Student finance

Studying at college may involve costs for you. There may be books to buy, travel fares and additional childcare costs. Some of our courses have additional costs, for example for specialist kit which is needed to study the course – these are outlined on each course page.

Financial support for Further Education (FE) students

There is a range of funds provided by the Welsh Government and the College to help you pay for various costs associated with your studies:

  • The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
  • The Welsh Assembly Learning Grant (WGLG)
  • The Financial Contingency Fund (FCF)

To be eligible for any funding, you must:

  • be an enrolled student
  • be aged 16 or over
  • normally reside in the UK or have lived in the UK for 3 years before the start of the course (or qualify as a ‘home student’ in some other way such as being an EU national or refugee)

Please note that all funding awarded is subject to attendance and can be withdrawn at any time if attendance falls below 90%. Any of the financial support criteria outlined in this section is subject to change.

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

EMA is a weekly payment to support 16-18 year olds with the costs of studying. Payments are made directly to your bank account every two weeks, providing you have met the attendance requirements.

EMA will not affect any other benefit payments you or your family already receive.

You can apply for EMA if all of the following apply to you:

  • You usually live in Wales
  • You are aged 16-18
  • You are studying at college for a minimum of 12 hours each week and your course is approved by the Department for Education and Skills
  • You meet the nationality and residency requirements
  • You live in a household with an income of either £20,817 or less OR £23,077 or less and there is more than one young person who qualifies for Child Benefit in the household
Welsh Government Learning Grants (WGLG)

If you are 19 years or older and studying on a full-time course, you could get up to £1,500 (or up to £750 for a part-time course), depending on your household income.

You can apply for a WGLG if all of the following apply to you:

• You are aged 19 or over on the first day of the academic year (1st September)
• You meet the nationality and residency requirements
• You live in Wales
• You live in a household with an income of £18,370 or less
• You are studying and/or progressing on an eligible further education course
• You are studying on a course which is more than 275 hours of study across the academic year

For more information on WGLG or to download an application, please visit: www.studentfinancewales.co.uk

Application packs are also available from our Student Services team from April for the following academic year of study.

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  • Student Agreement


    Please read this agreement carefully
    We can only progress your application for Welsh Government Learning Grant Further Education (WGLG FE) if your college has confirmed that you have signed and dated this learning grant agreement.
    • I confirm that the information I have previously submitted is still correct and that I have notified any changes thereto in accordance with my original application terms.
    • I confirm that I have not been in receipt of any other funding from the Welsh Government for this level of study or course. Please note, this does not apply if you have previously received Education Maintenance Allowance.
    • I understand that any attempt to dishonestly obtain WGLG FE shall be treated as fraud and may result in criminal and/or civil proceedings against me.
    • I understand that as part of the WGLG FE, the information which I have provided maybe subject to review as part of a sample check.
    • I confirm that if I withdraw from my course, I will repay all or part of my WGLG FE allowance for all or part of the year.
  • What language would you like us to use when we communicate with you?
  • Do you consent to your school or college sharing your information with your parent(s)/guardian(s) or partner?
  • Are you currently aware of any extenuating circumstances that may affect your attendance (for example, you help to provide care for a family member who is ill or disabled)?
    You should inform your college if you become aware at any time of extenuating circumstances that may affect your attendance.
  • Attendance Criteria

    I understand that my termy WGLG payment depends on:

    1. Meeting eligibility criteria (ie progression on to a higher level course, minimum of 275 guided contact hours).
    2. Reporting all absences by emailing absence@bridgend.ac.uk, completing the absence form on the website / mihub, or phoning 01656 302302.
    3. Attendance at all classes (100%).
    4. Following the Bridgend College Citizenship Code.
    5. Progressing on the course i.e completing assignments to deadlines etc.

    Payments will be made for:

    1. Sickness - up to a week as long as you notify Student Services via email, absence form or phone. After a week a doctor's paper is required. After 2 weeks your absence is classed as long term and no further payments will be made.
    2. Medical appointments - appointment cards should be shown to Student Services.
    3. Other appointments such as Driving Tests, University interviews - evidence should be shown to Student Services.
    4. Funeral - you may be absent for the day of the funeral for close family members.

    Payments will not be made for:

    1. Holidays.
    2. An unreported absence
    3. A pattern of attendance - more than 3 instances of absence in a term.
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  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

Financial Contingency Fund (FCF)

The FCF is open to all full-time students. FCF can support you with some of the cost of childcare, lunch, course equipment, cost of travel or a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Eligibility for FCF is dependent on your household income.

