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Funding for further education

(3 Posts)
PattyPenguin Sat 17-Nov-12 13:53:41

For background, we live in Wales. My son is 21 and decided not to go to university. After some time faffing around trying to work out what he wants to do, he's finally decided on a particular two year further education course. However, the college that provides the course is over 100 miles away, so he couldn't travel every day. I should add that no similar course is available within daily commuting distance. AKAIK you can't get a student loan for further education, and between us his father and I earn too much for him to get an Assembly Learning Grant.

The problem is, my husband was made redundant last year and is only getting bits of work here and there. No way can we pay my son's living costs away from home for two years. My son is trying for every job going, in the hope of saving up money before the start of the course next September, but the competition for every vacancy around here is fierce, and so far he hasn't got anything. He is doing unpaid work for the experience, but that's not going to help with two years' worth of rent.

It seems so unfair that my daughter could get a loan to do a higher education course anywhere she likes, and has even had a big chunk of her tuition fees paid by the Welsh government, but my son can't do the course he wants to because funding isn't available.

Does anyone know of a possible solution to this?

sandripples Sat 17-Nov-12 18:53:16

Hi, is the course one that might attract any sponsorship from a company?

I'm sorry I don't know what public funding might be available - it does seem unfair. Have you tried approaching the college to ask for their ideas and whether they have any funding he could apply for?

There is a scheme whereby a young person can live at an older person's house and they form a sort of contract to do certain things for them inreturn for lodgings, rather than rent. It can be constraining for a student but might be worth asking about. I htink the idea is usually that the young person is actually in the house every night, in case of any emergency, so it wouldn't suit everyone. Thye're allowed a certain number of nights off per month.

Or do you have any relatives who live closer to the college?

Sorry - you've prob already considered all these, but just wondering what to suggest!

sashh Sun 18-Nov-12 03:59:07

Could he do it part time? I did my degree part time, fell out with my origional uni and the nearest other uni that did a similar course was 110 miles away.

I had lectures twice a week, so I either drove twice a week or when it was an evening lecture one day and a morning lecture the following day I stayed over. Luckily I had a relative 25miles away so stayed there.

When I did my placement I stayed at a farm on B and B basis.

It's not that there is no funding, it's that there is no funding to do a course at the same level, so if he has A Levels that is the reason there is no funding.

The college itself might have some funds, such as hardship funds or help with travel.

You mentioned an Assembly learning grant. I don't know what that is but for most learning you are considered independent at 21 so your parents income is not taken into account.

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