College Administered Funding

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FE Bursary, EMA, Childcare and Accommodation Assistance at both FE & HE levels

College administered funding is assessed and processed through the Student Funding Department here at West College Scotland at both non-advanced (FE) and advanced (HE) levels. Funding is an allowance requiring satisfactory attendance, conduct and full engagement on your course in each week. The expectation is that you will attend all your timetabled classes and use where necessary the procedure to cover any absences you may have had.  Unsatisfactory reports will result in non-payment of funds for the period reviewed.

Funds are assessed following Scottish Government Policy Criteria. Anyone who satisfies the residential requirements can apply for funding. In most cases, if you have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for the last 3 years and are resident in Scotland on the date your course starts, you are likely to be eligible. There are a number of special cases in relation to residency requirements that may need further clarity of eligibility and for those students who are not eligible to have their fees paid should make direct contact with the College Finance Department to ensure alternative arrangements are put in place prior to starting their course.

Getting your funding in place

It is vital that you get your funding in place as soon as possible.

An invitation to apply for funding does not secure your place on a course, therefore, students who have accepted a conditional offer of course place should check with their relevant course faculty for clarification of place on their chosen course.

You can apply for funding regardless of your course offer status providing you have accepted the offer made.

All funding applications are completed online. A link to apply for funds through West College Scotland is sent to the email address supplied at the time of applying for your course choice. Links are automatic and sent to all students who have accepted their place on a course of study here at West College Scotland.

Uploading evidence to support your funding application

You must have received the link to apply in order to gain access to funds that you may be eligible for.

The uploading of documentation facility within the online application process has been further developed to allow for clear pictures of required documentation to be uploaded seamlessly from smart phones/tablets making the submission process faster for students.

Late applications – limits on backdating

In line with Government Policy Criteria, where an application for funding is fully submitted beyond the 6 weeks from when the course started it cannot be backdated therefore in cases like this the funding award would start from the submission date of application.

Who should you contact if you need general assistance?

If you require help to fill in your application form or assistance with uploading of requested documentation requests; please ask for assistance from a Student Advisor in the first instance where there are facilities in place to accommodate student needs.

Student Advisors will refer any students a member of staff within the Student Funding Department for further assistance where necessary.

Who should you contact about the progress of your application, payment or more specialist enquiries?

Enquiries relating to processing of applications, payments of funds and of a more specialised nature should be made directly to the Student Funding Department.

There is a Student Funding helpdesk operational at each campus. This is opened from 10:30am to 1pm, which covers class break times. Students are not permitted to interrupt class times to enquire about their funding applications

Students can contact the Student Funding Department at the email address or on the telephone number provided below. Where there is a requirement to speak directly with a member of the Student Funding Team appointments can be made to suit the student need.

The Student Funding Department cannot help you with SAAS enquiries

The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) is an external funding body. If you need help and are not sure what to do, contact one of our Student Advisors. For progress updates on SAAS applications, you must contact SAAS direct.

Note

Please check that you have fully submitted your online funding application along with all required documentation to allow for an assessment of award to be carried out. You can check your online funding application account to monitor the progress of your application and payments when applicable.

Incomplete and missing information is the main cause of delays when processing applications for funding. Also, you must ensure that you have fully enrolled onto your chosen course of study before any eligible payment of funds can be released.

Childcare assistance offered is per student. There is a limit per academic session that can be awarded providing students meet the eligibility criteria as set out in Government Policies.  All childcare funds are paid directly to providers on the students’ behalf; however, childcare provision agreements remain between the student and provider – not with West College Scotland.

EMA

Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Eligible students aged 16 or 17 years at the start date of the course may be entitled to an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) of £30 per week and a bursary to cover study and travel expenses (if they live more than two miles walking distance from the campus they attend).

EMA payments are dependent on  satisfactory attendance, conduct and full engagement on your course in each week and are made directly into your nominated bank account every fortnight, in arrears. The expectation is that you will attend all your timetabled classes and use where necessary the procedure to cover any absences you may have had.  Unsatisfactory reports will result in non-payment of funds for the period reviewed.  Part payment for part engagement of any week will not be made.

Are you a student between the age of 16 and 19 years and studying on a part-time basis?

If so, the Scottish Government has announced changes to the Educational Maintenance Programme effective from the 1 January 2016 which may affect you.

If you are and you are studying on a course that leads to a recognised qualification, meets the needs of the employer or the course is a formal access course then you may be able to apply for the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

If your household income is below either £24,421 where there is only one dependent child, or £26,884 where there a more than one dependent child then contact Student Funding Department and staff will be able to advise if you are eligible.

Need help or more information?

Contact our Student Funding Department

Bursaries

Further Education Bursaries

Bursaries are normally offered to eligible full-time students aged 18 years and over at the start date of the course to cover maintenance and travel assistance costs (if you live more than 2 miles walking distance from your chosen campus).  The maximum travel assistance per week that can be awarded is £40.

If your course requires study items these are normally bought on your behalf from bursary funds and then issued by your department.  If you have any additional support needs whilst at college you may be entitled to support towards this from bursary funds.  Please advise your course Curriculum and Quality Leader of your requirements prior to commencing your course.