How can FCF help?

 Under 19Over 19
Travel costsYesYes
Childcare feesYesYes
Course-related costs (e.g. kit / equipment / books)YesOnly if not in receipt of WGLG
Meal subsidyYesNo (except in special cases)

Travel costs: FCF can help towards the cost of a bus pass or expenses, dependent on your age and where you travel from.

Childcare costs: you may receive a maximum allocation of £42 per day of attendance towards the costs of childcare fees, for one child only. You may use our Bridgend College Day Nursery, or a registered Childminder or Nursery.

Please note that all funding awarded is subject to attendance and can be withdrawn at any time if attendance falls below 90%. Any of the financial support criteria outlined in this section is subject to change.

Course-related costs: FCF can help towards the cost of essential equipment for your course.

Meal subsidy: if you’re 16-18, and either you or your parents/guardian are in receipt of eligible benefits, you can receive a daily meal allowance to the value of £3.50 per day. Visit https://www.bridgend.gov.uk/residents/schools-and-education/grants-for-pupils to check eligibility.

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we offer free breakfast across all our Campuses for all learners between 8.15am-9.30am.

Prince’s Trust Development Award

The Prince’s Trust Development Award could help you towards your course-related costs and is a non means-tested Award.

Further Education FAQs

I am unwell, how do I report my sickness? Will it affect my EMA / WGLG?

All absences should be reported by emailing absence@bridgend.ac.uk or by telephoning 01656 302 302. Absences need to be reported within 2 working days.

Payments will be made for:

  • Sickness: up to 1 week as long as you notify Student Services via email or phone. After 1 week a doctor’s paper is required. After 2 weeks your absence is classed as long-term sickness and no further payments will be made.
  • Medical appointments: appointment cards need to be shown to Student Services.
  • Other appointments such as Driving Tests, University interviews: evidence should be shown to Student Services.
  • Funeral: you may be absent for the day of the funeral for close family members.

Payments will not be made for holidays, unreported absences, or repeated sickness absences (more than 3 instances of sickness in a term).

What FE funding am I entitled to?

Funding is dependent on age and household income. The grid below gives an overview of the FE funding available.

FundEligibility ageIncome ThresholdPurpose of fundingOther Funding they can apply for
Financial Contingency Fund (FCF)16+£30kCourse-related costs, meal subsidy, childcare, transport16-18 EMA 19+ WGLG
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)16-181 Dependent £20,817 More Than 1 dependent £23,077Attendance incentiveFCF for course related costs, meals, childcare and transport
Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG)19+£18,370Course-related costsFCF for childcare and transport only

You need to be studying a minimum of 12 hours a week to qualify for EMA.

For WGLG you need to be studying a minimum of 275 hours (9 ½ hours over a 30 week period) to qualify for the part-time element, and over 500 hours to qualify for the full-time element.

I had Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) last year- do I need to re-apply?

In most cases, no. If you received EMA last year and you are under the age of 19 before the 31st August then your application will be rolled-over. All you need to do is contact the Student Loans Company (SLC) on 0300 200 4050 to confirm that you will be returning to College. You need to ensure that you sign your EMA learning agreement within 8 weeks of the start date of the course to be backdated to the start of the academic year.

If you are 19 before the 31st August and have received EMA for the 3 previous years, you will need to apply for Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) instead.

How do I apply for WGLG?

You can download the application pack on the Student Finance Wales website

Application packs are available from Cowbridge Road and Pencoed Campus reception areas.

I had WGLG last year- do I need to re-apply?

No, all you need to do is contact the Student Loans Company on 0300 200 4050 informing them that you are returning to College. They will then send you a Financial Details form to complete. You will need to progress onto a higher level course to be eligible, although if the new course you plan to study compliments the course you have just completed e.g. Hairdressing Level 2 to Beauty Level 2, you may be eligible. You will need to complete your Learning Agreement within 9 months of starting your course.

Will EMA / WGLG affect my benefits?

EMA / WGLG grant will not affect any benefits you or your family receive.

I had FCF last year – do I need to re-apply?

Yes – Welsh Government does not allow institutions to commit to any year on year awards to students.

I want to use a day nursery close to my home – can I still apply for childcare funding?

Yes, you can still apply and if eligible, you will receive the same rate that we pay Bridgend College Day Nursery.

I had free school meals in school, can I get them in College?

