The grant, which is in its first year, is unique to Wales and will provide the least well off students with up to£1,500 a year to help them with their studies. Application forms are now being sent out by local education authorities for students to apply for the means-tested grant.
'With almost three weeks to go before the new academic year, there is plenty of time to get your application forms in as there is no absolute cut off date by which they must apply: although students are encouraged to do so within 4 weeks of starting their course.
'For full-time higher education students, the financial information needed to determine eligibility is already held by the LEAs and therefore the application process can be turned around quickly. This is because undergraduate students will have already supplied the relevant details when applying for statutory support such as student loans.
'The process for further education students and part-time higher education students, may take a little longer as the financial information provided will have to assessed from the outset by the LEAs.
'Whilst we knew it was going to be a challenge to get this scheme in place for this September, we believe it's important that students get the help for this academic year. I want to reassure all students that if you are eligible for a grant you will get one.'
For further information on the Assembly Learning Grant, check out the Assembly website at www.learning.wales.gov.uk, where you can download an application form. You can also contact your local education authority student support team.
The application form is accompanied by a flow chart, which enables students not only to assess eligibility but also to gauge how much they may receive.
Grant at a glance:
- means-tested grant - targeted at those in greatest need;
- available to all eligible undergraduate HE, and FE students of 18 years and over;
- levels of grant will be determined by means testing based on residual income (i.e. gross income less deductible allowances). No grant will be paid if income is £15,000 or more;
- only those 'home status' students ordinarily resident in Wales will be eligible to apply;
- available to eligible students wherever they choose to study in the UK;
- not all part-time students will be eligible - there will be a qualifying minimum course content of 275 contact or taught hours (for FE students) or 30 credits (for HE students), and;
- LEAs will be responsible for administering the grant;
- The grant will be paid in three installments on termly basis; and,
-£44m is being made available to fund this scheme in 2002/2003.