New College Durham Principal John Widdowson, East Durham College Principal Suzanne Duncan, Darlington College Principal Tim Grant and Bishop Auckland College Principal Natalie Davison

Colleges Join Forces to Promote New 24+ Loans scheme

Sat, 2002-05-18 01:00

Five colleges in County Durham have joined forces to launch a campaign to promote a new system of loans for college students aged 24+.

Bishop Auckland College, Darlington College, Derwentside College, East Durham College and New College Durham are working together to raise awareness of Advanced Learning Loans.

The new system, which is being introduced for Level 3 and Level 4 courses starting after August 1, works very much like the existing student loans for tuition fees for university students.

College courses eligible for loans include A Levels, Access to Higher Education, Apprenticeships, BTEC National Diplomas and NVQ Level 3 and 4.

Some professional qualifications from bodies including the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Chartered Institute of Professional Development can also be supported by a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan.

The new Advanced Learning Loans will cover the full cost of course fees but repayments do not start until April 2016 for students enrolling in 2013/14, and only then once they are earning more than £21,000.

The loans and course fee payments are managed by Student Finance England and are not subject to household income limits or credit checks. The minimum loan amount is £300 and students do not have to take out a loan - fee payment or part payment is still possible.

The five colleges are undertaking an advertising campaign throughout the summer with the slogan: Get the Loan; Get the Qualification; Get the Job.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal of East Durham College, said: "All five colleges in County Durham are working together to raise awareness of the new loans system for students aged 24+ enrolling on a wide range of Level 3 and Level 4 courses this summer.

"The new scheme means anyone aged 24 or over who wants to enhance their career prospects or retrain has access to student loans to cover course fees in the same way as those on university degree courses."

Click here for details on Advanced Learning Loans.