Revenue in the telephone directory).

    BENEFITS

    The Job Centre Plus assesses students' entitlement to income related benefits. Full-time students are generally not eligible to claim benefits. But full-time students with dependants and students with disabilities may be eligible in certain circumstances. It is important to discuss this with your college or university student advisor as well as your local Job Centre Plus Office.

    Generally, the Job Centre Plus will disregard payments you receive that are for a specific purpose. The Mature Students' Bursary should not affect your benefits entitlement if it is for specific purposes such as childcare or housing costs (unless you are already receiving housing benefit). Your college or university will complete a form when giving you your bursary that you can present at the Benefits Agency when claiming benefit.

    The first 10 a week of your student loan will not be taken into account. But the amount of loan entitlement over 10 a week will directly reduce your benefit for . This loan entitlement will be taken into account even if you have not taken out a loan. This is because it forms part of the resources available to you.

    Any payments in addition to the loan which are intended for everyday living costs will be taken into account when calculating benefits. If you receive such payments then 20 per week of the payment is disregarded, although this amount is reduced to 10 if the 10 student loan disregard is also applicable.

    You can find more details about your benefit entitlements from your local Job Centre Plus office, your college or university, or the National Union of Students.

    CAREER DEVELOPMENT LOANS

    If you cannot get assistance from SAAS, or any other funding to help pay for the course you want to do, you may be able to apply for a Career Development Loan (CDL). CDLs are managed in partnership with a number of High Street banks and can support a wide range of vocational courses. (For more information on CDLs contact 0800 585 505.)

    A CDL can support any type of full-time, part-time or distance learning course as long as it:

    • is related to a job (not necessarily to a current job);
    • lasts no more than 2 years plus, where relevant, up to 1 year's practical experience that is part of the course, where relevant;
    • is not supported financially by a student award at a publicly funded higher education institution.

    You can borrow from 300 to 8,000 and use the loan to cover up to 80% of your course fees plus all your related expenses - including books, childcare, travel expenses and any costs associated with a disability. If you have been out of work for 3 months or longer at the time of application, you can apply for a CDL to cover 100% of your course fees.

    You will not have to make any repayments while you are training and for up to 1 month afterwards (or up to 17 months if you are unemployed when repayments are due to start). During this time, the government will pay the interest on the loan for you. At the end of this period, you become responsible for the loan repayments and any further interest.

    LOAN REPAYMENTS

    WHEN DO I START REPAYING THE LOAN?

    You will not be liable to start repaying your loan until the April after you have completed or left your course.

    You will not have to repay anything if your income is 10,000 or less and your loan will be cancelled when you reach 65 or if you die. The amount that you will repay will be linked to your income. You will be expected to repay 9% of your annual income over the 10,000 threshold level. This repayment will not be over a fixed period, but the level of repayments will rise and fall in line with your income. Examples of repayments are detailed below.

    Your annual gross income

    Marginal income over10,000

    Annual repayments(9%)

    Monthly repayments

    Weekly repayments

    10,000

    NIL

    NIL

    NIL

    NIL

    12,000

    2,000

    180

    15.00

    3.46

    17,000

    7,000

    630

    52.50

    12.12

    20,000

    10,000

    900

    75.00

    17.31

    25,000

    15,000

    1,350

    112.50

    25.96

    HOW DO I REPAY MY LOAN?

    SLC will work with the Inland Revenue to collect repayments. They will be deducted at source by your employer and shown on your pay statement. Repayments will be collected from self-employed people through the Inland Revenue self-assessment system. SLC will make alternative arrangements to collect repayments direct from borrowers who are outside the UK tax system.

    Student loans do not attract the same rates of interest that you would be charged if you were to take out a loan from a bank or building society. Interest on the amount of student loan owed will be linked to inflation - in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) - so the value of the loan when you pay it back will be broadly the same in real terms as when you borrowed it.

    CAN I REPAY MY LOAN EARLY?

    You can pay off your loan more quickly by making extra repayments direct to SLC. This can include making payments before your start date, or if you earn 10,000 a year or less. The standard deductions will continue to be made through the tax system, as appropriate. SLC will tell you how to do this.

    GRADUATE ENDOWMENT

    WHAT IS THE GRADUATE ENDOWMENT?

    The Graduate Endowment is a fixed amount that some graduates will be liable to pay, after they have completed their degree. The Graduate Endowment is provided for by the Education (Graduate Endowment and Student Support) (Scotland) Act 2001. The funds raised will be used to provide student support, including bursaries, for future generations of students.

    WILL I HAVE TO PAY THE GRADUATE ENDOWMENT?

    No. Mature students (assessed as independent at the start of your course) are exempt from paying the Graduate Endowment. Other exemptions include:

    • HNC/HND students;
    • disabled students who receive Disabled Students' Allowance;
    • lone parents who receive Lone Parents' Grant;
    • students taking a degree course in nursing or midwifery or any degree course that attracts a Health Department bursary in each year. The relevant courses are dental hygiene; chiropody; dietetics; orthoptics; radiography; language therapy; nursing; dental therapy; podiatry; occupational therapy; physiotherapy; speech therapy; prosthetics and orthotics; midwifery;
    • study for your degree at an institution outside Scotland;
    • part-time students; or
    • distance learning students.

    IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

    You must apply for your fees, loan and supplementary grants through SAAS. If you have any questions about your eligibility or about payment of fees and supplementary grants, please contact SAAS on 0845 111 1711 or e-mail saas.geu@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

    SLC administers the payments of loans and is responsible for keeping details of your account, adding interest (inflation linked), sending you an annual statement, and answering questions about your loan. If you have any questions about your individual loan account, please write to SLC, 100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD or Freephone 0800 405010.

    You must apply for your bursary through your college or university. Your college or university will also administer the payment of bursaries and deal with any problems. Likely sources of help are Welfare Offices, Advisory and Counselling Services, Student Finance Offices and Students' Unions.

    USEFUL ADDRESSES

    Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)
    Gyleview House
    3 Redheughs Rigg
    EDINBURGH EH12 9HH
    0845 111 1711

    Scottish Executive
    Funding for Learners
    Europa Building
    450 Argyle Street
    GLASGOW G2 8LG
    0141 242 0112

    Students Loans Company (SLC)
    100 Bothwell Street
    GLASGOW G2 7JD
    Freephone 0800 405010

    learndirect scotland
    If you want to get into learning but aren't sure where to start, contact learndirect scotland on their Freephone helpline number 0808 100 9000. One of their advisers can help you choose from thousands of learning opportunities, offered by learning centres, colleges and universities in Scotland. Alternatively browse around for ideas on their website at www.learndirectscotland.com or write to:
    SUFI, 1st Floor, Alhambra House, 45 Waterloo Street,
    GLASGOW G2 6HS

    The information in this leaflet is also available on the Executive's website www.fundingforlearners.co.uk

    Please e-mail any comments or questions you have via the website's e-mail address studentsupport@scotland.gov.uk

    The SAAS guide SAS4 is available on the SAAS website at www.saas.gov.uk