Funding – what you need to know

If you are thinking about starting a course at College, it’s important to know all about funding too.

Ayrshire College Student Funding teams are located in Ayr, Kilmarnock and Kilwinning campuses and are available to students studying at all of our campuses.

They can offer advice on Bursaries, Childcare Funding, Education Maintenance Allowance, Discretionary Funding, SAAS Funding, Student Loans and Attendance.

We looked at the most common questions that our Student Funding team at the College get asked on a daily basis.

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Here’s what they said –

Funding for a NC, Access, SVQ or NQ Level Course

Q – How do I get a bursary application form and where should I hand it in?
A – Once you’re offered a place on a course, you’ll see in your offer letter details of how to apply for funding. You’ll also receive a text and email to your personal email address with a unique reference number. You’ll need to use this on your funding application and for any funding enquiries.

Q – If I have difficulties completing the form or if I would like to speak to someone, can I come in to the Funding office?
A – Yes you can pop into the student funding offices any week day between 8.45am and 4.45pm and speak to a team member. You can come along with a parent if you like.

Q – How long will I have to wait to hear about my bursary?
A – It can take about 8 weeks to process so please apply as soon as you can. At peak times, it can take slightly longer. We send a reminder text and email every 2 weeks. It’s really important that we receive the documents we request, otherwise an award can be delayed and the applicant may not receive all the funding applied for.

Q – Once I get my bursary approved, what happens next?
A – A letter will be sent to your home address, with an acceptance sheet enclosed which must be signed and returned to the student funding office in either Ayr, Kilmarnock or Kilwinning. Once you enrol on the course, your payments are processed as per the agreed payment schedule and transferred to your bank account. We recommend that every student sets up their own bank account.

Click here to view our guides of how much you may receive.

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Funding for HNC and HND Level courses

Q – I’ve been told to apply for funding. What do I do?
A – You would complete the online funding application at http://www.saas.gov.uk. We can help you complete this at the College if you would prefer. You must complete this application to be considered for a tuition fee award.

Q – How do I know if my funding application has been accepted?
A – You need to log into your online SAAS account and all communications will come via this account, including your offer letter, which you need to print off and hand in to the finance office in the College.

Q – What about next year when I go onto my HND year – will I have to reapply for funding?
A – You have to apply each year. Funding is not considered for more than one academic year.

Q – What does the funding include?
A – You should apply on a SAAS application for your tuition fee waiver, a student loan, a young student bursary and if you have any special disability requirements you may apply for assistance to fund those. Student loans are optional.

Q – How is it paid?
A – Monthly in instalments into the student’s nominated bank account.

We spoke to Suzie Penman, HNC Graphic Design and Illustration student at Ayrshire College. She told us about her experience with student funding.

“When I first started my course I didn’t know much about funding, all I knew is what I’d read from the SAAS website, which was very confusing. As a mature student I had no idea what else I could qualify for. After speaking to the funding department at the college I discovered that I was not only able to have my course fee’s paid but I also qualified for exemption from council tax and I could apply for something called a DHP, Discretionary Housing Payment. This allowed for extra help in paying my rent. I wasn’t aware about any of this until I was half way through my course! My advice to all students out there; go see the funding department sooner rather than later!”

Click here for more information on student funding.

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