Bursary and other funds
If you are 18 or over at the start of your course, studying at Further Education level, and attending college on a full-time basis then you may be eligible for a bursary.
If you wish to apply for bursary, help towards living costs, kit and study aids, childcare, hardship and travel you must complete an online funding application which you can do through the Student Hub.
The maximum bursary rates for 2019-20 have been set by the Scottish Government as follows:
- Self-supporting students, 25 years old or over (partner income up to £20,643) - £104.65 per week
- Parentally supported students (based on household incomes of up to £24,275 pa):
- £82.81 per week (living at home)
- £104.65 per week (living away from home)
Household incomes between £24,475 and £50,000 may receive an award at a reduced rate depending on a number factors and circumstances.
The actual award paid depends on the level of your household income and your family circumstances.
Students who are under 26 years old and are Care Experienced (have been in residential care/ kinship care / foster care) may be eligible for an enhanced weekly bursary of £202.50 per week.
Any travel costs paid are for students who live more than 3 miles from their local learning centre and will cover only the cheapest method of transport. Where this is by car the mileage rate of 18.37p will be given. Money towards travel will be paid together with your bursary payment. The maximum travel costs that can be paid to an individual is £11.77 per day. If your travel costs exceed this you will need to cover the additional cost yourself.
If you are under 25 but living away from home you will still be assessed on your parents’ income unless you have been self-supporting for three years (and earning above a set threshold each year, based on the basic benefits rate for each year, usually around £3,100 per year)), estranged from your parents, married, in an established partnership or have children. You will need to provide evidence of your situation - see funding documents required.
To be eligible for funding you must be:
- Ordinarily resident in the UK for the three years immediately before the start of the course
- Ordinarily resident in Scotland on the first day of the first academic year of the course
- Must be a British or EU national and have lived more than half your life in Scotland or the EU
- Have satisfactory attendance, behaviour and progress
You may not be eligible for funding if:
- You are over 18 and have had previous financial help for a full-time course(s) or has previously studied at a higher level. There can be no more than 3 years of funding (SAAS, Student Loan or Bursary) in any six year period.
- You did not complete and/or failed the course that you have previously received support for. If you did not complete your course on medical or compassionate grounds then you may still be eligible for bursary but you will have to provide evidence such as a doctor’s letter to support your claim.
You cannot apply for a Bursary or EMA until you have been offered and accepted a place on a full time course. Once you have done this you will be sent your user ID and password so that you can log into your Student Hub and begin your funding application.
You will need to provide specific evidence to complete your application and before we can processing it and make an award.
You should plan how you will meet all the costs of studying, including living expenses, before you take up a college place. You especially need to think about how you will cover the time between benefits (Jobseekers) stopping and your bursary payments coming in. This could be as much as 4 weeks after all the correct evidence is submitted. Therefore it is recommended that you apply as early as possible for your funding, you do not have to wait for your course to start.
The childcare fund is available to both Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) (HNC and above) levels to assist students on a low income with their childcare costs when using registered childcare providers. This money is paid directly to the childcare providers but a weekly timesheet must be completed both by the provider and the student, and this then submitted to North Highland College for payment.
The discretionary fund (sometimes known as the hardship fund) is also available for further education and higher education students, and can help towards rent costs if you are not eligible for Housing Benefit - see how to apply.
Please note that FE bursary, childcare and hardship funds are discretionary and cash limited. This means that even though you may be eligible to apply for these funds they are allocated on a first come first served basis and may run out. Payments may also be withheld if attendance or behaviour is not satisfactory.
Bursaries and discretionary fund payments are paid into your bank account every two weeks in arrears – but you must have 100% attendance or you may lose your payment for any week where you are late or absent at any time.
Providing evidence to support your application
All of these funds are means tested and will require documentary evidence to support your application. If you are under 25 you will be assessed on your parents’ income even if you no longer live with them unless you can show 3 years of self-supporting finances - see a list of the documents you need to provide.
Checking your online funding application
All of the above funds are applied for online via your Student Hub. To check the progress of your application and to make sure that you have submitted all the evidence required log into your Student Hub. It is here that you will see if any further evidence is needed to support your application. When your application is completed an award letter will be posted on your student hub account in the finance section. There you will also find a list of your expected payment dates if you have been granted an award.
Your application will only be processed once you have supplied all the evidence that is required for your situation. This must all be completed within 6 weeks of the start date of your course (if you started late the cut-off date is still taken as the official start date of the course) otherwise your payments will not be backdated. Your application will be withdrawn completely if it is not completed by the 1st of December.
Payment for kit, protective clothing and study aids
Your bursary or EMA application will also cover the costs of any protective clothing, kit or study aids such as core text books. If you are not awarded any bursary or fail to complete your funding applications then you will have to pay for any of these course-related expenses. This is especially important for courses such as hairdressing, cookery, or construction where the kit costs can be high.