Finance & Welfare

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

The Northern Regional College recognises that for some students, the cost of travel or childcare, for example, may stop you from joining or continuing on a course or programme. The Student Finance Team can assist you with financial matters and help you to apply for any appropriate grants or awards that are available.

For further details and assistance, please contact:
Student Finance Team
028 2563 6254
studentfinance@nrc.ac.uk


Financial Help for 16+

The following is a brief list of support available but is dependent upon your age, the level of study you are undertaking, your and/or your family’s circumstances. Other criteria may also apply. Important points to note are that some of the sources below have closing dates and therefore applying late may mean that you are unable to access financial assistance. If you are unsure what financial  assistance may be available to you, please contact the Student Finance team.


Source Details

Care to Learn Scheme

If you have care of a child then you may be able to get help with childcare and travel costs. You must be aged between 16 and 19 at the start of the course. This fund is administered through the College.

EMA

For students aged between 16 and 19 on or between 2 July  and 1 July. This award is means-tested on household income and students may receive payment of £30 per week.

Further Education Award
 

Students must be 19 or over on 1 July. This is a means-tested award for full-time students and usually has a closing date.
 

Further Education Part-time Assistance
 

Means-tested tuition fee costs and a means-tested grant for books and related costs.
 

Travel Pass

Students must be under 19 on 1 July and on a full-time course. Other criteria and age restrictions may apply and you should contact your local Education and Library Board for further information.

Hardship Grant

Students must be 18 or over at the start of the academic year. Assistance is means-tested and students must have applied to all other sources of finance that are available to them in the first instance. This fund is administered through the College.
 

Higher Education Assistance
 

Students undertaking HNDs, degrees and foundation degrees etc may apply for help from Student Finance NI for assistance with a tuition fee loan, a maintenance loan and a maintenance grant.
 

Higher Education Part-time Grant
 

This is a means-tested grant for tuition fees and books and materials. For more information, check Student Finance NI.
 

Childcare Assistance
 

Help with childcare costs may be available to both further and higher education students through Student Finance NI.
 

Other sources of help
 

There may be other sources of support available to you, such as free school meals, Disabled Student Allowance, Parents’ Learning Allowance etc. Please refer to our website for further help.
 


FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR 18+

Full-time Students
Full-time students applying for a first degree, Foundation Degree or HND or equivalent should apply for financial help through Student Finance NI who will carry out the financial assessment. This will decide how much funding is available to you. For more information contact www.studentfinanceni.co.uk.

Further Education (FE) Awards
FE Awards are administered by the Western Education and Library Board (WELB) for students aged 19 or over on 1st July prior to the start of their course and who are studying on a full-time or part time Further Education course. Grants for part-time courses can provide assistance towards fees, course costs and childcare and will depend on household income. Further information on the full eligibility criteria is available from NRC Student Finance Unit or contact WELB direct. Click here to download an application form for Full-time and Part-time Awards directly from the WELB website, www.welbni.org.

Help with Higher Education Tuition Fees
Students can apply for a Student Loan toward Fees for the full amount charged by the College. Tuition Fees are paid directly to the College by the Student Loan Company (SLC). No income assessment is involved.

Maintenance Loans
Students can apply for a loan toward living costs (repayable). Maintenance Loans are available to those who do not have an equivalent or higher level qualification.

Maintenance Grants
N.I. Students can apply for a means-tested maintenance grant to help with living costs of up to approximately £3475 per year. This non-repayable grant is available for students from households with an income of up to £41,065. The grant is available to students who have an underlying eligibility to Social Security Agency or Housing Executive means-tested benefit.

Higher Education Bursary 

Widening Participation

The Northern Regional College’s vision for widening participation is that any eligible individual in its catchment area should be able to gain access to, and succeed within, higher education, irrespective of their personal or social background.  At Northern Regional College, we don’t want financial considerations to stop you from applying to the College. Equally, we want to ensure that you have the financial support you need while you are here.

The College Bursary Scheme provides bursaries of £300 per year for students with household incomes of less than £19,203. There will be no limit to the number of bursaries available – every student who meets the eligibility criteria will receive one.

Are you eligible for a College Bursary?

If you can answer 'yes' to the following questions, it is likely that [BC1] you will be eligible for a Bursary.

Is this your first full-time higher education programme?
Is your household income less than £19,203 per year?
Are you in receipt of a full maintenance grant?
Have you consented to share information through the PN1 Form?

