No matter how hard you try, you keep pushing HE (Higher Education) aside and you can’t break through…
Are you one of the many people in the UK putting off reentering education? If you don’t have the A-Levels you need, finding the time and money to start again can be difficult. The 19+ Advanced Learner Loan is the affordable way to progress. But how does this loan work?
Well, first of all. you must take out a minimum loan of £300. You can fund a course entirely with a loan, or combine the costs with your own savings. If you’re juggling family life or other financial commitments, Advanced Leaner Loans make studying flexible. Your loan will be from Student Finance England and go directly to Stonebridge College. As soon as your funding is processed, we’ll get you set up on our digital learning platform PEARL. Even if you already have a degree, you can still take out another loan to return to university. In fact, the Advanced Learner Loan is open to anyone over the age of 19 who meets these requirements:
- A UK resident on the day you start a course.
- A UK national.
- Living in the UK for the last three years.
These loans are government backed and are designed to help people in all kinds of situations. Whether you’re a career changer, you’ve taken a long break from education or you are a student who is re-evaluating your choices, you will be able to apply. To illustrate fully how the loans work, we have mapped out three different scenarios for you to consider. For each example, try to put yourself in the given situation and discover how the 19+ Advanced Learner Loan could help you…
Scenario 1: You want to change career
After leaving school you were eager to stand on your own two feet, so you set out – armed with your CV – and accepted the first position you were offered. You worked hard in the role, even though you were never that interested in the job itself. The people were nice, the hours suited you and your income was sufficient. After a few years working for the company, you had saved up enough money to put down a deposit on a house; but as you continued in your job, you felt your motivation decreasing. Initially, you ignored your doubts because you had a mortgage to pay and one day soon you might like to start a family. You never considered changing career an option.
Ever since you were old enough to dress yourself, you had always taken pride in your appearance. Your friends and family would come to you for style advice, and your friends at work regularly told you that you were born to be a beautician. You secretly agreed, but you felt financially tied down to your nine to five office based role. That was, until you found out about the 19+ Advanced Learner Loan. As a 30-year-old UK citizen, you were eligible to apply. Through a friend, you found out about the Beauty Therapy Techniques (RQF) Level 3 Diploma. You got in touch with Stonebridge Associated colleges and they helped you enrol and apply for the loan. Your studies fitted nicely around your existing job and you didn’t have to worry about deadlines or debt at all while you were studying.
Result: No repayments until you’re earning enough
After successfully completing your diploma with Stonebridge, you feel like you have found your true calling. You are thrilled with your progress and thankful for all of the support and guidance you have received along the way. You finally hand in your notice to your office based role and start your new career as a beauty therapist. During your first year, you are earning a salary of £19,000. This is a little less than you were earning before, but thankfully, you have no loan repayments to worry about until you are earning over £21,000. A few years later, you feel confident enough to set up your own beauty business. Soon you are earning £22,000 a year. You are financially comfortable and are making manageable monthly payments of only £7.00.
Scenario 2: You choose not to return to work
You had always wanted to work with children, but you never gained the relevant qualifications and you weren’t sure how to go about it. You left school without A-levels and started working as a waitress. Although you liked the role as it was varied and you worked well with people, you always felt drawn towards education. So you carried out some research and you found Stonebridge Associated Colleges. After a quick phone call with an adviser, you learned about the Teaching Assistant: Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Certificate (RQF) Level 3. This sounded perfect, but due to your financial situation, you told the adviser you would need some time to save up for the course fees. You also mentioned you were worried about how to support yourself while you were studying.
During the phone call, the adviser told you all about the 19+ Advanced Learner Loan and the distance learning format of the course. This meant that you had nothing to pay until you were earning over £21,000, and you could fit your studies around your time in the restaurant. Altogether, the course took you a year to complete, and you learned everything you needed to know to secure your first job as a teaching assistant. At the same time, you and your partner had been trying to start a family and you discovered you were three months pregnant. Because of this, you decided to take some time off to focus on your home life before settling in to your career.
Result: Your loan is written off
Initially, you are worried you may have to start repaying your loan straight away. Your partner earns enough money to support you, but you do not have extra funds to throw away and you want to save what you can for the baby. You contact Stonebridge and they remind you that you are not obliged to make any repayments until you are earning over £21,000. They also inform you that if you never return to work, your loan will eventually be wiped out. With this information in hand, you are free to continue your pregnancy, free from the fear of overhanging debt. A number of years later, when your second born starts school, you decide you want don’t want to return to work. Parenting is a full time job in itself and you cannot afford childcare. As expected, 30 years down the line, your loan is completely written off.
Scenario 3: You go on to successfully complete a degree
After leaving school, you weren’t really sure what you wanted to do. You had always been quite creative and, feeling a little pressured, you started studying towards your A-levels in fine art, English and drama. Two years down the line, although you were enjoying the courses, you weren’t really sure where they could take you. Around the time your friends all started applying to university, you realised you still had no idea what you wanted to do. While the degree programmes that were related to your A-levels seemed interesting, you didn’t feel like they had the best career prospects for you. In search of advice, you visited a careers advisor.
After a long and helpful discussion, you found a degree programme at your local university that seemed perfect for you. The degree was a BSc (Hons) in Midwifery. Unfortunately, the course required you to have at least one A-level in a science related subject. You were already 19 and were afraid that this meant you would have to start studying from scratch. Fortunately, this is when you discovered Stonebridge and they told you about the Access to Higher Education (Health) – Midwifery Pathway. If you started studying right away, you could finish the course in as few as six months and start university the next September.
Result: Your first loan is wiped out
You immediately enrolled on the Access to HE Diploma course; thrilled that you didn’t have to spend another year studying A-levels. However, as a lifelong student, with no income you were worried about how you were going to cover the costs. Fortunately, Stonebridge pointed you in the direction of the 19+ Advanced Learner Loan. This government backed funding was easy to apply for. It was also paid directly to the college, so you had nothing to worry about. When you went on to be accepted on to your undergraduate midwifery course, you applied for another student loan. You were initially worried about mounting debt; however you were soon informed that if you successfully completed your degree, your first loan would be wiped out. Now a fully qualified midwife, your 19+ Advanced Learned Loan is not your concern. You only have to repay your university loan.