Covid19 Student Financial Support

Covid19 Student Financial Support – Student Support Funding Update June 2020.

We are aware that students will be suffering a ranging of challenges as a result of Covid-19 and the College will look to support students where possible.  In light of the recent Scottish Government announcement on student support, we are pleased to be able to give some guidance on how WCS will be taking approach to support our students during these times.

We are pleased to issue guidance to  clarify the availability of student support funding for three categories of students:

a)          2019-20 FE/HE Students Claiming Universal Credit (UC) throughout the Summer returning in academic session 2020-21

Support for students in period between UC application being made and receipt of award – Bridging the Funding Gap

b)            2019-20 Deferred Students

Students from 2019-20 who are returning to College during the summer to complete units of their course

c)            2020-21 Returning Students

Students who were undertaking studies during 2019-20 and due to the impact of Covid-19 are required to return to College to complete their studies.

If any student believes that they require support during this time please contact the Student Funding Department at studentfunding@wcs.ac.uk where the team will action requests on an individual student basis and in date order.

2019-20 FE/HE STUDENTS CLAIMING UNIVERSAL CREDIT (UC) THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER

Where students apply for UC it can take a minimum of 5 weeks for the first UC payment to be received.  SFC/SAAS have therefore confirmed that the College can continue to make FE/HE discretionary funding payments in order to assist those students who are identified to be most in need during the period between their UC application and receipt of the first UC payment. 

Students who were already in receipt of universal credit benefits whilst at College should continue to receive these if they still meet eligibility criteria.

  • The College will have the following assistance in place up to 30 June 2020:
    • Students must first seek guidance on applying for UC from the DWP – and in doing so should seek clarity of the impact in receiving any additional support from the College during the UC application period might have on their UC claim.
  • Students who were in receipt of FE bursary funding/HE maximum SAAS funding and have sought DWP advice, should then email the Student Funding Department directly to request further financial support if they wish to proceed with an application – using the email address – studentfunding@wcs.ac.uk The email should provide confirmation that they have made an application for UC.
  • Students will be required to confirm that they have not requested an advance payment or crisis loan from DWP before any assistance from the College can be considered.  Where students have already made an application for such funds from DWP they will not be eligible for further assistance from the College.
  • Students will receive £50 a week up to the date they are notified that their UC claim has been approved. This support cannot be paid beyond the first expected payment date of UC nor be paid beyond the 5-week assistance period.
  • If students receive confirmation that they are not entitled to UC they must also forward this decision to the College by emailing – studentfunding@wcs.ac.uk This would result in the College being unable to provide any assistance and any offer of funding dependent on approval of a UC claim having to be withdrawn.

19-20 DEFERRED STUDENTS

Students who end their course on 12 June 2020 will have received their full academic session funding for 2019-20 by 19 June 2020.

As the student course end date is 12 June 2020 and the duration of courses has not been extended this will mean the following:

  • FE students will not be entitled to receive further bursary maintenance.
  • HE students will not receive SAAS funding.
  • On completion of their course on 12 June 2020 students should apply for DWP social security benefits including Universal Credit to cover the period from 13 June to 20 September 2020.  They will be classed as a non-student for benefit purposes and can receive, depending on their circumstances, assistance with the cost of their rent/mortgage and basic living costs.
  • Any FE student in receipt of bursary maintenance at present could be considered for travel assistance if required to come into campus to catch-up in order to complete 2019-20 courses, providing they reside out with a 2-mile radius from a College campus. Such payments will be calculated at the daily rate from the College listings of public transport.
  • Any FE/HE student in receipt of childcare assistance at present could be considered for costs paid directly to a registered childcare provider for days when they are required to come to campus to catch up. Any such payment will be calculated using the daily figures already submitted for 2019-20.  Should the previous childcare provider not be available, the student would be required to provide the College with the name and daily rate of new provider.  This information should be submitted to studentfunding@wcs.ac.uk All childcare providers must be registered and in line with SFC policy it remains the case that there will be no additional payments made to cover such costs where there is another parent/guardian within the student household to undertake childminding requirements.
  • HE students who were in receipt of the maximum loan for the duration of their 2019-20 course could be considered for travel assistance if required to come into a College campus to catch-up, providing they reside out with a 2-mile radius from campus. Any such payments will be calculated at the daily rate from our listings of public transport.

2020-21 Returning Students

A Scottish Government announcement on June 2020 stated that:

‘Students in FE and HE are both able to access funding should they require to repeat a year of study. For those students who have exhausted their funding options and require to repeat a year of studies due to Covid-19, colleges (FE) and SAAS (HE) will consider their requests under compassionate grounds.’

The impact of this announcement means the following:

  • Students will be considered for funding for the repeated course year.
  • Students must still follow the current application process:
    • Accept a place on 2020-21 course.
    • Make an application for funding when they receive an invite to submit an application email. 
    • Updated financial information and documentation will be required to be submitted to studentfunding@wcs.ac.uk as it is a new financial year assessment.
    • If repeating a full course year cannot repeat units that have already been passed and awarded.  The course must meet full-time student status.
    • If repeating full course year and meet full-time student status students will be eligible to be assessed for full student support funding.
    • If repeating only a portion of a course the student will be classed as a part-time student and therefore only be eligible for travel and/or childcare assistance. There is no part-time maintenance award available to students.  Students may still be eligible to continue to receive any Universal Credit claim whilst attending on a part-time basis.  Clarity must be sought by student from DWP on this basis.