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Tuition Fees

Introduction

All full-time and part-time students will be charged tuition fees. This includes PGCE students. For students who are Northern Ireland domiciled, these are currently £3,925 per year for full-time courses and £654 per 20-point module to repeat a module. These fees normally are subject to an annual inflationary uplift.

A student will be liable for the full calculated tuition fee amount at the point of enrolment and registration. This includes a non-refundable element of 25% of the calculated fee.

 

Student Contributions

Students can avail of a Tuition Fee loan to cover the cost of their Tuition Fees up to a maximum of £3,925. This means that students will not have to pay up-front tuition fees before or during their higher education course. Instead, students will be able to defer payment of tuition fees by taking out a Fee Loan to cover the cost of Tuition Fees. The Tuition Fee Loan will not have to be repaid until after students have left university and are earning £17,495 or more.

Students can apply online or download an application form PNI (new students) or PR1 (existing students) via the Student Finance Northern Ireland website (http://www.studentfinanceni.co.uk).

Students who have not applied for the Fee Loan can do so up until May 2017 by contacting their local branch of Student Finance NI. Students can check whether they have applied for the Fee Loan by going to www.studentfinanceni.co.uk.

Students who do not avail of the Student Loan for Tuition Fees will be invoiced for the full £3,925 by the Finance Office.

 

Payment Options

Students who do not avail of the fee loan can pay their fees in one of two ways:

Direct Debit – students can complete a Direct Debit authorisation which spreads the fee due over six months from December to May.

Cash or Cheque – students who do not complete a Direct Debit authorisation will receive one invoice in November for the full amount, which will be payable within 30 days.

Students experiencing financial hardship should contact Student Services.

A student who fails to fulfil his or her financial obligations to the College shall be liable to be suspended from the College. The power to suspend includes the power to defer the award of a degree, diploma or certificate.

 

EU Students (Students from the Republic of Ireland and other non-UK EU Countries)

Non-UK EU students, including students from the Republic of Ireland, can defer their fees by applying for a fee loan, of currently up to a maximum of £3,925.

The application is essentially the same as the current system for applying for fee loans and other support. EU students may also be eligible for a College Bursary. This will be dependent on the level of their household income. EU students should contact the Student Loan Company EU Team by telephoning 0141 243 3570 for advice. For maintenance support Republic of Ireland students should contact their local county council www.studentfinance.ie and Student Universal Support Ireland at www.susi.ie.

 

Students from England, Scotland and Wales

St Mary's will charge £9,000 to full-time undergraduate students who normally are resident in England, Scotland or Wales. Students will not normally have to pay up front for tuition and can defer payment of their tuition fees by taking out a fee loan. Students should apply to their respective student finance providers.

 

Tuition Fee Regulations

Any student who has not paid an account for fees to the College will not receive the certificate for any degree, diploma or other qualification awarded by the College until all outstanding debts have been cleared.

For debts more than 90 days overdue, a letter will be issued warning students that disciplinary action will be taken within 7 days if payment is not made. Where payment is not made within this period, disciplinary action which may lead to suspension will be initiated.

Continuing students who have not cleared their fee account will be prevented from re-enrolling at the College and from using any of the College facilities.

Where tuition fees have not been paid by the end of the academic year, a file will be passed to the College solicitor. The College solicitor will be instructed to take appropriate action to recover the outstanding fees. Where fees remain unpaid three months after an individual has ceased to be a registered student of the College, legal action normally will be initiated.

 

Student Withdrawals

The College policy on tuition fee liability is as follows:

  • Students withdrawing before 1st January 2017 will be liable for 25% of their full fee.
  • Students withdrawing between 1st January 2017 and 31st March 2017 will be liable for 50% of the full fee.
  • Students withdrawing from 1st April 2017 will be liable for the full fee for the year.

Students who withdraw from the College must complete an official withdrawal form, which is available from the Academic Registry. Only on receipt of an official withdrawal form can the above policy be applied to students withdrawing from their course.

Depending on individual circumstances, some or all of the following sources of financial support are available to students:

  • Tuition Fee Loans
  • Maintenance Grant
  • Special Support Grant
  • Student Loans for Maintenance
  • Student Support Funds
  • Student Trust Fund Loans
  • St Mary's Bursaries

 

Tuition Fee Loan (Repayable)

All students including PGCE students will be charged fees of £3,925 per year for full-time courses unless they avail of a Tuition Fee Loan to cover the cost of their Tuition Fees (see previous section on Tuition Fees for more details).

