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Placement year finances

For the 2013/14 academic year tuition fees will be:

  • £1725 for home students
  • £1725 for EU students
  • £2110 for International students
If you are a Home or EU student, you can apply to Student Finance England or Student Finance Services for a tuition fee loan to pay your fees in the same way as for the other years of your course.

If you are undertaking a placement in Europe then you might be able to apply for an Erasmus fee waiver which means you will not have to pay any tuition fees for your placement year.

The Aston Placement Allowance and Aston Placement Bursary are also available - see below.
All Home and EU students who are undertaking a placement year in 2013/14 and have to pay tuition fees for their placement year (excludes Erasmus studnets who recieve a fee waiver), can be awarded the Placement Bursary. This is is a £1000 grant from the University which you do not have to repay.

The placement bursary is not based on your family income and all home and EU students can receive the full £1000. If you do not have to pay tuition fees to Aston for your placement year (for example if you have been awarded an ERASMUS fee waiver) then you will not receive the Placement Bursary.

If you are undertaking an unpaid placement or a placement overseas then you can also receive an additional £500 Placement Allowance. This is also not based on your family’s income and all eligible students can receive the full £500. If you do not have to pay tuition fees to Aston for your placement year (for example if you have been awarded an ERASMUS fee waiver) then you will not receive the Placement Bursary.  In order to qualify for the £500 placement allowance you must complete a full year's uinpaid placement or a full year's placement overseas.

The Placement Allowance and Placement Bursary are paid automatically to you through Student Finance England and Student Finance Services, so you need to make an application for 2012/13 to Student Finance England (home students) or Student Finances Services (EU students). If you have never taken out a cost of living or tuition fee loan before, you will need to complete the application for new students.

If you do not have a record showing your correct bank details with Student Finance England or Student Finance Services for 2012/13, then you won’t receive the Allowance or Bursary. You do not have to apply for a tuition fee loan or other living costs funding if you do not want to do so.

Placement Allowances and Placement Bursaries are automatically awarded to students and you should expect to receive a notification letter around December 2012. The money is paid into your bank account in two 50% installments. The first will be paid towards the end of term two and the second will be paid towards the end of term three. 

If you have any problems with your Placement Allowance or Placement Bursary then please contact the Advice Zone in The Hub on 0121 204 4007 or by email at thehub@aston.ac.uk.


Living cost grants and loans during your placement year

If you are a home student, you may be able to receive living cost grants and loans through Student Finance England for your placement year. 

There are different types of student funding available for home students depending on what kind of placement you will be doing.

If you will be taking a paid placement in 2013/14 you can apply to Student Finance England for a reduced Maintenance Loan in addition to your placement salary.  This loan is not based on your family’s income and the amounts for 2013/14 are:

  • Living at home -  £1744
  • Living in London - £3263
  • Living elsewhere (UK or overseas) - £2324

Don’t forget that you may also be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary and of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

If you will be undertaking a Unpaid Placement in 2012/13 (which is not considered as Unpaid Service) then can apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. This loan is not based on your family’s income and the amounts for 2012/13 are:
  • Living at home - £1744
  • Living in London - £3263
  • Living elsewhere (UK or overseas) - £2324
  • Doing your placement at a University overseas, but not studying or doing research work (these types of placement fall into different categories) - £2780

Don’t forget that you may also be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

As a placement student, you are considered to be doing Unpaid Service if you are taking an unpaid placement in one of the following:

  • in a Hospital or Laboratory or with a primary care trust in the UK (or equivalent health authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
  • with a Local Authority or a voluntary organisation in the UK relating to the care of children and young persons health or welfare.
  • in a prison or aftercare service in the UK
  • unpaid research in an institution (ie: a University) in the UK or overseas

If you considered to be taking Unpaid Service in your placement year then you can apply to Student Finance England for the same types of student funding for your living costs as you would in the other years of your course. You can apply for a Maintenance Loan and the maximum amounts for 2013/14 (depending on your family’s income) are:

  • Living at home - £3838
  • Living in London - £6928
  • Living elsewhere in the UK - £4950
  • Based at an overseas institution - £5895

You can also apply for the Maintenance Grant of up to £2984 which is assessed on your family’s income. Don’t forget that any amount of Maintenance Grant you receive will be partly used to subsidise your student loan (it is not a simple as adding the Maintenance Grant and Loan amounts together!)

Don’t forget that you may also be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

If you are talking a placement in London, you may be eligible for a 30% discount on travel.

If you will be studying abroad for your placement year then you can apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. The maximum amount available for 20131/14 (depending on your family’s income) is £5,895.

You can also apply for the Maintenance Grant of up to £2,984 which is assessed against your family’s income. Don’t forget that any amount of Maintenance Grant you receive will be partly used to subsidise your student loan (it is not a simple as adding the Maintenance Grant and Loan amounts together!)

