Additional support for new students in 2017/18

The information here relates to academic year 2017/18 – courses starting from 1 August 2017.

Information about the additional support available in academic year 2016/17 is also available.

What other support is available?

Travel expenses

If you are attending;

  • a course in medicine or dentistry and you have to attend for clinical training at a place in the UK or Republic of Ireland other than your normal place of attendance; or
  • an educational institution outside the UK or for at least 50% of each term.

You can apply for a means tested grant towards reasonable costs for travel to and from:

  • the place in the UK or Republic of Ireland where your clinical training takes place for medical and dental students; or
  • the country you have to go to if you are studying abroad.

The grant for travel costs is equal to the amount you reasonably have to pay less the first £309 less any means tested household contribution. Your EA regional office will decide whether the costs you have to pay are reasonable.

If you have to go to a college outside the UK or Republic of Ireland, for at least 50% of the term and you have to take out medical insurance, you can also get help to cover the cost of the insurance. The grant for medical insurance is equal to the amount of the premium.

All assistance is income assessed and is paid directly to you. If you have claimed non income assessed support you will not be eligible to claim travel expenses.

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Support Funds for Northern Ireland universities and colleges

Support Funds are available through your university or college. They provide help for students on lower income who may need extra financial support in order to remain in higher education.

The funds can be used to meet course and living costs which are not already being met from other grants, and can help if students are experiencing financial hardship.

Payments are usually given as grants and don’t have to be repaid, although sometimes they can be given as short-term loans. Your university or college will decide whether to pay you in a lump sum or in instalments.

Your college of university will assess you on your individual needs if you fall within one of the following groups.

  • Students with children, especially lone parents
  • Other mature students, especially those with existing financial commitments
  • Students from lower income families
  • Disabled students who are not in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances.
  • Students who have been in care
  • Students from Foyers or who are homeless
  • Students in their final year

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Support Funds for UK universities and colleges outside Northern Ireland

There are schemes similar to Support Funds at UK universities and colleges outside Northern Ireland. Students should contact their university or college Student Welfare advisor for further information.

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