Grants are a wonderful resource to help finance higher education. Grants are non-repayable, government distributed, need-based financial aid. The income of a student’s family is what will determine eligibility for this type of student aid. This type of funding was established to aid less financially equipped families. Special circumstances, such as disability and lone parents of dependent children, will also qualify a student to receive grants.
The types of grants available are:
• Higher Education Maintenance Grant: These grants are based on yearly household income and full-time enrolment. The maximum available to borrow is £2,835 per year for household income less than £25,000 yearly. Partial grants are available for yearly household income up to £60,005. It is important to note that up to £1,260 will be applied toward the maximum allowable funds available through the Maintenance Loan. Therefore, the maximum amount to be borrowed through the Maintenance Loan would be £6,475 less £1,260 (or £5,415).
• Special Support Grant: These grants are based on yearly household income and full-time enrolment. They're specifically targeted toward low-income families with an underlying issue, such as lone parents, that qualifies eligibility. The maximum eligible amount is £2,835. This would replace the Higher Education Maintenance Grant, and give students the ability to take out additional funds by borrowing the full amount of the Maintenance Loan.
• Fee Grant and Course Grant: These are based on income assessment and course of study. The grant program for part-time students. Fee Grant will pay directly to university, and it helps cover the cost of tuition fees. A Course Grant is paid directly to the student. The purpose of this grant is to help with the cost of textbooks, other course materials, and the cost of commuting. The maximum amounts available are contingent on individual circumstance as well as the rigorousness of the programme of study. The absolute maximum for the combined Fee Grant and Course Grant is £1,435 for the 2008/2009 terms.
• Allowances for Students with Disabilities: Any student with a medical condition that affects their ability to perform in an academic environment may be eligible. This type of allowance is not based on income. Types of allowances include: specialist equipment allowance (specialty furniture and/or electronics), non-medical helpers allowance (pays note-takers or library support specialists), and a general allowance (tapes, photocopying, etc.). These allowances have yearly caps, and students may be eligible for multiple. These allowances also are available to part-time as well as full-time students. Additionally, post-graduate students are eligible for a yearly stipend of £5,915.