Fees and funding

For the academic year 2022-23, further education funding applications open on 28th June content

For the academic year 2022-23, further education funding applications open on 28th June

We want to make sure you're ready to start your course and we understand that how to fund your studies will be a big consideration for you.

The good news is that there are a wide range of bursaries, grants and allowances available to fund your college studies, depending on your personal circumstances. The main costs are tuition fees and living expenses – your accommodation, food, clothing, etc.

Our Student Finance advisors can advise on tuition fees, bursaries to help with housing, and childcare and travel costs. What you can get depends on what you're studying, how you study, and your other circumstances.

If you’ve got financial concerns about your course before you start, or you need help with the application forms, including our Bursaries, Education Maintenance Allowance, Childcare funds, Hardship funds or SAAS funding - please do not hesitate to contact Student Services.

Further education funding content

Further education funding

Further education funding

Course fees

If you have been living in the UK for at least 3 years, are ordinarily resident in Scotland before the course start date, and you have not received funding for a course at the same level before, it is likely that you will not have to pay fees for your full time course.

If you are studying a full time Further Education course (SVQs, NCs NQs etc.) the College claims your fees from the Scottish Funding Council on your behalf. From the information you supply on your course application and at enrolment we will if we can claim these. We will let you know if you do not qualify and if you have to pay, this will be noted in your offer letter.

If you have received funding in the past you might still be eligible for further funding but please contact our Student Funding Officer for more information before completing an application form.

Fee costs for degrees and Higher National awards appear on the fees/funding tab on individual course pages.

How funding works

Online FE application

To apply for your Further Education EMA, Bursary, Childcare or Discretionary Hardship Funds you must first have:

  • Accepted your unconditional offer of a place on the course
  • Received an e-mail with your login and password

You can also read our guides for help with Accessing the Student Hub Guide or Uploading Documents to Your Student Funding Application

Once you have completed your application to the college for funding you will be able to track its progress through your online HUB account and access any letters about your award. Your HUB account will be your central point for your college life, offering you many services and tools including funding. If an award has been made, then the award letter will tell you how much you have been awarded and when the payments will be made. You will have a separate letter for each fund. EMA, Bursary, Childcare and Discretionary payments are made fortnightly in arrears. Please note EMA, travel and childcare payments are NOT paid for college holidays.

Please be aware that to receive any kind of funding you will be required to submit documentary evidence to support your application and that it can take up to 4 weeks from the date of receipt of the final piece of documentary evidence requested to process your application, therefore you should make allowances for this when you begin your course.

Childcare funds

Childcare funding is available to assist with the cost of childcare with registered childcare providers while you attend college classes or college placements or complete college course work remotely. As funds are limited, there is a cap on the amount of childcare that can be paid to you. Therefore, please be aware that your childcare costs may not be covered in full.

Childcare funding is paid direct to your childcare provider on receipt of completed childcare timesheets. Childcare timesheets will be sent out to your childcare provider if a childcare award is made to you. Please note that you are responsible for paying your childcare costs until the childcare award has been made to you.

Further Education Discretionary Hardship Fund

Discretionary funding, also known as hardship funding, is available to assist students who are living on their own in their own accommodation and are responsible for the payment of rent/mortgage.

Emergency payments may also be made from this fund and these are considered on a case by case basis. This fund is means-tested.

Check the categories below to find out more about your eligibility or read our Funding Handbook.

Under 16 years old

Student support funds are only available to students who have passed their official school leaving date. Until this date you may be eligible for support for your travel and study costs through your school or the local education authority.

If you live in Highland Region, please apply to Highland Council for help towards travel costs. Please contact your school for further advice on this. If you are under 16 on 30th September 2021 but turn 16 before 1st March 2022, then we can fund you from 3rd January 2022.

From the first day of term after your 16th birthday you will be eligible to apply for EMA and Bursary for the cost of travel and study aids.

Under 18 years old

If your parental/household income is less than £24,421 or £26,884 with more than one dependent child in the household, you could receive a potential award of:

  • Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) of £30 per week
  • Travel Award 
  • Study Expenses
  • Tuition Fees

Please note: if your parental/household income is over these thresholds you are still entitled to travel and study costs.

You may be eligible for an additional £43.15 if you will live away from home for the course - for example, in term time accommodation.

18 to 24 years old

If your parental/household income is £24,275 or below, you could receive a potential award of:

  • Bursary Maintenance of £84.30 per week
  • Travel Award
  • Study Expenses
  • Tuition Fees

Please note: if your parental/household income is over £24,275 then a reduced rate may be paid or a NIL award made depending on income.

Under 25 and self-supporting

If you are under 25 and self-supporting, you could receive a potential award:

  • Bursary Maintenance of £108.55 per week
  • Travel Award
  • Study Expenses
  • Tuition Fees

This award is means tested on your unearned income - for instance, Working Tax Credits. You will need to provide three full financial years of income over £3,500 each year i.e. three P60s or Statement of Earnings.  

Over 25 years old

If you are over 25, you could receive a potential award of:

  • Bursary Maintenance of £108.55 per week
  • Travel Award
  • Study Expenses
  • Tuition Fees

This award is means tested on your unearned income - for instance, Working Tax Credits.

