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Financial Support

The Government provides financial support to help students with costs associated with further education.

Bursary and Learner Support Funds

If you are aged 16 years and over on 31st August 2019, studying a Further Education course in September 2019, you may be eligible for financial support from the 16-19 Bursary Funds, Learner Support Funds or Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund and/or Free Meals in further education. Please note that students on apprenticeship programmes are not eligible.

Students with a low household income (below £30,000 gross), can apply for financial support for travel to and from college, essential course items such as equipment, uniform, childcare for the days you attend college and free meals. You must be on a course funded by the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA) and meet the residency requirements. Student Support will assess your application based on the evidence provided. A new application form must be completed for each year the student is at College, even if they received funding in the previous year.

Please hand your application form to Student Support at your campus. Do not send any applications by post; the College cannot accept responsibility for any forms not handed in to Student Support. Incomplete applications will not be processed and the College is unable to backdate funding where there has been a delay due to incomplete information. If applications are received without the required evidence, the Student Support team will contact the applicant by telephone, email and/or letter. If a response is not received within two weeks, the application for financial support will be filed until contact is made by the applicant.

Please apply as early as possible in the academic year, using this application form, as funds are limited and awards will be allocated in order of receipt of completed applications. Please note that applying for financial support does not guarantee that funding will be allocated - we advise that you apply as soon as possible.

Applications will be processed after the student has enrolled and begun their course and can take up to six weeks to process: the first installment of funding may not be issued until October half term and students are expected to self-fund whilst applications are being processed. Where appropriate, funding will be backdated to the start of term subject to satisfactory attendance. Any further funding is based on adherence to college rules and regulations, including attendance being maintained at 93% and above and may be withheld at any time.

Applications will temporarily close on 18th October 2019 in order to reconcile funding—if funding remains the application process will re-open.

Applicants will be notified of their funding via their College student email account and if you are not eligible a letter will be sent to the postal address provided on the form.

The College reserves the right to request repayment of funds and the return of any equipment purchased, including the KCC 16+ Travel Saver if it has been funded through financial support.

If you require further assistance in completing the form, please email: bursaries@westkentandashford.ac.uk

Government guidance is updated regularly and may affect eligibility for funding. Any changes to the student finance guidance will be communicated with all members of the college community at the time of any change. It is your responsibility to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of successful application and receipt of funding as this funding may affect your eligibility for some state benefits.

You can apply to receive a contribution to costs for equipment, uniform, books and trips. This is applicable to certain courses – please contact Student Support Services for further details: bursaries@westkentandashford.ac.uk 

If you are progressing to higher levels within courses or curriculums you will receive 50% of the funding applicable for your course.

In some circumstances, students on other courses may require support towards the cost of specific resources. Applications are assessed on an individual basis.

Student must be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2019. Students aged 19 or over are only eligible for a free meal if they:

  • are continuing on a study programme that was started when aged 16-18 years
  • have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

In addition to the above, the student must be in receipt of, or have parents who are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits;

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC))
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa

Students from groups identified by the Government as vulnerable can apply for a bursary of up to £1,200. You are required to be aged 16-18 on 31st August 2019 and meet one of the criteria;

  • in care
  • care leavers
  • receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because you are financially supporting yourselves or financially supporting yourselves and someone who is dependent on you and living with you such as a child or partner
  • receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in your own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in your own right

Awards made to students undertaking courses lasting less than 30 weeks will be made on a pro-rata basis. Eligible students should check with Student Support for details of the bursary most suited to their needs. To apply for this bursary students must complete the application form and provide documentary evidence of meeting the criteria, e.g. a letter from the relevant local authority or award notice for the eligible benefit. Applicants will be required to meet with a member of Student Support to complete an assessment form and to identify other support required. Please note that this will be assessed on financial need to attend college and is not guaranteed or an entitlement.

If you are aged 16-21 and in care or a care leaver registered with Kent County Council aged 16-18 you are eligible to receive a KCC Travel Saver.