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To ask how single mothers over 24 manage to afford to go back to studying??

(18 Posts)
Toobloodytired Sun 12-Mar-17 20:19:25

Posting here for traffic.

This is a genuine question & I am desperate for advice!

I'm 26 (27 tomorrow sad) & expecting my first baby in 4 weeks.

I will be a single mother however I am absolutely desperate to go back to college to study whilst I'm on maternity leave so I have some form of chance at getting a half decent job when I go back to work.

It's obviously do able I.E juggling children & studying albeit not without its difficulties however I am absolutely stumped as to how the bloody hell il afford it!

I've looked and found a few courses I'd genuinely be interested in however the government will only do grants or loans if I do a level 3! I only have to current qualifications to start at level 2, yet I can't possibly afford the fees myself up front! We are talking thousands sad

Anyone know anything I don't?? Probably a hell of a lot to be fair

Iwannabelikecommonpeople Sun 12-Mar-17 20:23:42

Are you sure about that Level 3 thing ? I'm doing a government funded course in Health and Social care Level 2. Only catch with that is we have to do the Welsh Bacc qualification on top of it too here too which is a bit crap ! Good luck.

SunshineOutdoors Sun 12-Mar-17 20:30:13

I managed to skip level two of my aat accountancy course by doing a much cheaper city and guilds level two. It was £150 instead of thousands and has allowed me to progress to level 3 funded by an advanced learner loan which I don't have to pay back until I'm earning 21k. Could you find a cheaper level 2 equivalent in your chosen field?

BitchQueen90 Sun 12-Mar-17 20:39:58

What are you looking at doing? I studied with open uni, I did an access course which was funded for me and then had the opportunity to do a degree with them.

ICancelledTheCheque Sun 12-Mar-17 20:59:07

I have done a degree and a diploma - the first degree was funded by my employer, the diploma I paid for interest free at £150/month. Is that a possibility?

I feel for you. If I hadn't have had the immense luck I did in getting my first job at 22, I wouldn't have been able to do it at all. I was incredibly lucky and it's massively unfair that people want to learn and often can't afford to past a certain age because the government is only interested in funding the younger generation!

muminthecity Sun 12-Mar-17 21:14:54

I'm a single parent aged 33 and studying. I work full time, go to uni in the evenings and will have over 20k of debt when I finally graduate next year. I just hope it's all worth it in the end, cos it's bloody hard.

Toobloodytired Sun 12-Mar-17 21:28:27

I managed to skip level two of my aat accountancy course by doing a much cheaper city and guilds level two. It was £150 instead of thousands and has allowed me to progress to level 3 funded by an advanced learner loan which I don't have to pay back until I'm earning 21k. Could you find a cheaper level 2 equivalent in your chosen field?

How did you do this?? shock I need to know! My first choice was accountancy as I've been quite interested in getting into finance but at a bit of a higher level as previous jobs meant I simply dabbled in it.

SunshineOutdoors Sun 12-Mar-17 21:41:41

I did city and guilds level two in bookkeeping, it cost £150 including the exam at my local college, 10 week course 2 hours one evening a week. Two aat course providers were willing to put me onto level three based on this, and also that I had gone to the library and borrowed the aat level 2 course book and studied this myself. I have also been able to get a part time job working 9.30 - 2.30 two days a week as a finance assistant. I had no relevant experience before, my new employers said my attitude and enthusiasm helped me get the job. I say go for it, I'm really enjoying my new found career path, so far it's been pretty family friendly too. Once you have aat level 3 you can set up asa qualified bookkeeper and work from home self employed.

SunshineOutdoors Sun 12-Mar-17 21:46:15

My aat course is only 3 hours one evening a week too. I need to study a lot in between but that's at home so very doable with children

hannahturning30 Sun 12-Mar-17 21:47:46

There is help available, depending on what you are looking at doing.

College/Uni settings often have funding available for those on low Incomes without level 3 qualifications/existing degrees. I started my degree with the OU and had full funding, plus extra at the start of each module to help with costs.

I'm not sure if full funding is still available as I started before all the changes were brought in and am now under transitional arrangements, I graduate in July and have just been offered a job in my chosen field. Certainly worth ringing wherever you're looking at studying and asking what options are available, there's usually a student finance/finance options team.

The OU was the only viable option for me personally because of childcare, I was an unemployed single parent when I started studying.

Just after we met, my now husband decided to study accountancy and applied to start AAT at college in the evenings after work and he also had funding due to low income. Obviously didn't have childcare issues though. Some colleges have subsidised childcare during the day I believe. Once he had passed his level 2 and 3 he found a job and his employers have funded his training and give him study days since.

I think anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

Toobloodytired Sun 12-Mar-17 21:56:53

I did city and guilds level two in bookkeeping, it cost £150 including the exam at my local college, 10 week course 2 hours one evening a week. Two aat course providers were willing to put me onto level three based on this, and also that I had gone to the library and borrowed the aat level 2 course book and studied this myself. I have also been able to get a part time job working 9.30 - 2.30 two days a week as a finance assistant. I had no relevant experience before, my new employers said my attitude and enthusiasm helped me get the job. I say go for it, I'm really enjoying my new found career path, so far it's been pretty family friendly too. Once you have aat level 3 you can set up asa qualified bookkeeper and work from home self employed.

That course is the exact one I've just been looking into! shock
It's a bit more expensive at £250 for the 12 week course but the cost is relatively doable!
Be 100% honest with me now (this is mumsnet!).....I'm level 2 maths but level 3 English....--id personally tell you that my maths is actually rather shit.-- However I have always been genuinely interested in finance!

Am I just punching well above my weight on this or is it achievable even though my maths is below par??

bloodyteenagers Sun 12-Mar-17 21:57:52

I doing it with the OU. Working full time and study evening/weekends.
It's all loans now, so when I finish will be in a lot of debt.

Toobloodytired Sun 12-Mar-17 22:00:14

Hannah, tell me your dh's maths is shit & il book this course right now!

With experience & of course studying, then I am capable of learning however, if you asked me to write a book, I'd have no issues with the writing aspect or how to do it....it just comes naturally...maths on the other hand well hmm I pretend my mind goes blank if I'm ever asked about a calculation, my calculator on my phone is a personal friend of mine.

EwanWhosearmy Sun 12-Mar-17 22:07:55

I did AAT, sponsored by work. I am absolutely useless at maths, and TBH I found it really hard. Others on my course had no trouble picking up the concepts and I was always the last to get each new subject.

I did pass, and got my letters, but it really wasn't easy (and I have a Hons History degree - I'm not stupid).

wibblywobblyfish Sun 12-Mar-17 22:19:25

How on earth is the AAT course costing thousands? I did it right through from a basic bookkeeping course to level 4 in 2yrs 3 months. I think the level 4 was £720 plus AAT fees and books. It's a good course but you need the practical experience too.

I'm currently doing the basic CIPD level 3 course (HR) and it cost me £900. Everyone on the course is either self funded or paid to be there by an employer. Most people have paid on credit cards

wibblywobblyfish Sun 12-Mar-17 22:23:52

Ps re do-ability. I scraped a C at maths GCSE. I passed the whole AAT course first time but not without revising. I would get a proper big basic calculator and not rely on your phone!!

Toobloodytired Sun 12-Mar-17 22:42:05

I had discussed CIPD level 3 however il be honest, I started studying a very basic form & for the life of me couldn't grasp it at all!

tilleuls Sun 12-Mar-17 22:44:43

How about a career development loan?

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