Foundation years at university can be so beneficial for students. This is because they allow students to be fully prepared for the courses they are about to start. They are often known as Year 0 because they provide students with the necessary skills required to start Year 1 of a course. However, as a student, you may be wondering whether you will be supported financially during a foundation year. After all, you won’t have even started your course yet! This is definitely a common worry, shared by many students.
You may be happy to know that Student Finance does cover foundation years. This year is part of studying at university, meaning that students are entitled to the same financial support as other undergraduates. Different students receive different amounts of loans depending on their circumstances.
If you want to find out more about Student Finance and whether it does cover foundation years, check out the rest of this article, to discover the information in more detail.
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Do you get a student loan for a foundation year?
The simple answer to this question is yes. You will definitely be entitled to a student loan if you do a foundation year. However, the amount you can get varies from person to person.
If you don’t already know, a student loan is a set amount of money given to students, by the government, in order to support their studies. These loans are extremely useful because university can be a financially challenging time.
A student loan consists of two different payments. One is your tuition loan and the other is your maintenance loan.
Your tuition loan will never be seen by you, instead this is paid directly to the university, covering your educational fee. Most university courses cost £9,250 per year.
Your maintenance loan is used to cover your living costs. You may be worrying that you are not entitled to any of these during a foundation year.
However, you don’t need to worry at all! You are just as entitled to these loans as any other students studying at university. If you want to find out how to apply for a student loan, you can do this on the government website here.
Can you get a maintenance loan for a foundation year?
You can also get a maintenance loan to help you get through a foundation year. This is because a foundation degree could still require full time study.
This means that often students aren’t able to work at the same time. A maintenance loan can be really helpful as a result!
More and more mature students are starting university; therefore, foundation years are getting more popular than ever. It wouldn’t be very useful if they couldn’t be financially supported.
However, you must be aware that the amount of money you get will depend on a number of factors. For example, it will depend on your household income and whether you will be living away from home or not.
If you want to discover how much you could receive for your maintenance loan, check out this student loan calculator from the government website.
Most students who do foundation years are mature students. If you want to find out more about student loans and whether mature students are entitled to them, check out this article from Think Student.
Why might you not be eligible for student finance during a foundation year?
You need to be aware that you may only be entitled to limiting funding or even no funding at all for certain reasons. Foundation years are often taken by older students, who have maybe worked for a couple of years, already have a degree and now want to try something new.
If you have already achieved a degree and start another, different foundation year, you will most likely not be entitled to get a student loan. This means that if you have already got a degree, you probably won’t be financially supported to do another one.
There are some exceptions to this. For example, you may get some extra support if you are wanting to do a degree in healthcare. You may also get limited funding if you are sixty years old or older. Finally, if your foundation course is not full time, you may also only get limited funding.
If none of this applies to you, then you will most likely be eligible for Student Finance. If you want to find out more about this eligibility criteria, check out this article from the government website.
Can you get bursaries for foundation year courses?
You may be surprised to hear that you can definitely get bursaries for foundation courses. However, this depends on the type of course that you are studying.
The NHS, for example, offers a range of different bursaries. You can discover all of these NHS bursaries in this article from Save the Student.
However, there are a range of different bursaries you could get. You could be getting extra money because your household income is £25,000 or less.
You could even get a bursary if you have come from a care background, or if you have a child. There are also specific bursaries you could be eligible for. For example, specific sports bursaries, subject bursaries or bursaries based on your academic achievements.
You can be eligible for any of these during foundation years, depending on your situation and the university you are studying at. You can find out more about all of the different bursaries on this article from UCAS.
When should you apply for Student Finance to cover a foundation year?
Applying for Student Finance is done the same way, regardless of what year you are applying for. This is true for foundation years, your first year at university and even your last year!
Therefore, to apply for Student Finance for a foundation year, you just need to go onto the government website and set up an account. If you want to apply for a student loan right now, you can do this on the government website here.
You need to do this before you start your degree, of course. Student Finance usually opens in March, allowing students to apply for the following September.
This is true for every university course, regardless of the year. This means that even if you are going to study a foundation year, you need to apply for Student Finance at the same time as everyone else, who may just be going straight into their course.
Make sure that you don’t leave it to the last minute! You need to make sure that you are prepared. To find out more details about when you should apply for Student Finance, check out this article from Think Student.
Do you have to repay your student loan for your foundation year?
You will never have to repay any bursaries that you receive. However, you will have to repay your maintenance and tuition loans.
How much you pay back depends on your yearly income, once you are in full employment. Most students only end up paying back part of their student loans!
This is because they are written off after a number of years, depending on which payment plan you are on. You can find more information about this on the government website here.
The earliest you will start to repay your loan is the April after you finish your course. You will only begin to repay after your income is greater than the minimum amount.
However, your repayments will stop automatically if you stop working or don’t earn enough money after your degree.
Should you do a foundation year?
Foundation years can be extremely valuable. This is because they can give students access to more opportunities and undergraduate degrees, which they may never have been able to do without a foundation year.
However, make sure that you don’t mix up the terms foundation years and foundation degrees! You can find out how different a foundation degree is in this article from Think Student.
If you haven’t been in education for years, a foundation year can be a useful stepping stone for university. This is because they provide you with a basic understanding of your field of interest.
Foundation years will allow you to be more prepared to start your degree and you will gain the skills needed to help you with higher educational study. Most students who do these foundation years are mature students.
If you are a mature student and feel that going straight into university would be too overwhelming, then doing a foundation year would be a fantastic option for you. Not only will you learn specific skills and gain valuable knowledge, you will also be able to socialise with other students, who have similar interests.
However, you don’t have to be a mature student in order to do a foundation year. For example, if you haven’t done very well with your A-Levels, a foundation degree is a great opportunity to get you onto a course.
You can find out other ways to get into university without A-Levels in this article from Think Student.
You can find out more about whether you should do a foundation year on this article from Prospects.