Payments are made directly into your nominated bank account every fortnight, in arrears provided you have met the minimum requirements of satisfactory attendance, conduct and full engagement on your course in each week. The expectation is that you will attend all your timetabled classes and use where necessary the procedure to cover any absences you may have had.  Unsatisfactory reports will result in non-payment of funds for the period reviewed.    Part payment for part engagement of any week will not be made.

Lone parents whose youngest child is under 5 years old will normally be advised to apply for a bursary to cover their fees, travel and study expenses in order to maintain existing benefits.  Where there is an entitlement to other public funds, Bursary Maintenance Allowance will not be awarded.

Need help or more information?

Contact our Student Funding Department

What can I get?

What can I get?

The financial support you may get will depend on different things such as:

  • Residency – you must meet the current government criteria for residency i.e. where you were born, have and are living, etc.;
  • What course you want to study;
  • How old you are;
  • If you are wanting to study full-time or part-time;
  • Where you would like to study i.e. distance from your home;
  • Financial circumstance i.e. household income assessment in most cases;
  • If you have studied before and received funding over the age of 18 at the time.

Please kindly remember that not everyone who applies for funding is eligible – there is no automatic entitlement and you must apply to have an assessment carried out of your eligibility prior to being given your decision of award.

There is a new Scottish Government website created called Student Information Scotland, as the central point, to communicate comprehensive and consistent messaging and advice to students, across both Further and Higher Education (FE & HE), via its dedicated Covid-19 content page.

This new website brings together both FE and HE in the one place for the first time.  It includes a budget calculator and a funding checker, so not only does it tell students, their parents / carers, how much they may need, it also provides an estimate on how much funding they could potentially receive.

We are keen to encourage users to visit the new site to help them to make informed decisions, based on their finances, as well as accessing up to date information as COVID-19 continues to unfold.

To date the dedicated COVID-19 area has successfully signposted students to up to date information, including but not limited to:

  • Student Action Plan – Emergency Hardship Funds
  • Accommodation and Mental Health
  • Exams and Applications
  • FAQ’s based on Covid-19 enquiries
  • CNOD Guidance
  • Travel
  • Cyber Security / Resilience
  • Student Volunteering
  • Finding a job

Please click here for the new website, for up-to-date information, as this situation develops.  We encourage students to provide feedback on the site, using this feedback link which can also be accessed on the front page of the website.

Childcare Fund

Childcare Fund

Students who require childcare provision to allow them to attend college can apply to the Childcare Fund for support. The fund can only cover formal, registered childcare costs for the days students are timetabled to attend college and course placement days.  The maximum allowance that will be paid for any one student is £7,000.  The maximum allowance is not per child.

Only those students who qualify for bursary support at FE level and students’ at HE level who qualify for the maximum loan from SAAS can apply to the Childcare Fund for support.

Students who wish to use the College nursery facilities at either Greenock or Paisley campus should make an application as soon as possible to ensure a place is available.  Places are limited and are given on a first-come first-served basis.  All places are provisional pending full award of childcare provision from the Childcare Fund from the Student Funding Department.  Students who do not qualify for the Childcare Fund will be expected to pay their nursery fees.

For arrangements and payment options, follow this link: Nursery Provision

Important Information

  • Receiving an invitation email to apply for Childcare Funds does not guarantee you will qualify for the fund and only those students awarded will have their nursery place confirmed at West College Scotland therefore it is imperative you do not delay in making your application.
  • All payment of Childcare Funds to external providers’ are made direct to their stated bank account every fortnight, in arrears .  provided you have met the minimum requirements of satisfactory attendance, conduct and full engagement on your course in each week. The expectation is that you will attend all your timetabled classes and use where necessary the procedure to cover any absences you may have had.  Unsatisfactory reports will result in non-payment of funds for the period reviewed.   Part payment for part engagement of any week will not be made.  All childcare provision agreements are between the student and the provider therefore any outstanding balances due to non-attendance or non-eligibility will be the responsibility of the student concerned and not West College Scotland.

Accommodation Fund

Further and Higher Education Discretionary Fund

This fund was formerly known as the Hardship Fund.

It is intended to help students who have the responsibility of paying rent/mortgage costs and are not living at home with a parent/guardian.  Documentary evidence of tenancy/mortgage agreements in the student’s name will be required to be submitted along with other supporting documentation which will be detailed upon making the application.

Only those students who qualify for bursary support at FE level, and students at HE level who qualify for their fees to be paid as well as the maximum loan from SAAS can apply to the Childcare Fund/Discretionary Fund for support. Students who are entitled to receive assistance from Department of Work and Pensions for Housing Benefit cannot receive assistance for accomodation costs.

All Accommodation Applications, if awarded, will be paid from the FE/HE Discretionary Funds depending on the course level. The maximum assistance towards accommodation costs offered per week is £40.  Payments are made directly into your nominated bank account every fortnight, in arrears provided you have met the minimum requirements of satisfactory attendance, conduct and full engagement on your course in each week. The expectation is that you will attend all your timetabled classes and use where necessary the procedure to cover any absences you may have had.  Unsatisfactory reports will result in non-payment of funds for the period reviewed. Part payment for part engagement of any week will not be made.

Need help or more information?

Contact our Student Funding Department

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