New Year, New Career with HELS

With 2019 an opportunity to start something new, why not take the leap into starting a new career with us here at Birmingham City University. 

With 2019 an opportunity to start something new, why not take the leap into a new career with us here at Birmingham City University? We know that a lot of parents or mature students may feel apprehensive about starting a degree at a later time in their lives, so we’ve asked Jacqueline Brophy, our Childcare and Finance Advisor, to answer some common FAQ’s on the matter.

If I have children, can I study for a degree?

Yes, of course. Juggling a degree, work and a family can be difficult sometimes but it’s definitely do-able. As the Childcare and Finance Advisor for BCU, the majority of my students have children. One good tip is to spend any spare time you have during the day at the library, so that you can go home in the evening and spend time with your children, guilt-free!

Are there any student-parent groups that I can go to?

We do work closely with the Student Union and run student-parent events throughout the year. To find out more information about groups, please visit here.

Will I have the time?

Being a student can be tiring, but very rewarding too. Plan accordingly and as said earlier, always study in the library when you have any spare time so that you can spend time with your family later on in the day.

Can I afford to start a degree?

Unfortunately, you will never be rich as a student! However, with good budgeting tips and forward thinking, you can easily get through it. Apply for Student Finance in plenty of time, and seek advice and help early if you start struggling. We have the University’s Hardship Fund for students who really struggle. Working part-time is also an option, but make sure it doesn’t interfere with your studies.

Interested in applying?

Why not attend our Open Day on Sunday 24 November.

What am I entitled to?

  • You should apply to Student Finance England for a tuition fee loan, a maintenance loan and other grants. The Maintenance loans and grants are means tested, see here for more information.
  • You can also apply to Open4Learning,which is a charitable database.
  • If you are in financial hardship, you can apply to the Hardship Fund.
  • You can also check out Blackbullion, which is a free tool to help you manage your money.
  • If you’re a student parent, you can receive financial assistance too, but each individual case is unique. Check out what you’re entitled to.

Finally, what support is available for me?

Our Student Affairs team have a wealth of advisers to help you on a range of topics. Please visit our website for more information, or I am more than happy to talk to or meet students before starting university to talk through any options.

Student nurse with service user

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