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Extra Help for Students on a Low Income in the UK

Students on a low income can apply for the National Scholarship Programme, Access to Learning Fund and Income Support. 

The National Scholarship Programme

If your household income is £25,000 a year or less, you can apply for a bursary from the National Scholarship Programme.  The bursary can be one or more of the following: a cash bursary of up to £1,000, help with tuition fees and accommodation, or a free foundation year.
If you’ve been in local authority care, you can apply for: a one-off bursary of £2,000 from your local authority, or a bursary from your university or college. 

Access to Learning Fund

Access to Learning Fund is for students in financial hardship, who need extra help to initiate a course or stay in higher education. Your university or college decides who gets the money and how much you can get. 
Financial hardships include students with children- mainly single parents, mature students - particularly those with existing financial commitments, students from low-income families, disabled students, care leavers, students who are homeless or who are living in ‘Foyers’, and final-year students.

Eligibility: A full-time, part-time, undergraduate, postgraduate student studying a higher education course can apply to the Access to Learning Fund. If you’re a part-time student you must be fulfil one of the following conditions: your course lasts at least 1 year, takes no more than twice as long to complete as an equivalent full-time course, or takes no more than 4 times as long to complete as an equivalent full-time course if you’re a new student starting from September 2012.

Applying Procedure: Contact the student services department at your respective university or college for the application. You’ll need to submit a copy of your letter from Student Finance England indicating how much student finance you’ll get and documents about your funds, like bank statements and rent details. 

Income Support

You’re eligible for Income Support if you have no income or a low income, you’re working less than 16 hours a week, and you haven’t signed on as unemployed. 
Benefits: You get a basic payment, i.e., a ‘personal allowance’ and extra payments (premiums). The personal allowance is based on the status and age of the individual. You can get the premium between £15.55 and 
£122.20 extra depending on your circumstances

Eligibility: You are eligible for Income Support if you’re between 16 and Pension Credit qualifying age, pregnant, or a carer, or a lone parent with a child under 5, you have no income or a low income, or working less than 16 hours a week. Also, you qualify if you’re 19 years old or younger, in full-time secondary education including A levels and one of the following: a parent, not living with a parent or someone acting as a parent, or a refugee learning English. You can also qualify for Income support up to the age of 21 if you’re orphaned or estranged from your parents and enrolled in education.

Applying Procedure: You can apply for Income Support by phone or by post. Send a claim form to your local Jobcentre Plus
Jobcentre Plus
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language: 0800 012 1888
To support your claim, you need to provide details about your income, the income of any partner, where you live and who lives with you. 
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