The Access to Learning Fund provides additional financial help towards the essential costs associated with being a student. Awards made from the Fund are usually non-repayable grants. The Access to Learning Fund cannot help with the payment of tuition fees, with the exception of some targeted help for part-time under-graduate study. The Fund has a financial limit which is set by the Government and this means that we can only make a contribution towards any assessed 'additional need' that you might have.
The main Access to Learning Fund will close on 25th May, 2013 for the 2012/13 Academic Year.
Access to Learning Fund applications will be available again from the 16th September, 2013.
The Fund can be used to help 'home' * students enrolled on a full-time or part-time higher education course (including distance learners) at either undergraduate or postgraduate level. Part-time students must be studying at least 50% of a full-time course, (25% for disabled students unable to study 50% because of their disability).
Intercalating Students who have temporarily withdrawn from their studies with the intention of returning after time out are also able to apply. Applicants must have applied for all other available means of financial support including having taken their full Government Student Loan entitlement before applying to the Fund. There is limited support for continuing students whose circumstances do not allow them to work during the summer and they can apply for 'Summer Assistance'. This includes students with no alternative means of support such as those with children or with a disability where benefits are not available and those re-sitting elements of their course. We are also able to help those students receiving Income Support over the summer where this stops at the beginning of September. Depending on the ALF budget, this category may be funded by the University.
*For Access to Learning Fund purposes 'Home' student will usually mean a student who meets the residence requirements for living cost support in the regulations pertaining to student support.
ALF awards for full-time students are calculated using a formula that compares income with essential expenditure, set by the Government. By deducting assessed expenditure from total income any 'additional need' is identified and a contribution is then made towards this. Within the calculation there are certain allowances which result in priority being given to certain groups including:
For 2012/13 we have a budget of £432,992 this means that we could pay 25% of any 'additional need' at the beginning of the year.
The maximum award from all schemes within ALF is £3,500 but this is likely to be the exception, and no payment will be made for awards under £50. There is a limit of £1,500 for non-standard awards, this includes emergencies.
For further information please see the link below for the Access to Learning Fund Booklet.
Telephone: 0113 812 6701
Monday to Friday – 9am to 5pm
Applications to the Fund must be submitted along with all of the appropriate supporting documents required in your particular circumstances. A schedule of possible items and guidance on what might be applicable to you is given at the end of the application form. Please note that we are unable to carry out our assessment without all of the supporting documents required for your circumstances.
We do not require the original documents so if you are likely to need these at a later date then please provide a photocopy because we are unable to return your supporting evidence for audit purposes.
In addition to the information listed, there could be circumstances where we ask for additional information. For example, if it looks as though we may be able to provide additional help with travel costs in instances such as journeys to your parental home to care for a relative who is ill, we may ask for medical evidence relating to the illness.
The Student Money Advice Team offers confidential, impartial and specialist advice to students on funding and budgeting; and impartial and general advice about debt and benefits. The team also provides advice and advocacy on behalf of students but they do not administer funds or provide a crisis service. Students can find out how to contact a Student Money Adviser from their website www.leedsmet.ac.uk/moneyadvice or contact the Student Hubs on 0113 812 3115
Telephone: 0113 8128408