HE Bursary Fund

The Bridgwater College Bursary Fund is a means-tested bursary to support higher education students with costs directly related to their studies. This fund is only available to students who are in their first year of study, on an eligible course, in 2016/17.

A grant of up to £600 per eligible student, payable during the academic year 2016/17. Applications will be considered on priority basis. Funds are paid per term in equal instalments. Eligible students studying on a part time programme will receive a pro-rata amount. Once the finances available to support this fund have been exhausted there will be no further funding available.

Eligibility criteria for students

  • Students must have a household income threshold of £25,000 or less as assessed by Student Finance England (SFE).
  • Students must be entitled to and approved to receive, or are in receipt of, the full student loan for 2016-17.
  • Do not already hold a higher level qualification such a degree, foundation degree, CertHE or HNC/D.
  • Are not in receipt of, or eligible for, a Maintenance Grant from the Student Loan Company (SLC).
  • If students receive full or part sponsorship (for example from an employer) for their tuition fees they are not eligible for this bursary.
  • The College will prioritise applications based on the conditions specified. This means that there is a limited amount of funding, eligible students within the groups identified will receive funding before those who are not.

How to apply

When?

Applications can be made from June 2016, prior to formal enrolment but after confirmation of a place on an eligible programme, and then throughout the academic year until the end of the Spring term, or sooner if the funds available for this bursary have been exhausted.

Please note that payments for eligible applications will only be made at set points and only to students who are currently enrolled.

How?

Applications must be made using the appropriate application form. This is available within the appendices of this policy, or from the College’s Student Support Team, please contact them via studentsupport@bridgwater.ac.uk.

Please be aware that you will need to provide the correct evidence in support of your application at the time you submit your application or you may not be able to access the bursary on grounds of eligibility.

Questions?

If you have any questions relating to this bursary please contact the College’s Student Support Team via studentsupport@bridgwater.ac.uk.

Conditions of funding

  • If a student changes their mode of study during the academic year (e.g. from full time to part time or vice versa) they will continue to receive the bursary as originally awarded.
  • If a student postpones or suspends their studies during the academic year they will not be eligible to continue to receive this bursary. If they defer, postpone or suspend their studies and do not notify Bridgwater College’s Student Support they will be liable to repay any bursary funds received after they deferred, postponed or suspended their studies. The student can re-apply for a bursary fund, as available, once they recommence their studies.
  • If a student transfers into Bridgwater College from another provider during the academic year (although this is rare as it is more normal for transfers to occur at the beginning of the academic year) they will be able, if eligible, to apply for this bursary but will only be entitled to a proportion of the full amount. For example if they transfer in half way through the academic year and are on a full time course they will only be eligible for a maximum of half of the full bursary.

Prioritisation of funding

Funds are granted on a priority basis to identified priority groups. High priority students are those who are:

  • Care leavers: To be eligible as a care level you must:
    • Have been in local authority care for a minimum of three months
    • Be a permanent resident in the United Kingdom and be ‘home’ student for fee purposes
    • Have proof of being in care from an official source, such as a local authority
    • Be enrolled on an undergraduate course at Bridgwater College
    • Not already hold a previous HE qualification
    • Have not been adopted
  • Registered as disabled
  • From ethnic minority groups
  • Students with children, especially single parents
  • Carers with responsibility for caring for others

Evidence of eligibility

  • Evidence of eligibility must be provided at the time of application.
  • To be eligible students must have a household income of £25,000 or less, evidence as follows must be provided:
    • The income assessment is that used by SFE to assess entitlement to funding. No alternative income assessment will be used.
  • The SFE do not income assess current part time applicants, applicants will need to provide evidence of their income to Bridgwater College. Applicants will need to provide evidence of benefit entitlement or evidence of their (and where appropriate their partner’s or parent’s) gross income.
  • To be eligible students must also be in receipt of the full student loan for the relevant academic year. Students must provide evidence of their loan which will be the maximum loan entitlement of £8,200 or £6904 if living at home, for 2016/17.
  • Students will not be eligible for this bursary if they are being sponsored to pay for their course by a third party, such as an employer or parent.

Payments to eligible students

  • Payments made to the student only and no other third party.
  • Payments are paid by equal instalments to eligible students on a termly basis.
  • There are three terms in an academic year so, as an example, a full grant of £600 will be paid at a rate of £200 per term.
  • Students must remain as enrolled to be allowed to continue to receive the grant. If a student withdraws during the 2016/17 academic year, before the final grant payment is made, all future grant payments will cease.
  • Payments will normally be made during months of November, February and May.
  • If an eligible application is made later during the academic year and there are still funds available, the funds will not be paid retrospectively for past payment dates. For example if a student applies and is approved during January the November payment will have passed and no payment will be made retrospectively.
  • Students studying on a part time basis will receive a pro-rata amount, for example a student studying half the hours of a full time student will receive half the amount, £300 overall payable in termly instalments at a rate of £100 per term.
  • Students failing to meet all of the eligibility criteria or to produce full and appropriate evidence within the timeframes specified by the College may risk being considered for this fund.
  • If a student is in debt with the College their bursary instalment will not be paid until the students arranges repayment with the College’s Finance Team.
  • If it is later discovered than an application is based on false or partially false circumstances the College would seek to recover any payments and the student may be subject to the College’s disciplinary policy.

Allocation of bursaries

  • Decisions regarding the allocation of bursaries will be made by the Student Support Team based only the evidence provided.
  • If there is a delay in processing of funding applications, or an applicant has applied late, the income information may not be received in time to allocate a bursary.