21/06/2016 - Permalink

Blog: An easier way to become a postgraduate at University Centre Shrewsbury

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Blog from our partners University Centre Shrewsbury

You can apply for a Postgraduate Loan from summer this year

You can apply for a Postgraduate Loan from summer this year

From September 2016 many applicants to University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) will be able to access the new Government-backed Postgraduate Loan scheme.

Previously, some people wanting to undertake postgraduate Master’s study were financially restricted, having to work additional hours to pay for their tuition fees or taking out a bank loan, but with the new scheme they may now qualify for additional support.

You can apply for a Postgraduate Loan from summer 2016. You’ll only have to apply once, even if your course is longer than one year.

Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, which has established UCS with Shropshire Council, explains more:

“Many people may be thinking about continuing their studies after their degree – not only recent graduates, but those in later life wishing to enhance their career or simply wanting to expand their knowledge. The Postgraduate Loan scheme provides an excellent opportunity to help those who may have previously been put off making a commitment to further study for financial reasons.”

You can apply if you:

  • are applying for a taught or research Master’s course,
  • are under 60 years old at the start of the first academic year of the course, and
  • normally live in England.

If you are an EU national, who doesn’t normally live in England, you will also be able to get a Postgraduate Loan for a Master’s course at an English university or college if you live in England on the first day of your course.

If you plan to study full-time, the course can last for one or two years. If you plan to study part-time you can study for two years (for the equivalent one year full-time course) or up to four years (for the equivalent two year full-time course).

You can apply for a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards your course and living costs. If your course is longer than one year you can get up to £5,000 in your first year and the rest in your second year. If you study part-time you can only get payments in the first two years of your course. The loan will be paid into your bank account in three instalments during the academic year.

If you have a disability, including a mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, you might be able to get Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs). These don’t have to be paid back.

Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made to you until the loan is repaid in full. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%.

You have to repay any loan you borrow, but not until you’ve finished or left your course and your income is over £21,000 a year. Repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrow.

If you’re studying full-time you’ll start making repayments the April after you finish or leave your course. If you’re studying part-time you’ll start making repayments the April two years after the start of your course or the April after you finish or leave your course, whichever comes first.

However, no repayments will be taken before April 2019 and you’ll only start making repayments once your income is over the current threshold of £404 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year. You’ll repay 6% of what you earn over the threshold.

If you’ve had other loans from the Student Loans Company for your undergraduate course, you’ll also repay these loans. For example if you took a loan for your undergraduate course that started after 1 September 2012, you’ll repay 9% of your income over £21,000 towards that loan and 6% of your Postgraduate Loan. So you’ll repay 15% of your income over the threshold in total.

A student loan repayment will be taken even if you don’t earn £21,000 in a year but exceed the weekly or monthly threshold at any time, for example if you work overtime or get a bonus.

Any loan remaining 30 years after you’re due to start making repayments will be written off.

Further information, plus access to helpful links, can be found at: www.ucshrewsbury.ac.uk/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/postgraduate-loans