A Parent's Survival Guide to Studying
At West Lancashire College, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to find the balance. In fact, you may be surprised at how much support there is available, including a range of flexible study and financial support options to help you to achieve your ambitions and make study fit around you.
Making adult education affordable
College education may not be as expensive as you think. Plus there are finance options available to reduce those up-front costs.
Many entry level, Level 1 and Level 2 courses offer reduced or waived fees if you meet certain criteria. You can learn more here.
At Level 3, you could be eligible for an Adult Learner Loan. This can cover course fees as low as £300 and can be taken out to cover the full or partial amount of the fees. It doesn’t depend on your household income and you only begin repaying it once you earn over £21,000 per year.
If a degree is your aim and you complete an Access to Higher Education course, you may be eligible to have the cost of your tuition fees refunded to you if you progress onto and complete a full Honours Degree.
If you do progress to a degree, you can also apply for tuition fee and maintenance loan through the government’s student finance scheme or a Masters Loan if you’re looking to undertake postgraduate study.
You're not alone!
If you’re worried about being the only adult in class, don’t be! There’s a real mix of students at West Lancashire College and you’re bound to meet like-minded students you can relate to.
You can apply for financial support towards childcare while you study, through the Learner Support Fund or the Care To Learn scheme. These can help you to cover the costs of nursery, childminders or after-school clubs.
Funding for these schemes is limited and is available to students who meet specific household income eligibility criteria.
Don't stretch those finances
The Learner Support Fund isn’t only available for childcare costs: If you're eligible, it can also be used towards the costs of travel, as well as stationery, meals, equipment and the costs of field trips.
Travel contributions of up to £7 a day can be made to students who live more than two miles away from campus.
You can study part-time
Going back into education doesn’t mean that you have to go back full-time. West Lancashire College offers a range of part-time, evening and distance learning courses.
If you already have a Level 3 qualification but want to progress, you could gain your degree while you work with a Degree Apprenticeship. Partially funded by your employer, this option allows you to get qualified while doing your job. You can learn more about Degree Apprenticeships and get support in asking your employer for funding here.
You’ll be fully supported
We know that balancing your studies and your life can be difficult. Our support teams are on hand to help you with your studies, as well as your mental health, emotional and support needs. We also offer a Mentor Programme if you need a helping hand as you adjust to your new balance.
If you require learning aids to help undertake your studies, we also have excellent Assistive Technology support.
The government offers a huge range of support to help students progress in education, you can view this at the gov.uk website.