Yes, we follow the same eligibility guidelines as the Local Education Authority. If you are aged 16-18 you should be eligible for Meal Subsidy at College if you are in receipt of any of the following benefits/support payments:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit, provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and an annual income that does not exceed £16,190
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit ‘run-on’ – the payment someone may receive for a further four weeks after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal credit (not in work)
  • Universal credit (in work) where your award is based on net annual earnings of under £7,400 from your employment or self-employment.

This is applied for via the Financial Contingency Fund (FCF).

Financial support for full-time Higher Education (HE) students

The College charges an annual tuition fee for higher education courses. Most students can apply for a repayable tuition fee loan of up to £9,000 for full-time courses. Students taking out the tuition fee loan will be required to begin repayments when you have finished your course and are earning at least £524 per week or £2,274 per month. More information about repayments can be found on the relevant student funding website.

Please note: tuition fees are not fixed for the duration of the course and may increase year-on-year.

Most students will be eligible for funding towards their tuition fees, providing they have not previously studied at higher education and meet other residency requirements. For any queries regarding eligibility, please contact Student Finance Wales directly or visit their website www.studentfinancewales.co.uk

If you are using a tuition fee loan to pay for your tuition fees, you will be required to bring your financial notification documentation from the Student Loans Company (SLC) to the enrolment session. If you are paying the tuition fees yourself, you can either pay the full amount up front or pay in instalments if you wish. If you have a sponsor paying your fees, you will be required to bring a letter from your sponsor confirming this to the enrolment session.

Living costs

There are maintenance loans and grants available to help you with living costs. The amount you can get depends on your household income and where you live. You may also be eligible for extra financial help if you meet certain criteria. More information can be found on the relevant student funding website.

Applying for funding

For applicants living in Wales, visit: www.studentfinancewales.co.uk For applicants living outside of Wales, please contact your student funding council.

Please note, it is important that you make an application for financial assistance towards your tuition fees to the appropriate body prior to enrolment onto your course. Failure to apply for funding or providing alternative means of payment will result in the College invoicing you for the fees. Students are liable for any part of the fees not paid by the above bodies. If you withdraw from the college, you will be liable for the payment of fees up until the final term you attended.

University of South Wales (USW) Progression Bursary 2022/23

If you study a course franchised by the University of South Wales, they want to help you to achieve your ambitions.

USW offers a Progression Bursary to college students who choose to top-up their University of South Wales accredited HND or foundation degree to a full honours degree through a top up course at one of their USW campuses. Worth £500, this bursary could provide financial support towards your travel, living and study costs while studying at a University of South Wales campus. This bursary is not means tested.

University of South Wales scholarships and bursaries are offered on the basis that they are potentially subject to change in the event of changes to the fee and student support regime applicable in Wales. The University also reserves the right to limit the number of scholarships and bursaries available.

To find out more, visit the University of South Wales’s website.

Financial support for part-time Higher Education (HE) students

Course fees are calculated each academic year and may rise in line with the higher education collaborative partner policy. Therefore, if your course is for more than one year, there will be course fees to pay in each additional year of study.

Tuition fees for part-time courses can be paid in their entirety at enrolment or by instalments. If your employer or sponsor is paying your fees, you will be required to bring a letter from your employer / sponsor outlining this to your enrolment session.

Eligible part-time students will be able to apply for a non means-tested Tuition Fee Loan in order to pay the fees for the course. The Student Finance Wales website outlines the range of financial support available. All applications are individually assessed and students are able to access loans and grants dependent on personal circumstances.

Living costs

Eligible first time undergraduates who study part-time are able to apply for support for living costs on a pro-rata basis. The support is a combination of grants (Maintenance Grant) and loans (Maintenance Loan), similar to full-time students. If you meet the eligibility criteria, the amount of grant and loan you get will depend on the intensity of your course and your household income.

Other financial support

You may be able to get extra funding if you have adults or children who are financially dependent on you. This extra funding can include:

  • Adult Dependants Grant (ADG)
  • Childcare Grant (CCG)
  • Parents Learning Allowance (PLA)

More information can be obtained by visiting studentfinancewales.co.uk

Please note, it is important that you make an application for financial assistance towards your tuition fees to the appropriate body prior to enrolment on your course. Failure to apply for funding or providing alternative means of payment will result in the College invoicing you for the fees. Students are liable for any part of the fees not paid by the above bodies. If you withdraw from the college, you will be liable for the payment of fees up until the final term you attended.

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