18 May 2016

Learners aged 19 and over can now apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to support them financially in completing a qualification in 2016/17.

The Advanced Learner Loans have recently been expanded and renamed by the Government, and are now eligible for qualifications from Level 3 up to Level 6.

The expansion of these loans makes it easier for you to support your learners in being able to gain the qualifications and skills needed to enter or sustain employment in their desired career. Since the loans were first launched, thousands of learners have applied for and started qualifications funded by Advanced Learner Loans (previously known as 24+ Advanced Learning Loans).

At ABC Awards, we have recently had additional qualifications approved for Advanced Learner Loans, bringing the total up to 45 eligible qualifications with more to be approved soon. We have a wide range of study areas available to your learners, from aromatherapy and art, to welding and youth work. The most up-to-date catalogue of eligible qualifications is available via the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) website.

If you have learners who would benefit from applying for an Advanced Learner Loan, follow the recommended steps below to support them in their application:

  1. Check that the qualification can be funded by an Advanced Learner Loan. You can do this by checking the SFA catalogue here, or by calling our team on 0115 854 1620.
  2. Provide your learners with a learning and funding information letter. Advice about how provide this letter is available on the SFA’s website here. You will need to provide your learners with this letter before they can apply for their loan.
  3. Encourage your learners to apply online. The applications are done via the Student Finance England website, and your learners will need to register first.
  4. If approved, your learners will receive a letter confirming their loan, which will usually arrive within two weeks.

Postal applications are also available but can take longer to process. More information about postal applications and guidance notes are available here.

Advanced Learner Loans: The Facts

  • Loan eligibility is not income dependent
  • There are no credit checks
  • Learners can only apply for qualifications starting on or after 1 August 2016
  • The loan must be for a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 qualification
  • Not all qualifications at these levels are eligible – check the SFA’s catalogue to see the latest list of approved qualifications, including those offered by ABC Awards
  • You must be an approved college or training provider in England to offer qualifications funded by Advanced Learner Loans
  • Loan repayments will not begin until the learner has completed their qualification and is earning more than £21,000 per year

If you or your learners have any more questions about applying for an Advanced Learner Loan please visit gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan.

As well as Advanced Learner Loans, there are also a range of other funding opportunities available to our Centres to support their learners. You can find out more information about these opportunities here.

If you have any questions about Advanced Learner Loans, or if you find that a qualification you require funding for does not attract funding for Advanced Learner Loans or alternative funding, please don’t hesitate to contact our Funding and Research Manager Cathryn via CathrynA@abcawards.co.uk who will do her best to support you in finding a solution.