 

Maintenance Grant

Students may be eligible for an income assessed non repayable maintenance grant of up to £3,475.

This is usually paid in three instalments, one at the start of each term along with any other support you may be entitled to. Please note that although students may have part of their living costs met through a Maintenance Grant, their entitlement to support through a Maintenance Loan will be reduced to reflect this.

To apply for a Maintenance Grant students should contact their Student Finance NI branch as soon as possible or go online at www.studentfinanceni.co.uk.

 

Special Support Grant

The Special Support Grant replaces the Maintenance Grant in certain circumstances; e.g., students who are in receipt of Income Support or other means-tested benefits such as Housing Benefit may be eligible. Eligible students may be awarded up to £3,475 depending on household income.

The Special Support Grant will cover living costs throughout the academic year and additional course costs such as books, equipment or travel costs incurred from attending a course. Students in receipt of the Special Support Grant will not have the amount of Maintenance Loan that they will be eligible for reduced.

The amount of support, income assessment arrangements and payment arrangements will be the same as for the Maintenance Grant.

Students who claim income-related benefits will not have the Special Support Grant assessed by the Social Security Office when working out income.

Students can apply for the Special Support Grant by contacting their local branch of Student Finance NI as soon as possible or by going online at www.studentfinanceni.co.uk.

 

Maintenance Loan – Repayable

New and returning students can apply for a student loan to help cover their living costs using PNI or PR1 forms through their local Student Finance NI branch. Rates will vary according to household income, but, like the tuition fee loan, it will not have to be repaid until after leaving university and the student is earning £17,495 or more. Students should complete the application and financial forms and return them to their local Student Finance NI branch. Student Finance NI will then send the student a Financial Assessment Notification, telling the student how much support they are eligible for, and a Loan Request Form. Students should complete this form and send it to the Student Loan Company (SLC). The Student Loan will be paid to the student in three instalments by credit transfer directly into the student's bank account after the student has registered on his or her course at the start of term.

 

Student Support Funds

Each year an amount is made available to the College to provide help to students who have serious financial difficulties or who might not otherwise be able to afford to enter higher education.

Student Support Funds are available to full-time students and part-time students studying at least 50% of a full-time course. To qualify, students must meet the same residence conditions as for Student Loans and be following an undergraduate or postgraduate course.

To qualify for a grant from Student Support Funds, students must be able to show that they need financial assistance and that they have explored other ways of supporting themselves including having taken out the maximum amount of Student Loan available.

Applications should be made through the Finance Office.

 

Student Trust Fund Loans - Repayable

The Student Trust Fund was established by the College to provide financial aid to students facing unanticipated hardship.

Any student experiencing particular hardship can apply through the Student Affairs Office for a short-term Trust Fund Loan.

 

St Mary's Bursaries

St Mary's will provide additional financial support, based on assessed household income, in the form of a non-repayable annual College Bursary. The amount of the College Bursary will be dependent on the level of assessed household income.

Students who are entering St Mary's after September 2015 (i.e., first-year and second students) with assessed household income of less than or equal to £19,203 will be entitled to a College Bursary of £510.

Third - and fourth-year students, i.e. students who entered St Mary's prior to 2015,with assessed household income of less than or equal to £19,203 will be entitled to a College Bursary of £885.

 

College Bursaries will be increased annually to take account of inflation.

 

Students do not need to complete a separate application form to be assessed for a College Bursary. The College will use the information provided in the PNI/PR1 application, which should be sent to the local student finance provider to assess eligibility.

In order for eligibility for a College Bursary to be assessed, students should ensure parents/spouse/partners have indicated their consent to share their financial information with the College. Consent is given by leaving the tick boxes ‘blank’ at the appropriate declaration sections of the annual Student Finance NI application form.

Students who are eligible for the College Bursary will be notified as to the amount of bursary they have been awarded. Payment will be made in three instalments in November, February and May and will be paid by BACs directly into the student's bank account. The last date for approval of Bursaries in an academic year will be 30th June.

The amount of College Bursary paid to an eligible student who withdraws from his/her course is consistent with the College’s policy on tuition fee liability (outlined previously).

 

Other Help Available

There are other sources of financial help available to certain students such as students with dependants and disabled students. Please contact the Finance Office or the Student Services Office for further information. Students can also visit www.studentfinanceni.co.uk, which provides advice to students on the financial support available to them.