Care Experienced

To qualify for this funding, you must have experience of being in care at any time or are currently looked after. If you can prove this status, you could receive a potential award of:

  • Bursary Maintenance of £202.50 per week
  • Travel Award
  • Study Expenses
  • Tuition Fees

What qualifies as Care Experienced:

  • Adoption
  • Foster care
  • Kinship care
  • Residential care
  • Compulsory Supervision Order with no condition of residence (looked after at home)
  • Compulsory Supervision Order with a condition of residence (looked after away from home)

Funding advice if you are an estranged student

The definition of estrangement from the Scottish Funding Council is a permanent and irrevocable breakdown in the parental/child relationship. A breakdown in family communication is not considered to be estrangement.

If you wish to be considered as an estranged student, you must provide documentation to confirm this.

  • Acceptable forms of confirmation of estrangement are:
  • A letter from a solicitor, doctor, a headteacher or guidance teacher, a social or support worker

Benefits Recipients

If you are in receipt of benefits, you should contact your local Benefits office or Citizens Advice Office for advice on whether you can continue to claim while studying on your course as full-time students are not normally entitled to receive benefits, however, there are some exceptions.

If you still aren't sure you can get in touch with our Student Funding Officer.

Higher education funding content

Higher education funding

Higher education funding

Funding for your full time Higher Education course is available online through SAAS. They use one form to assess your entitlement to:

  • Course Fees
  • Student Loans for Living Costs
  • Young Persons Bursary
  • Independent Students Bursary
  • Care Experienced Students Bursary
  • Care Experienced Accommodation Grant
  • Other supplementary grants for Dependants, Lone Parents and Vacation Grant for Care Leavers

UHI offers a few funding options for HE students including its Higher Education Discretionary Fund and - if you need help with childcare costs - through the Higher Education Childcare Fund. You can apply for this if you have accepted your unconditional offer of a place on your chosen course; to qualify you must also have taken out the maximum student loan and be eligible to have your tuition fees paid.

Our HE Fee information is available from the university website:

Budgeting content



Whether becoming a full time or part time student, you may find it useful to draft a monthly budget.

This will help you to determine whether the method of study is appropriate to you and your family’s circumstances and help to ensure you are accessing all the funding available to you. You may find a Budget Planner helpful.

Being a full time student will have an effect on your finances because of the change in your income and the way you are paid. Also, you may be able to increase your income by taking a part-time job, getting help from the Childcare Funds, Hardship Funds or from a Trust and Foundation search. All of these can ease the cost of study.

Additionally, you may decide to use your personal savings and reduce costs by accessing a Student Bank/Building Society account which offer the benefits of discount schemes with National stores etc. as well as offering interest free overdrafts. You may also be able to rearrange any existing personal loan repayment terms to help reduce monthly bills.

While a student, you may be offered additional options such as credit cards and store cards, if you don’t already have them. These are very easy to use and are often used by students. However, be aware that these are among the most expensive methods of spreading the payment of goods.

The Save the Student website is a useful and independent source of information with advice on financial services, money-saving tips and current deals on products and services that you might find help make your money go further.

Payment of tuition fees content

Payment of tuition fees

Payment of tuition fees

Tuition fees are the payments you will make to UHI West Highland in order to enrol and complete your course. Please see our List of Tuition Fees and Charges for more information.

Tuition fees are due to be paid in full at the time you enrol on a course and are due for all courses run by West Highland College UHI. Please check the cost of your course and ensure you have funding in place before accepting a place on a course. It is your responsibility to accurately advise the College as to who will be paying your fees (and provide appropriate documentary evidence as required) at the time of enrolment. By default the individual who signs the enrolment form or enrols online will be the person charged the fees unless the College is satisfied that the fees will be paid by a third party.


Students may take advantage of paying their course fees in instalments. These must be set up by Standing Order and failure to pay an instalment will result in the student having to settle the remainder of the debt in full within 14 days. Please contact the Finance Department to arrange.

Accepted Payment Methods:

  • Internet Banking
  • Most major Credit/Debit Card (except American Express)
  • Cheque – made payable to “West Highland College”
  • Cash

Non Payment of Fees

In all cases where fees are not paid either on enrolment or within 14 days of an invoice being sent, (unless finance is notified of any problems and has placed the account on hold) the College will not process the results for the student and they may be asked to stop attending classes until the debt is paid in full or a payment plan is agreed. In the case where the student has left the course we will seek to recover the outstanding debt via our Debt Collection Agency.


Students may be entitled to a refund in some circumstances. Please check with the Finance Department.

Young Scot National Entitlement Card content

Young Scot National Entitlement Card

Young Scot National Entitlement Card

The National Entitlement Card is FREE for all young people aged 11 to 26.

This means cheaper transport for young people on buses, trains and ferries across Scotland.


The card will let you access all of the services you get from your Young Scot card. These include:

  • discounts and rewards across Scotland - on shopping, eating out, going to the cinema and just having fun - visit www.youngscot.org/discounts for full details
  • discounts and rewards in 42 European countries - check out www.euro26.org for details.

Young Scot
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You can find out more from the Scottish Government on student information including funding and finance for new and current students.