Adult Learners

Funding news December 2015

The extension of advanced learner loans will take effect during 2016 and definitely for the start of the 16/17 academic year and some details need to be clarified. Some things are known:

* Loans will be available for 19 to 23-year-olds for Level 3 and 4 courses and for anyone over 19 taking a Level 5 or 6 course.

* Existing entitlements to study for a first Level 2 and 3 qualifications remain. This is likely to be sufficient to cover 19-year-olds who started their course with EFA funding when they were 18, but not when they start a new qualification.

* Access write-off arrangements (whereby a FE loan is written off if the student completes a degree) will extend to 19 to 23-year-olds. This was a one-off concession introduced by Vince Cable. There is no reasonable prospect of extending it to other qualifications.

* The rules will be changed to allow students to take concurrent loans (i.e. two at the same time).

* There will be a consultation on extending maintenance loans to FE students in spring 2016 though the scope of any proposal is likely to be limited.


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