Care leavers should note that they will qualify for a maximum bursary as long as they receive the maximum government maintenance grant, and that their household income will not be relevant as they will have been assessed independently by Student Finance.

How and when do you apply?

The Student Loan Company (SLC) will automatically assess you for a College Bursary when you apply for a Maintenance Grant/Loan. We advise you to apply to SLC by the end of August, if possible, as processing your application takes up to 6 weeks. This would allow your bursary to be fully approved for the payment date in Semester 2 providing your attendance is satisfactory and you are making academic progress.

How and when will I know if I am going to receive a Bursary?

The SLC will inform those students who are entitled to a bursary outlining the details of payments and confirming bank details.  Payment will be subject to the College successfully confirming your attendance.

Important information for continuing students

Students’ entitlement to a Bursary will be reassessed at the beginning of each academic year. There are several reasons for this, the most important being that your financial circumstances may have changed, and therefore, your eligibility.


PREVIOUS STUDY

Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Grants
This support is not available if you hold a qualification of equivalent or higher level to the one you are going to study. If you hold a lower level qualification or have previously studied in higher education but not achieved a qualification, support may be available but this will depend on the number of years that you have previously studied. The previous study rules apply to Fee Loans and the Maintenance Grant/Special Support Grant. The rules do not apply to supplementary grants, such as the Disabled Students’ Allowances or Dependents’ Grants.
The rules relating to previous study are complicated. If in doubt about entitlement to funding, students can contact their local Student Finance NI office/ELB or the NRC Student Finance Office.

Leaving your course or transferring to a new course
Students withdrawing or transferring course can make changes with Student Finance NI online until the day before their course starts. When the course starts, students must notify the College if they intend to withdraw, or transfer courses. For more information, contact the Student Finance unit at Trostan Avenue or email studentfinance@nrc.ac.uk. It is important to remember that leaving your course before it ends, or transferring to a new course, could affect how much help you get if you take another course in the future. Please talk to your College as soon as possible. You will still be liable for the College tuition fees and any percentage of the Tuition Fee Loan paid by the SLC.


NURSING COURSES

If you are studying a Nursing Degree/Diploma at University of Ulster or Queen’s University the University sends your details to the Bursary Administration Unit (Nursing). For more information, check the bursary pages on www.nursingandmidwiferycareersni.com. Health Professional degrees in NI include an income-assessed bursary, reduced loan and tuition fees paid in full. Health Professional degrees elsewhere in the UK provide a reduced loan and NHS bursary. Nursing degrees in NI and Scotland are not eligible for funding from Student Finance NI. Nursing diploma students are not eligible for support. Students taking Social Work degrees in NI can avail of additional funding from DHSSPS. This includes a non-means tested grant and a contribution towards work-based learning expenses.

For further information, please contact:
Student Finance Unit
028 2563 6254
studentfinance@nrc.ac.uk

or alternatively contact
Western Education & Library Board
1 Hospital Road, Omagh
028 8225 4546
Or consult their website, www.welbni.org.

You are advised to make an application as early as possible. 


PART-TIME STUDENTS

Part-time Higher Education students, who are studying at least 50% of an equivalent full-time course, can apply for financial help. Your entitlement will depend on your income and that of your spouse/partner. Student Finance NI will work out how much support you can get. For more information, contact www.studentfinanceni.co.uk.
You are NOT entitled to apply for this help if:
• You already have a degree
• You are on a part-time teacher training course (although you may qualify for full-time support)
Important: Financial Support applications for Part-time Higher Education become available in August. You are advised to make your application as early as possible.


HARDSHIP FUNDS (DISCRETIONARY)

The purpose of the Hardship Fund (Discretionary) is to provide support to those students experiencing exceptional financial difficulty with meeting costs associated with learning. Please note that Hardship Funds are unable to support tuition fees for full-time Higher Education students.


USEFUL CONTACTS AND WEBSITES:

Student Finance NI  www.studentfinanceni.co.uk
Student Finance NI (HE helpline) 0845 600 0662   

EMA (helpline)  0300 200 7089

North Eastern Education & Library Board   028 2565 3333
Belfast Education and Library Board   028 9056 6200
Western Education and Library Board  028 8241 1411
Student Finance Unit – Northern Regional College  028 2563 6254 or 028 2563 6228