Eligibility for PLA
To be eligible for PLA, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a full-time undergraduate student
- Have dependent children under the age of 17, or under the age of 20 if they are in full-time education
- Be studying at a UK university or college
- If you are a part-time student, you may still be eligible for PLA, but the amount you can receive will be pro-rata based on your course intensity.
How much can you receive?
The amount of PLA you can receive depends on your individual circumstances. In the academic year 2021/22, the maximum amount of PLA available is £1,821. However, this amount may be reduced if you are receiving other means-tested benefits or if you have a high household income.
How to apply for PLA
To apply for PLA, you will need to fill out an online application form through the Student Finance England website. You will need to provide information about your course, your household income, and details of your dependents. You will also need to provide evidence of your child's birth certificate or adoption papers, as well as evidence of your childcare costs.
Once your application has been processed, you will receive a letter from Student Finance England confirming whether or not you are eligible for PLA. If you are eligible, the letter will also detail how much you will receive and when you can expect to receive your first payment.
PLA can be used to cover a range of additional costs associated with studying, including:
- Childcare costs: This can include registered childcare providers such as nurseries, childminders and after-school clubs.
- Travel expenses: This can include the cost of public transport or fuel costs if you are driving to and from university.
- Study materials: This can include books, equipment and stationery.
- Other costs: This can include costs associated with disability or medical needs.
It's important to note that PLA is paid directly to the student and not to any third-party providers. Therefore, it's up to the student to manage the funds appropriately and ensure that they are being used for their intended purpose.
In conclusion, Parent Learning Allowance is a valuable form of financial support provided by Student Finance England to eligible student parents. If you think you may be eligible for PLA, it's worth applying to see if you can receive this additional support to help you cover the costs of studying.