How to Pay and When
Please note we reserve the right to change fees and to cancel courses in response to funding changes and student numbers. We regret that if a course does not reach its minimum number we will close the course but we will refund your fees.
The Government provides the College with funding towards the cost of providing education. Certain learners have their learning covered in full by the funding and have nothing further to pay. For most learners, the Government funding covers a portion of the cost of the education and learners are expected to pay the balance of the cost themselves. Learners aged 19 or over studying eligible Level 3 courses or Studio courses do not qualify for Government funding but may be eligible for a Government backed loan through the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of their course.
To identify which group you fall into and what concessions and further financial support may be available to you, please read the following sections carefully.
There are no course fees on any of the College’s English or Maths courses.
There are usually no course fees if you are aged under 19 on 31 August 2016.
There are no course fees if you are over 18 on 31 August 2016 AND
- You do not already hold a full Level 2 or higher qualification AND
- You are now enrolling on your first Foundation Level 1 qualification OR first full Level 2 qualification OR first full Level 3 qualification.
If you are not sure about the meaning of any of these terms or the level of the qualifications you already hold, please speak to a member of our Learner Services Team.
For most courses, there are no course fees if you are currently receiving a Work RelatedActivity Group (WRAG) benefit. That is:
- You are currently an unemployed learner (studying less than 16 hours per week) and receiving contribution based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) OR
- You are currently unemployed and receiving income based Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) OR
- You are currently employed and receiving Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
For most courses, there are no course fees if you are currently unemployed and receiving certain income based benefits and can sign a declaration that you need skills training to enter employment. That is:
- You are receiving Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit or Universal Credit OR
- You are the partner of someone receiving Working Tax Credit OR
- You are, or your partner is, receiving Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit only) OR
- You are an unwaged dependant (using Job Centre Plus definition) of someone in the previous six bullet points above OR
- You are an asylum seeker receiving income based benefit/assistance, or their dependant.
Please note that Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Child Tax Credit or Care Allowance do not give entitlement to zero course fees in this section.
If you qualify for no course fees under any of the methods above, this means that there will be no compulsory charges and you will be able to complete your course and obtain your qualification without paying anything. However, you may have to pay fees for optional additional activities available as part of your course or in the College. You may be eligible for help with costs to travel to College for your course and a contribution towards the cost ofchildcare you incur as a result of attending your course. Please ask a member of the Learner Services team for information about how you can obtain this support. You will also needto demonstrate your commitment to studying and to completing your course. You will stillbe liable for and must pay any fines or other penalty charges imposed under the College Regulations.
To claim no course fees, you will need to enrol in person at the College and produce supporting evidence of your entitlement.
Evidence required to support entitlement to a zero course fee
Current acceptable evidence of entitlement to zero fees must be produced at the time you enrol. It is your responsibility to inform us if your financial circumstances subsequently change. Examples of acceptable evidence are:
For Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) benefits (JSA or ESA):
- A document showing you still receive JSA or ESA dated within the last 3 months.
- A standard letter which the College can produce regarding JSA or ESA, once it has been stamped by your Benefit/JCP office.
For Unemployed and receiving benefits:
- A document showing you still receive income support.
- A Job Centre Plus/DWP letter with income support details, dated within the last 3 months.
- An older Job Centre Plus/DWP letter plus recent full bank statement showing benefit amounts.
- A housing or Council Tax Benefit letter for the current year from your council.
Course fees and Discounts
If you do not qualify for the no course fee concession, but are eligible for some funding from the Government, then you will need to pay the course fee quoted alongside the course in the course guide or online as your contribution to the cost of the course.
All course fees must be paid at the time of enrolment to secure your place on the course, or you must agree to pay in instalments by direct debit. You may be eligible for financial support; please ask a member of the Learner Services Team for further information.
Payment by Instalments
If your course fees are over £300, you may spread your payments over 6 months. There is no interest or arrangement fee but payment must be by direct debit from a UK bank account. If you fail to meet a direct debit payment when it falls due and is claimed by the College, then the full outstanding balance of your fees will fall due for immediate payment. Non-payment of this balance may result in your exclusion from the course and the College.
Freedom Pass Discount
The College offers a 20% discount on most day time courses to learners who have a freedom pass. The reduced fee is shown on our course listings where it applies.
Additional Course Activities
For the vast majority of courses, the course fee quoted is all that you will have to pay. Where courses include excursions or trips, then these will incur additional fees which will be charged at cost. Where this is likely to apply it is included in the course description in the course guide or online.
The course fees cover the tools you require for the course, exam entry fees and the basic or initial materials you need. For courses with particularly high materials costs or where you wish to undertake an abnormally large project within the course, the further materials you require will be supplied by the College at additional cost to you or you may be asked to source them yourself from an outside supplier. For courses where this is applicable, it is explained in the course description in the Course Guide or online. If you are in any doubt, please contact our Learner Services team for further detail and clarification.
Financial Support for Learners
WMC is committed to supporting learners facing financial difficulty in their journey to gain skills. WMC is granted funding by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the funding is made available to eligible learners studying eligible programmes. Please ask a member of the Learner Services Team for further information.
The College is only able to use the Government funding it receives for learners who have been resident in the UK or elsewhere in the European Economic Area (EEA) for the last 3 years and must be able to demonstrate that none if it has been used to subsidise overseas learners. If you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) you will be charged fees equivalent to £12 per hour of study plus any other applicable fees. Fees must be paid in pounds sterling and be paid in full before the start of your course. No concessions are available.
The College will endeavour to deliver all the courses advertised in the course guide and to avoid cancellations. However, if the College does find it necessary to cancel or close a course for any reason, then all fees paid by learners on that course will be refunded in full.
If you choose to withdraw from a course on which you have enrolled, two weeks or more before the date of the first scheduled class, then any fees paid by you will be refunded, subject to deduction of a £15 administration fee.
If you choose to withdraw from a course on which you have enrolled less than two weeks before the date of the first scheduled class, then you will be able to claim a refund of 50% of the fees paid or due for the course, subject to a deduction of a £15 administration fee.
If you choose to withdraw from a course on or after the date of the first class then no refund will be made under any circumstances and you will also remain liable for all fees assessed but not yet paid. It is a condition of your enrolment that you agree to this refunds policy and your signature on your learning agreement is evidence of such agreement.
If the College agrees to you transferring from one course to another course, then the fees paid on your first course will be transferred to your new course. If the new course has higher fees then the balance must be paid in full, or a new instalment plan agreed if applicable, before your transfer can be completed. If the new course has lower fees, then no refund will be made.
Collection of unpaid fees
The College reserves the right to refer unpaid fees to a debt collection service for follow up and/or to record the non-payment with credit reference agencies. The College or the debt collection service may also pursue unpaid fees through the courts.