Learning and training help you develop the skills you need for work. But courses aren’t always free – so who can help you pay for it?
There are lots of funding options. It may be a grant or a loan. You could cover your course fees or get help with childcare or other support.
In most cases, your income will be assessed to see what funding support you can get. Different types are available depending on what kind of course you’re interested in.
SDS Individual Learning Accounts
Planning to study full-time? The Student Awards Agency Scotland provides funding, including tuition fees, bursaries and loans. Check if you meet their eligibility criteria, and if your course is covered.
You need to apply to SAAS in each year of your course. There's lots of helpful information on their website:
- Undergraduate funding, including HNC, HND, degree, PGDE or equivalent courses
- Funding for nursing and midwifery courses
- Postgraduate funding
- Forms and guides for full-time students
- The Funding guide 2015-16 goes in to more detail about all of the funding SAAS offers, and eligibility. You can find out about the Young Students' Bursary and the student loan for living costs
Other sources of funding
- SAAS has a guide to other sources of funding, from bursary support and discretionary funds, to childcare funds, tax credits and scholarships.
- If you're aged 16-19 you may be eligible for an Educational Maintenance Allowance
- A Professional and Career Development Loan is a loan of £3000 to £10,000 to pay for courses and training that help with your career
Funding for part-time students works slightly differently. You may be able to apply for a part-time fee grant from SAAS, towards the cost of your tuition fees for an undergraduate course, or for a tuition fee loan if you're looking at eligible postgraduate courses. Find out more on the SAAS website:
Support for parents
If you’re a parent who's studying, you might be eligible for additional financial support.
Parents in higher education:
- Lone Parents’ Grant. This is for widowed, divorced, separated or single students bringing up at least one child. It is a means-tested grant of up to £1,305 a year
- Lone Parents' Childcare grant. Students who are eligible for the Lone Parents' grant might also be eligible for this grant, a maximum £1,215 a year
- The Higher Education Discretionary Childcare fund. This is open to all student parents. It’s provided by the college or university to meet the costs of formal or registered childcare. For more information, contact your college or university
Parents in further education:
- The Further Education Childcare Fund. This is prioritised for lone parents, part-time students and mature students. Other students can also apply. It is a discretionary fund, administered by individual colleges. For more details speak to your college
- The Child Tax Credit. This can be claimed by students who are responsible for at least one child. It is a means-tested allowance that is paid to parents and carers of children or some young people who are still in education. For more information contact the Inland Revenue tax credit helpline on 0845 300 3900
Parents supporting a child who is studying
SAAS has a helpful guide for parents whose children are studying.
Care leavers and carers
SAAS has a guide to support for care leavers, including the Vacation grant which helps pay accomodation costs during the summer holidays.
Propel is a useful resource with information about what support different colleges and universities provide for care leavers. It could help you decide where to go and find out about the support you're entitled to.
If you are a carer of an adult who is financially dependent on you, you may be eligible for a Dependants' grant of up to £2,640 a year.
Studying elsewhere in the UK
If you're not studying in Scotland, you will have to pay your own tuition fees. You can apply to SAAS to take out a student loan to pay all or some of your fees. Find out more in the SAAS funding guide.
Starting in 2015-16, Scottish students studying at eligible European universities can apply for the same bursary and loan support as they'd get when studying in Scotland. This is part of a new pilot scheme to encourage more Scots to study abroad.
Find out more about the scheme on the Scottish Government website.
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