Financial Support for Further Education
Studying at college may involve extra costs for you. There may be books to buy, travel fares and additional childcare costs. However, there are a range of funds provided by the Welsh Government and the College to help you pay for them:
- The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
- The Welsh Assembly Learning Grant (WGLG)
- The Financial Contingency Fund (FCF)
To be eligible for any funding you must:
- be an enrolled student at one of our College centres;
- be aged 16 or over;
- normally reside in the UK or have lived in the UK for 3 years before the start of the course (or qualify as a ‘home student’ in some other way such as being an EU national or refugee).
- Unfortunately we unable to offer support to asylum seekers.
Please note that all funding awarded is subject to attendance and can be withdrawn at any time if attendance falls below 90%
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
The Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a fortnightly payment of £30 a week depending on your household income. The money is intended to help with the day-to-day costs whilst you are at College.
You may be eligible for EMA of £30.00 per week if:
- You live in Wales
- Are aged between 16 to 18 on 31st August for the academic year you wish to study in
- Meet the nationality and residency rules set out in the EMA scheme
- You attend an eligible school or college - this must be full-time at school or a minimum of 12 hours per week at college and studying an eligible course.
- Meet household income rules set out in the EMA scheme
You should apply straight away. Learners need to apply within 8 weeks of the start of the course to be eligible for backdated payments. Your application form should be returned to Student Finance Wales by recorded delivery as soon as possible. Do not hand this form in to your school or college.
Application forms are available from April onwards for the following academic year from;
- Your school or college
- Your local Job Centre
- Careers Wales
Learners who are awarded EMA, need to bring evidence of their award letter to Student Services and sign a Learning Agreement before payments can be made
- Payment is conditional on 100% attendance or authorised absence.
- Payment will be made into your bank account on a fortnightly basis.
- Student Finance Wales will text your mobile to advise when you are due to receive your EMA payment.
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) Returning Students
If you received EMA last year and you are returning for your 2nd or 3rd year, Student Finance Wales should send you a letter to identify if you are continuing in Education.
If you haven't received this letter by the end of June, contact the EMA Wales Customer Services Team on 0300 200 4050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, so that your payments are not delayed when you commence your course.
Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) formerly Assembly Learning Grant (ALG)
The Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) provides support to help people from low-income families to access and remain in further education.
You may be eligible for WGLG if:
- You are 19 or over on 31st August for the academic year you wish to study in
- You meet household income rules set out in the WGLG FE scheme
- You meet the residence and nationality rules set out for the WGLG FE scheme
- You are studying an eligible FE course in the UK that involves at least 275 hours of study
- You are not receiving funding for your course from another source.
- The course leads to a nationally recognized qualification
- All returning learners must be progressing from a lower to a higher level course in order to continue receiving their WGLG. Any returning learner enrolling on the same level or a lower level course will not be funded unless it is proved to be an exceptional circumstance.
You should apply straight away. Your application form should be returned to Student Finance Wales by recorded delivery as soon as possible. Do not hand this form in to your school or college.
Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) Returning Students
If you received WGLG last year and you are returning for your 2nd or 3rd year, Student Finance Wales should send you a letter to identify if you are continuing in Education.
If you haven't received this letter by the end of June, contact the WGLG FE Customer Services Team on 0300 200 4050 or email email@example.com soon as possible, so that your payments are not delayed when you commence your course.
Financial Contingency Fund (FCF)
The aim of this fund is to give help to students who are in financial difficulty as a result of studying at college.
We can help you with the essential course costs such as:
- course equipment (specific courses only);
- childcare (limited places)
- DBS Payment
- some learners may also be entitled to a further discretionary allowance. Once an FCF application has been received, a member of the Student Finance team will be in touch to discuss this with any learners identified as eligible for this additional funding
Financial Contingency Funds are discretionary awards (not an entitlement). The system of allocation takes into account your financial circumstances, hours of study (minimum 12 hours), the nature of your course, and any other support that you might be receiving.
