Financial Contingency Fund (2015-2016 Guidance Notes)

If you would like more information on the Financial Contingency Fund, or if you would like help with completing the form, please contact the Student Liaison Administrator.

Cardigan Campus  01239 612032

Aberystwyth Campus  01970 639700

The Financial Contingency Fund is money which is managed by the college to help students who may need financial help in order to participate on their course. 

“Participate on a course” includes the costs you may have as part of the course (eg equipment, uniforms, books etc) and the costs you may have because you are a student (eg childcare, travel etc).

Income

You can apply for money from the fund if the amount of money coming into your house is £26,000 or less per year or up to £28,000 if there are dependent children other than yourself in the household.

What counts as income?

Earnings, Tax Credits, rent from a property you own, unearned income such as interest from savings or investments, benefits or universal credit etc. Please ask if you need to know more.

Your Circumstances:

If you are living on your own, with or without children, it is your income you will need to show evidence for.

If you are living with a partner, with or without children, it is your joint income you show evidence for.

If you are living with parent(s)/ guardian(s) and are under 19, it is their income you will need to show evidence for.

If you are Fostered or a Care Leaver and you can provide a letter to confirm that from Social Services, you do not need to provide information about income.

If you are living with parent(s)/guardian(s) and are over 19 it is your income you need to show evidence for.

If your circumstances are not covered in the points above, and you would like to discuss this further please get in touch with the Student Liaison Administrator.

What doesn’t count as income?

Child Benefit and Housing Benefit.

Please note that you will not qualify for Financial Contingency Funding if you are on any of the following:

A Modern Apprentice or on any other Trainee Scheme

Work Based Learning

On courses where attendance is less than 12 hours a week you may qualify for some     

      Specific help but you will not qualify for all types of cost.

You can ask for help from the Financial Contingency Fund towards the costs of

Travel

Equipment and materials required by the course

Uniforms, overalls and personal protection (eg safety boots)

Books

Childcare

Examination and Registration Fees (but not re-sits)

Please note if you are in receipt of the Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG) you will not be able to claim for equipment, materials, uniforms  or books.

Travel

You can apply for travel if you :

are not on a college bus route to help with the cost of your mileage.

If you are over 19, and need to travel more than 1.5 miles to meet your nearest bus.

Live outside of Ceredigion.

have children who need taking to nursery, or school, before coming to college.

The Financial Contingency Fund will consider applications from childcare students, for travel to their course related work placements. Please speak to the Student Liaison Administrator for more details.

DLA (Disability Living Allowance) Mobility – If a student receives the HIGHER rate of mobility, some travel costs can be allocated from the FCF fund but the student may have to pay some of the cost of travel.

Examination and Registration Fees

Most students do not have to pay essential registration or examination fees as they are included in the course. If you do have to pay fees, please see the Student Liaison Administrator to check whether you can get help with this.

Registration and examination fees for resits or optional qualifications and certificates are not usually covered by FCF.

Childcare

Money for childcare is only paid to cover your normal timetabled hours. It is paid direct to registered childcare providers only and is paid weekly or monthly on receipt of official invoices.

The Financial Contingency Fund may pay a retainer over holidays.  It does not pay for the summer break.

Money for childcare will not be paid for children over the age of 12, unless there is a special reason.

We will only pay childcare if the childminder or facility is registered.

Childcare costs are calculated by considering the student’s individual timetable, the number of children they have in childcare and any other sources of support available for childcare (eg through working tax credit etc). A maximum hourly rate applies and the student should therefore not expect the FCF to pay the full cost.

Please note that if childcare is stopped due to student’s non-attendance in college, the student may be responsible to pay the cost of the notice period charged by the childcare provider. Please see the Student Liaison Administrator to discuss further.

Bursary

A bursary may be paid because:

You are not eligible for any other funding

A sudden change in circumstances which are beyond your control

Evidence of extreme hardship especially affecting safety or well being

College may decide to pay the Bursary in money, vouchers or other form. There must be progression of learning in order to be eligible.

To apply for a bursary you will need to fill in a Financial Contingency Fund Application form and also a Bursary Form, to be completed with the Student Welfare Officer.  For information regarding this please see the Student Liaison Administrator.

Trips

You can apply for a contribution towards the cost of trips for transport, accommodation and any entry fees payable as part of the trip.

Uniforms, Equipment and Books

The College may be able to order books and equipment for you or you may be advised to purchase these before the start of the course.

Course Tutors will tell us which books or equipment you will need.

Students receiving WGLG will be expected to pay for books and equipment from their grant payment

If you would like to discuss further please see the Student Liaison Administrator.

Discretionary Payments

Students who incur other costs not covered by the above and related to being in college may make an application accompanied by reasons for the request.

The FCF panel will look at each application and circumstances on an individual basis to determine a decision for support.

In order to support as many students as possible the Financial Contingency Fund expects to limit the total payment made to any one student in a year.  Any request for costs over £2,000 in the term, will be reviewed on a termly basis.

Approved payments which have not been claimed by the end of the term for which they were granted will be forfeited and a fresh application will need to be made.

Financial Contingency Fund is public funding which the college manages. The college has responsibility for ensuring that all funding decisions are based on accurate and valid information and is used for the purposes for which it has been approved.

Any causes for concern, brought to the attention of the panel will be fully investigated and funding may be withdrawn with immediate effect.

In such situations, no further application to the fund will be accepted either in the same or in subsequent years.

The college receives funding on an annual basis and therefore cannot guarantee that any funding approved in one year will also be approved in the following or subsequent years.

In any case, the college would not expect to support any student through FCF for more than 3 years.

Please refer to guidance notes annually.

The amount given to you depends on how much the college gets from the Welsh Assembly Government and the number of students asking for help. 

If you leave your course you may be asked to pay back some of the money that has been given to you.

If you are not eligible to apply for Financial Contingency Fund but you are in an emergency or unusual situation we may be able to consider your needs. Please see the Student Liaison Administrator immediately.

(June 2015)

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