Studying and Universal Credit
Single parents can receive universal credit while studying if they live in a full service area.
If you are a single parent and would like to study full-time further education, an NQ or SVQ for example, you may receive a maintenance bursary from the college as well as universal credit.
If you want to study full-time higher education, like an HND or degree, you will receive universal credit, a loan and a lone parent grant from the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS).
Single parent students receiving the further education maintenance bursary or the loan and lone parent grant from SAAS will not be expected to do the work related activity outlined in their claimant commitment for universal credit.
The student funding will affect the amount of universal credit you get.
Most Scottish students will also have their course fees paid. This does not affect universal credit.
A loan, grant or bursary is not available if you study part-time. You can apply for universal credit but will have to complete the tasks in your claimant commitment in order to receive it. The same applies if you study full time but are not receiving a bursary, loan or grant.
Mary is a single parent. She is going to do a degree in social sciences. She is getting universal credit at the moment and has to apply for and accept job offers, as part of her claimant commitment, in order to remain entitled to it.
When Mary starts her degree she will receive a loan and grant, as well as universal credit, so will no longer have to look for work.
Joel is a single parent with a seven year old son. He wants to do a course in music but there is no funding. Joel can claim universal credit but, because of the age of his son and not getting student funding, he would still have to look for work and accept job offers while studying.
Joel needs to consider carefully if he can study and look for work at the same time. If he does not complete the tasks in his claimant commitment he will be sanctioned and his universal credit will stop.
For more information on universal credit and support if you are, or want to study see the Universal Credit, Funding for Higher Education and Further Education and Training factsheets or call the lone parent helpline on 0808 801 0323.