Students undertaking their first higher education course e.g. foundation degree, HNC or HND should apply to Student Finance NI for financial support.
Support is available in the form of Tuition Fee Grant, Tuition Fee Loan (for students whose income is too high to receive the tuition fee grant or whose course fees are more than the amount of tuition fee grant received) and Course Grant. Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are also available.
Tuition Fee Grant
A, non-repayable, fee grant to help towards the cost of the tuition fees. You could receive up to £1,203 depending on your course intensity and the cost of your course fees. How much you receive will also depend on your household income. To receive a tuition fee grant you must be studying at a course intensity of at least 50%. This means that it should not takemore than twice the length of time to complete the course than it would if you were studying on a full time basis.
The fee grant is paid directly to the College on your behalf.
Tuition Fee Loan
A fee loan to help towards the cost of the tuition fees. You will be required to repay the loan once you earn over the minimum repayment threshold.
Your fee loan will be reduced by any amount of fee grant that you receive. The loan is not means tested. To receive a tuition fee loan you must be studying at a course intensity of at least 25%. This means that it should not take more than four times the length of time to complete the course than it would if you were studying on a full time basis.
The fee loan is paid directly to the College on your behalf, and is paid in three instalments.
The Course Grant can help towards the cost of books, travel and other course-related expenses. You could receive up to £265 depending on your household income. The amount of grant that you receive is based on your household income.
The course grant is paid directly into your bank account in one lump sum payment.
Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)
These are available to students who have extra costs because of a disability, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSA’s do not depend on household income. How much a student receives depends on an individual needs assessment.
A DSA application form can be downloaded from the Student Finance NI website
How and When to Apply
You will need to complete a PTL form. This form is available from the College or Student Finance NI offices from the summer each year. You cannot apply until you are enrolled at the College. The College must complete Section 6 of the form on your behalf. This can only be completed for returning students after the student has completed enrolment for the 2017/18 Academic Year. For new students enrolment must be completed and you must have attended your course for a minimum of two weeks before the form can be signed.
Tuition Fee Liability
The College requires all students to pay appropriate fees at the point of enrolment. Students who inform Customer Services of their intention to apply for a part time tuition fee grant can avail of the following enhanced arrangement at enrolment:
- Deposit of £100 payable at the point of enrolment
- Fees Liability form and direct debit mandate also to be completed at the point of enrolment
The student should then complete and submit their application form to their local Student Finance NI office. Confirmation of funding must then be submitted to Customer Services as soon as it is received. Any refund due to the student will be issued by the College Finance Department.
If the confirmation of funding award letter from Student Finance NI is not submitted prior to the first direct debit instalment the College will proceed with taking the direct debit. If the application for funding is unsuccessful or does not meet the full course fee the student is liable for the remaining outstanding fees.
In all circumstances, the student is responsible for the payment of the total fee whether they complete the course or not. In the event of Student Loans Company not releasing the full amount of the award the student will be required to pay the remaining balance of the total fee.
Further Information and Contact Details
Completed Applications should be sent to the dedicated SFNI Part-Time Team at the address below, you should not return the form to your local Education Authority Office:
Student Finance NI Part Time Office
Ballee Road West
Student Finance Student Support Helpline: Tel 0300 100 0077 email: firstname.lastname@example.org