If one of your concerns about returning to education is not knowing whether or not you can afford your course, then try not to worry, as there are a wide range of funding options that you can take advantage of.
Firstly, it’s worth checking if you’re entitled to take the course you’re interested in for free. For instance, if you don’t hold a full Level 3 qualification (which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or two A-levels), then you’re entitled to take one of a range of other government-funded Level 3 courses at no cost. To browse these courses, and to check if you’re eligible, you can visit the government’s website.
Secondly, there are plenty of government schemes available to help you fund not only your education but to help towards your living expenses too – so it’s worth checking if you’re eligible for any of these.
Some schemes involve a loan that you’ll have to pay back at a later date, such as Student Finance Loan or an Advanced Learner Loan. However, you may also be eligible to apply for grants and bursaries to help pay for your course, which you don’t typically have to pay back.
To find out more about the different government funding options available, and to see if you’re eligible for any, head over to the education page of the government’s website. You might also want to check with your course provider, to see if they run any scholarships or bursaries that you might be able to take advantage of.
It’s also worth remembering that the price of courses will vary depending on where you study. Sometimes, these variations can be small, for example, the National Extension College offers their GCSE English Literature course for £495, while Open Study College offers their version of the same course for £449.
However, sometimes the differences in price can be huge. For instance, The Open University usually offers degree courses at a fraction of the price of traditional universities, which means you could save thousands of pounds on your education. So it’s worth shopping around before you decide on a course, to get the best value for your money.