Don’t forget that you may also be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.  If you are taking a study placement in Europe you may qualify for Erasmus funding which will give you a tuition fee waiver.  If you recieve a tuition fee waiver you will not qualify for the placement bursary or allowance.

Aston University participates in the European Union’s Erasmus scheme which encourages students to undertake placements in other participating European countries.

Home/EU undergraduates who take part in this scheme for a full academic year are often eligible for an Erasmus fee waiver which means you will not have to pay any tuition fees to Aston University for your placement year. All participating students are also eligible for a mobility grant which can contribute towards the extra costs of living abroad.

The countries which will participate in the Erasmus programme 2012/13 are:

Austria | Belgium | Bulgaria | Cyprus | Czech Republic Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Iceland | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovak Republic | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Turkey Switzerland | Croatia

If you are not sure whether or not you qualify to apply for Erasmus funding then contact the Placements Office (internationalplacements@aston.ac.uk).

You have to apply to participate in the Erasmus scheme but the funding position is often not certain until just a month or so before you are due to start your placement. If you are not sure that you will be able to get an Erasmus tuition fee waiver then you might also like to apply for a tuition fee loan through Student Finance England or Student Finance Services.  However, if you are awarded a fee waiver then please remember to contact Student Finance England or Student Finance Services to cancel your tuition fee loan! 

If you are doing a placements through ERASMUS you can still apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. The maximum amount for 2013/14 (depending on your family’s income) is £5,895

You can also apply for the Maintenance Grant of up to £2,984 which is assessed on your family’s income. Don’t forget that any amount of Maintenance Grant you receive will be partly used to subsidise your student loan (it is not a simple as adding the Maintenance Grant and Loan amounts together!)

If you receive an ERASMUS fee waiver then you cannot receive the Placement Allowance or Placement Bursary.

If you will be taking a placement abroad, but outside the EU, you can apply to Student Finance England for a Maintenance Loan. The maximum amount available for 2013/14 is £2,324. This is not accessed against your family's income.

Don’t forget that you may also be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.


EU and International students

If you are an EU student, you can apply to Student Finance Services for a tuition fee loan to pay your fees in the same way as for the other years of your course. 

EU students may also be eligible to receive an Aston Placement Bursary of £1000 and an additional £500 Placement Allowance.

If you are taking a placement in the EU, you can also apply for support through the Erasmus scheme.

Both EU and International can apply to the Susan Cadbury Fund if you are facing unexpected financial hardship.


Paying tax and National Insurance on your placement salary


As a placement student you do have to pay tax on your income, but you may find that you do not earn enough money to pay this tax during your placement year. 

The earnings allowance (the amount you have to earn before you start paying tax) for Income Tax for all UK residents is £8,105 in the tax year 6th April 2013 to 5th April 2014. Any amount of money you earn over this will be taxed at a rate of 20%. As well as your placement salary, your earnings include interest from savings and all other employment (including part-time jobs you may have done before or after your placement).

The tax year in the UK always starts on 6th April, which means your placement will actually fall into two different tax years. At the end of the tax year, your placement employer should give you a P60 which will confirm what your earnings were for the tax year 2013/14 and how much tax you paid.  Once you finish your placement, your employer should give you a P45 which will confirm how much you have earned so far in the tax year 2013/14 and how much tax you will have paid.

Although you will often find that you placement employer calculates your tax correctly for the first part of your placement, many students end up paying too much tax during the second part of their placement. You can claim a tax overpayment back from HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs)by completing a form using information you will find on your P60 and P45. You can collect Tax reclaim forms from The Hub and one of our advisers can help you to complete the form if you wish. 

Placement students do pay National Insurance Contributions. The amount you pay will depend on how much money you will earn each week.

You only have to pay National Insurance in the tax year 2013/14 if you earn more than £149 in a week and you will have to pay 12% of any amount which exceeds this.


What if something goes wrong - is there any emergency funding available?

If you face unexpected financial hardship during your placement year, you can apply for assistance.

These are limited funds for students facing hardship and there is no guarantee you will receive an award. You should not plan to rely on these funds as a way to pay for your placement year studies. 

Access to Learning fund - home students
If you are a home student and you are facing unexpected financial hardship during your placement year then you can apply for assistance from the Access to Learning Fund.

You can only apply to this fund if you have enrolled as a student for that year and you have taken out all the student funding which is available to you through Student Finance England.

Susan Cadbury Fund - EU and International students
If you are an EU student or International student and you are facing unexpected financial hardship during your placement year then you could apply for assistance from the Susan Cadbury Fund.

You can only apply to this fund if you have enrolled as a student for that year and you will need to show that you had made adequate financial provision to fund the cost of your placement studies before you started the year.

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