Do you qualify for extra help?

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The Independent Online
MATURE students are entitled to a basic student grant for a first degree unless they have received one before for a similar course. The maximum grant is pounds 2,845 in London and pounds 2,265 outside.

For people aged 26 and over there is also the older student's allowance. The amount rises on a sliding scale from pounds 290 to a maximum of pounds 1,005 at age 29.

To qualify, students must have had an income of at least pounds 12,000 in total for the three years before they start their course.

Students maintaining a family at home while studying elsewhere may be eligible for the two homes allowance, at present pounds 610 a year.

There is a range of allowances for single parents and students with dependent spouses and children. Single parents and disabled students can apply for income support during their vacations.

A husband or wife can get pounds 1,750 for a dependent spouse. Parents are eligible for pounds 370 for each child under 11, rising to pounds 1,400 for children 18 and over.

Mature students up to 50 can apply for student loans, up to pounds 800 a year outside London and pounds 940 in the capital. In the final year the loan outside London is pounds 585 and in London pounds 685.

High street banks normally make their student bank accounts available to mature students as long as they are on full-time courses or receiving grants.

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