Applications will be accepted at any point during the year, but will be processed on a first come, first served basis.
If you live more than 3 miles from college, you may apply for a travel pass by completing a Financial Contingency Fund Application Form. In order to qualify learners must be eligible for the Welsh Government Learning Grant.
There will be a £50 non-refundable administration fee upfront for all travel passes, unless we have proof that the learner is a care leaver, in care or a young carer.
Please enquire further at enrolment or at any reception desk.
We have discounted travel passes available from:
- Cardiff Bus
- Transport for Wales
- New Adventure Travel
- First Cymru Group
Learners aged over 19 studying for more than 8 hours a week, living more than 3 miles away from the college, may also apply for a petrol allowance. This is a fixed amount paid via BACS directly in to the learners bank account on a fortnightly basis.
The UK Government is making changes to the amount of benefits some people receive. They are also making changes to the way benefits are paid. For more information, please view the changes to the benefits system website.
Learners aged 16-18 who are entitled to EMA, and learners aged 19 or over who are in care, care leavers or young carers, can apply for a meal allowance through the online FCF application form. Meals allowances are a maximum of £12 a week, or £3 a day for four days. They can be used to purchase hot meals and healthy snacks, but cannot be used to purchase fizzy drinks, chocolate or crisps. Learners awarded a meal allowance just need to show their Student ID card at the till to use their funding. No vouchers of any kind can be given to learners who forget their ID card. Abuse of the meal allowance system may result in funding being stopped. Learners studying at our House of Sport campus who are awarded meals will have the meal allowance paid directly in to their accounts via BACS.
Childcare Funding applications for 2019-2020 are now closed.
Childcare funding is only available to full-time learners aged over 19, whose child is over 9 months old at the start of the academic year. Funding is limited to £32 per day for a maximum of 3 days a week, and is paid directly to the registered childcare provider, one month in arrears. Funding is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and priority is given to returning, progressing learners, and to those learners enrolled on specific courses. Any funding awarded by the college can be stopped at any time due to poor attendance.
The College has a nursery at the Colcot Road site and it is recommended that learners studying at Colcot Road, should use these facilities in the first instance if places are available, rather than looking at external companies.
Part of the criteria for selection is based on you attending college full time and your child being at least 9 months old on the 1st September. You will be asked to provide evidence of your financial circumstances and applications are not assessed until all evidence is submitted.
Please note only one child space will be considered per learner. No offers of childcare will be given unless a course space is secured.
If you have not yet applied for a course but are thinking of enrolling in September, please go to this website to read more about childcare funding options with PaCE: https://gov.wales/parents-childcare-and-employment-pace-project
Council Tax Reductions
Council Tax is a property tax with a personal element. The property element is based on the property's valuation band. The personal element takes into account the number of people aged over 18 living in a property, and allows for a discount to be granted in some circumstances.
If only one adult lives in a property, you can apply for a discount of 25%.
People in the following groups do not count towards the number of adults resident in a dwelling:
- Full-time students, student nurses, apprentices and Youth Training trainees
- Patients resident in hospital
- People who are being looked after in care homes
- People who are severely mentally impaired
- People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school. However, when a person reaches the age of 18 you must notify the Council in order that the correct discount can be applied.
- Care-workers working for low pay, usually for charities
- People caring for someone with a disability who is not a spouse, partner, or child under 18
- Members of visiting forces and certain international institutions
- Members of religious communities (monks and nuns)
- People in prison (except those in prison for non-payment of Council Tax or a fine)
If you need evidence to confirm your full time education status when applying for your Council Tax reduction, you can collect and complete a form from all college receptions from September onwards. Please note the letter confirming your status cannot be released until October half term. (This is due to the 6 week probationary period for all learners).
For further information about Council Tax:
Vale of Glamorgan Council: 01446 700111
Cardiff Council: 02920 872087