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Grants available for students & education

edited 16 June 2010 at 10:08AM in Student MoneySaving
72 replies 82.7K views
Former_MSE_WendyFormer_MSE_Wendy Former MSE
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edited 16 June 2010 at 10:08AM in Student MoneySaving

This thread is to discuss Grant Grabbing for your education guide

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  • House_Elf_2House_Elf_2 Forumite
    399 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Can anyone help? I am Secretary of a swimming club in Birmingham. One of our swimmers has been selected to train with the GB squad at the high performance training centre in Aldershott. She is 17, and will have to leave school half way through her A levels and live away from home, sharing a flat with other swimmers in the squad.

    She really wants to represent her country in the Olympics, and is prepared to put her academic career on hold. (She wants to study Medicine). However, the training grant is only £4000 and will not even cover her rent! She is from a very supportive one parent family, who have tried very hard to gain sponsorship, but no luck so far.......We have looked into Modern Apprenticeship. (She will be training 6hrs a day, so no time! Despite the fact that this is available to football trainees!). EMA (Continuing A levels part time). Housing Benefit, poss?:confused:

    Can anyone suggest grants available? It seems so harsh that someone so committed and so talented should have to starve to represent their country!:mad:
    In a world where you can be anything, be kind. (Caroline Flack)
    We have more in common than that which divides us. (Jo Cox)
  • CharisCharis Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    OU are able to help with fees if your income is below a certain level. Worth investigating if you are in receipt of benefits, Child Tax Credit etc. May cover the whole cost of your course fees, especially if you are doing one unit per year. :money: Not that it will help the swimmer, but I can't find anywhere else to post this useful snippet in this grant grabbing thread.
  • House Elf

    As a 17 yr old, she should be able to apply for housing benefit to cover the rent as is it generally only based on income.

    As for additional funding, it's down to hunting through the masses of charitable funding for something that fits. Most people would look to get small amounts from a number of sources.

    funderfinder is a good place to start.
  • Nobody has mentioned the Adult Learning Grant, which is sort of like EMA only it is for anyone over 19, doing a full time course at a level they have never attempted before.

    So for example, if you left school at 16 and worked for a few years, but then decided to go to college and do an A-Level equivalent course, you can get £30 a week to help towards your studies.

    Unfortunately if it's not the first time you've been in that level of education, you can't claim. For example, I did a BTEC National Diploma from age 16-18, which is the equivalent level of A Levels. I didn't get the grades I wanted and I needed some more UCAS points, so I went back to college and did A Levels the following year. In my first year of A Levels, I claimed EMA, but in my second year, because I was 19 when the course started, I was advised to apply for the ALG. Unfortunately because I already had an A level equivalent qualification I could not apply.

    Here is the official site:
    I don't believe and I never did that two wrongs make a right
  • The rules for these have changed recently and the £100 ILA for those earning over £18,000 is no longer available.

    Apologies if this is a re-post
  • For those adults who didn't get, or didn't get high enough, Maths and English at school (up to GCSE, or equivalent), or for those that just want to get rid of their gremlins, you can get government sponsered 'Skills for Life' ones from Learndirect.

    These are City & Guilds, level 1 and level 2 qualifications and are equal to GCSE
    (C&G L1 = grades D-F / C&G L2 = grades A*-C).
    The courses are offered free, and the qualification is recognised by employers as equal to GCSE. The courses are computer based and can be done on any computer that has Internet access - they are also tutor supported, so you can ask for additional help if there are any points that are not clear.
    All you need to do is contact your local Learndirect centre ( - to find your nearest one) and book an appointment. You have to do an initial assessment which lets them know where they need to help you, then they will support you all the way to L2 in both Literacy and Numeracy, all for free.

    They also do other courses, but they cost a bit, though for those on income support, there are fee remissions available, so if you need the qualifications for a new career, they could be worth looking into, too.

    Only wish my local job centre had told me about it when I was out of work!

  • Does anyone know if there are any grants for transport for disabled students? According to college, I'm not disabled enough (I have 40% vision and struggle with transport) and don't live far away. (I live 2.9 miles away) I've been told use my bus passes, (won't help) get my parents to give me a lift (they can't because of working patterns) and to use my DLA. (which will only cover half of the costs)

    So what do I do? They seem to be uninterested in the fact that I won't be able to get to college and therefore, can't do my course. They've said 'we'll let your teacher know you may be late because of your dificulties', but that would mean missing lessons and coursework time.

    I've been told I can only get help if I have a social worker and they write a note to say I struggle with transport, but I don't have a social worker.
  • Has anyone had expereince of challenging the justice of EMA and any other education assistance, particularly further education grants which are based on household income not need.
    Over the next few years we will have four children at uniniversity at the same time. We clearly have the income to afford one child but four is crippling.
  • EsorEsor Forumite
    83 Posts
    Mr Jade, I do know that if you have more than one member of your household at university at any time then they take it into account when applications for student loads/funding are made, have a look at,1259548&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL there should be some info there somewhere. I just remember reading something when I was filling in my application over the last few years.

    HTH :)
  • I am self employed aged 56. I have been told by my accountant if I make a pension contribution equal to my total earned income I can set this all off against my income on my child tax credits application form thereby giving me the equivelant of zero income and so qualifying me for the maximum child tax credit. I also have two children at uni so does the same principle apply ...i.e. can I get my children the maximum non repayable grant by paying all my income into a pension fund? All sounds too good to be true if I can do this!!
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