New Loans Scheme to Help More Adults Access Further Education

Adults looking to get back into work, change career or get a promotion by going back into education, but have been held back by their finances, can now apply for an advanced learning loan to help with the cost of their course fees at Walsall College.

A new scheme now allows any UK resident aged 19 or older and looking to enrol on a level 3 course or above, including QCF Certificates and Diplomas and Access to HE courses, to access funding.

Students aged 19 – 23 who do not already have a full Level 3 qualification, will be entitled to receive free tuition.

Similar to student loans for higher education, loans are not repaid until students are earning over £21,000 a year, and if the loan is to cover tuition fees for an Access to HE course, the debt is wiped out if the student goes on to complete a higher education course.

The college is holding an Advanced Learner Loan information event on Thursday 25th August, 5-7pm at The Hub, to provide prospective students with further advice and support in completing their loan applications.

Director of Student Journey at Walsall College, Carol Egan, said: “The cost of studying should not pose a barrier to anyone wanting to advance their career and achieve their goals. Further education can help students to develop the skills and knowledge to improve their career prospects and earning potential.

“For many, financial support is all they need to get their career started and at Walsall College all our courses are designed to give students the skills employers need.”

According to a report by the Office for National Statistics in 2011, those with a level 3 qualification (A Level or equivalent) can expect to earn up to 15% more, compared with an expected salary for those who are qualified to GCSE level.

Since the loans were first introduced for students aged 24 or over, hundreds of adults have taken advantage of the support available to help kick-start or advance their careers.

The college has a range of industry recognised Level 3 and 4 courses in care, beauty, hairdressing, sport, hospitality and primary education, which are eligible for loans.

Carol added: “More local people upskilling will also have a very positive impact on businesses as they will benefit from the new qualifications and knowledge gained by employees and potential recruits.”

Loans are not based on household income or subject to credit checks. For more details about Advanced Learning Loans contact the Student Support or Advice and Guidance Teams on 01922 657000 or visit

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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