There is help available when you're studying if you need:
- extra financial support
- support if you're a parent
- help with your studies
- health and wellbeing support
- other types of support
Extra financial support
If you have financial difficulties while studying, you could get extra money from your university. They can give you money from a fund known as a 'discretionary fund' (sometimes called a 'hardship fund').
Support for parents
You may be able to get extra funding if you're a parent studying at university or college. For example:
- the Childcare Fund – given to eligible student parents to help pay for registered childcare
- Child Tax Credit – covers childcare costs
- Working Tax Credit – increases the income of working people who are on a low income
- the Lone Parents' Grant – available if you're a student who has at least 1 dependent child that lives with you most of the time and you're either:
- no longer living with a partner
You can find local childcare providers through the Scottish Family Information Service.
Managing your disability or learning difficulty
If you have a disability or a learning difficulty that's affecting your studies you should speak to student support services. They can tell you what support is available.
They can also help you with:
- filling in your Disabled Students' Allowance form if you're eligible
- organising testing with an educational psychologist
- providing learning materials in different formats
- arranging additional support in exams
Support for young carers
Schools, colleges and universities can give you advice about how to balance studying and your caring responsibilities.
Other organisations offering advice include:
- Carers Trust offer advice on studying and training for people with caring responsibilities.
If you've been attending a young carer's service, they can also support you.
Help with your studies
You may need extra support with your studies, for things like:
- managing your disability or learning difficulty
- moving from full-time to part-time study
- funding if you change course or leave your course
Moving from full-time to part-time study
During your studies you might need to change from a full-time course to a part-time course.
Studying part-time will affect your:
- living cost funding
- tuition fee funding
- length of time studying
Find out about your options if you're considering moving from full-time to part-time study.
Funding if you change course
If you change course or repeat part of your course (known as 'repeating a period of study') you may be able to claim extra funding.
The Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) 'plus one' year can be used if you need to repeat a period of study:
- for academic reasons, for example you've not passed your exams or resits
- for medical reasons, for example you've had an illness that's stopped you attending college or university
- for compassionate reasons, for example you've had a bereavement
Contact SAAS if you'd like to discuss getting a 'plus one' year.
If you're receiving funding from the college or university, you'll need to ask if it's affected by repeating a year. For example, your Childcare Fund may be affected.
Health and wellbeing support
Student support services at your college or university can help you with problems that affect your mental or physical health.
Most universities provide counselling services for students who are struggling with mental health issues.
Taking time off due to illness
You'll need to decide if it's worth taking a year off from your studies if your illness is longer term. This can give you space to recover or manage your illness.
There are ways to get help with your finances if you're worried about money when you take a year off.
Getting advice and support
Information from Scottish universities
Other types of support
Colleges and universities may be able to provide support with other types of issues including:
Speak to student support services – they'll advise you themselves or direct you to the people who can help you.
If you're working while studying you have the right to ask for flexible working hours.
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