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This page explains the kinds of financial support that may be available to you. Please follow the links below for further information. If you have any additional questions about whether you qualify for financial support towards the cost of your course or course materials, you can get in touch with your local WEA office.

If you require Learning Support to help you come on a WEA course, due to a disability, learning difficulty or other issue, please visit the Learning Support section of this site. Should you require advice on your finances, the WEA works with the Money Advice Service to provide free, impartial advice. A financial healthcheck and budget planner is available here.

Do I have to pay a fee?

Can I get help with tuition fees?

Can I get help with other costs?

How do I qualify for Learner Support (LS)?

Is there anything else I need to do?

Income-based benefits

Advanced Learner Loans

Do I have to pay a fee?

WEA runs a range of free taster courses aimed at attracting new students to education. English and maths courses will usually be free for eligible students. Most other courses will have a fee although help may be available for students in receipt of an income related benefit.

Can I get help with tuition fees?

If your course is not free, you may still be entitled to a reduced or free course. You will usually need to be:

  • A UK or EU/EEA citizen, and
  • Resident in the UK for 3 years when the course starts, and
  • On an income-based benefit
    • Job Seekers Allowance
    • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA - work related)
    • Universal Credit and earn less than £330 per month
    • Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction (not single occupancy discount) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) support group
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Pension Guarantee Credit
    • Asylum seeker - You will need to show proof of Asylum Support, and that you have been in the UK legally for six months or more, and that the Home Office is still considering your claim. You will need to show your Asylum Registration Card or equivalent.

If you are not sure of your status or need further information, contact the Student Support team on 0300 303 3464

Can I get help with other costs?

If you are in financial need, you may be able to apply for  Learner Support for help towards:

  • Travel to and from your class
  • Essential books, equipment or field trips, as set out in the course details
  • Childcare (providing you are using an Ofsted registered childminder, creche, nursery or playgroup)
  • Travel to and from your childcare provider
  • Additional course costs such as exam fees, accreditation fees or professional membership fees, where these are an essential part of the course.

You can apply for help for up to three courses in each academic year, and there are some upper limits on childcare and other costs, which change annually. It is best to apply early as the funds are limited.

If you feel that you are being prevented from learning because of financial hardship, contact the Student Support centre on 0300 303 3464.

How do I qualify for Learner Support (LS)?

To get help, you will need to meet the residency requirements for fee remission. You will also need to show that financial difficulties are likely to prevent you from following and completing your course.

Asylum seekers who are eligible for SFA funding are also eligible to apply for DLS but will not receive cash payments.

You will be asked to provide a description of the financial circumstances affecting your learning.  You may also be asked to provide evidence that financial difficulties are preventing you from learning to support the decision making process. This might include

  • Proof of income-based benefit (e.g. your WEA Enrolment Form) or
  • Proof of annual gross household income (e.g. wages slips or bank statements for 3 months)
  • If you can provide evidence of your annual outgoings (e.g. rent or mortgage, fuel, rates and utilities) this might also strengthen your claim.

If you receive cash payments from Learner Support, and you are on an income-based benefit, you will need to declare this to Job Centre Plus.

Is there anything else I need to do?

If you receive financial support, you must:

  • Let us know straight away if your circumstances change
  • Refund the money if you leave without good reason
  • Return books and equipment at the end of the course if asked.

Income-based benefits

The main income-based benefits are:

  • Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance in the Work Related Activity Group
  • Universal Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction (excluding 25% single occupancy discount)
  • Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction (not single occupancy discount) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) support group
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Pension Guarantee Credit

 

Advanced Learner Loan

You may also be entitled to an Advanced Learner Loan - click here for more information.