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Access course and finance

(7 Posts)
RocksThatIGot Tue 26-Feb-13 00:16:16

Because I am basically a massive div and thought as a teenager that drugs were way more interesting than a levels, I don't have any a levels. So now at the ripe old age of 32 I have found my calling in life and need to go to uni, but have to complete an access course first.

The course is 4 days a week and I have to get a loan to cover the fees (new thing starting this year). The college pay my childcare but there is no other financial support available apparently. I'd done the maths on how I would survive at uni, and it seemed doable with all the grants and loans. But this access course is a bit of a stumbling block financially. How am I supposed to survive a year as a full time student with no student finance? I have two dc and have visions of us rooting through skips.

At the moment I get wtc and ctc as I am SE, though my business isn't really making much money right now. But if i do the course in sept then i guess i will have to go onto income support. Because i live over 20 miles from the nearest college, just the fuel alone to go there will be £10 each day. If anyone has done an access course in a similar situation please let me know how you managed to survive, I am hoping that there is some kind of magical finance available out there that I have somehow missed.

IneedAgoldenNickname Tue 26-Feb-13 01:26:59

How old is your youngest DC? If they are over 5 then you won't be entitled to is.

I'm currently doing an access course, luckily I didn't have to pay for mine. I get all my tent and council tax paid, plus cb and tc for 2 children. The college pay my childcare (after school club)

I won't say it's easy living on such a small amount of money, but it's do-able, and when the DC complain cot not being able to afford things I remind them if the long term benefits.
Do you get maintenance from their Dad? That will help as well.

Which access course are you planning on doing? Good luck!

IneedAgoldenNickname Tue 26-Feb-13 01:28:49

tent = rent, although we go camping a lot, so it feels like we live in a tent at times.

cot about

Bloody phone!

RedHelenB Tue 26-Feb-13 07:20:59

My friend did access to nursing in the evenings _ I think it was twice a week over 2 years. Would that be better then you could still work?

RocksThatIGot Tue 26-Feb-13 10:24:06

Thanks for the replies. I am planning on doing an access to social work course, and then a social work degree. My dc have different dads, my 8 year old's dad pays £120 a month and the 2 year olds dad pays £5 per week. So not really a fortune. What's the workload like, ineed? I am wondering if I might be able to carry on doing my business maybe 16 hours a week so I will still get wtc and be earning a bit of extra cash that way, but not sure how much time I will need to do assignments.

Redhelen I don't think the college that is the only one around does the course part time, and also I am too impatient, as it is I will be studying for 4 years, the thought of studying for 5 years is a bit depressing!

IneedAgoldenNickname Tue 26-Feb-13 10:43:11

I'm doing access to nursing. The work load varies depending on if there are assignments due in or not. Sine of the others work part time, but they either have older children or partners. If you work from home it might be doable.

My college do the evening courses in 1 year, but it's really hard going apparently.

saggyhairyarse Fri 01-Mar-13 19:43:49

Hi there

I did Access to Health and Social Care last year. I was very lucky as my college paid my fees and childcare and gave me ad-hoc emergency funding.

When I started the course, I was on Income Support as my youngest was 4 and I then shot myself in the foot and told the Job Centre I was doing the Access course so then wasn't entitled to IS or JSA. As such, my maintenance covered my mortgage, Tax Credit covered my bills, the college paid my childcare and I put my food and other expenses on my overdraft and credit card. Whilst this may seem a stupid thing to do, because I am doing a Department of Health funded course and get a bursary, I will have a miniscule student debt in comparison to many when I finish and think it is a small price to pay for having a decent job, an interesting job and showing my kids that you can recover when the chips have been down.

The Access course was really tough, the turnover in work was high and my University course seems like a doddle in comparison!

If you want to know anything else, then just ask. Oh, one thing I would say, is that student finance can be a nightmare. It has taken me until a couple of weeks ago to get paid my bursary which I was entitled to since the beginning of September so make sure you have funds you can draw upon until Xmas of the academic year you start as people have left my course because they have run out of money.

Good luck!

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