PARENTS’ LEARNING ALLOWANCE: This guide explains how those who are eligible can apply for the Parents’ Learning Allowance.
Most students welcome a little extra financial help while they study. The Parent Learning Allowance benefits and supports those with one or more children.
The Parents’ Learning Allowance funding helps cover the cost of course-related learning materials. The extra money goes towards the cost of course books and some travel expenses.
In most cases you can get the funding on top of any standard student finance that you are receiving. PLA does not have to be repaid and you probably qualify even if you are not eligible for the Childcare Grant.
Not all students can get the Parents’ Learning Allowance. The additional finance is for those enrolled in their first full-time higher education course. As a rule, your household income determines whether you qualify and how much PLA you get.
Note: Claiming Parents’ Living Allowance grant does not affect your entitlement to benefits or your tax credit.
Parents’ Learning Allowance Amount
PLA relates to the income of your spouse or civil partner and how many children you have. In the academic year of 2022 to 2023, full time students could get Parent Learning Allowance funding from £50 to £1,863.
The allowance gets paid direct to your building society or bank account. The government make three separate instalments at the beginning of each academic term.
Note: The payments are on top of any other student financial support that you get.
In general, the money does not need repaying. An exception could be if you leave your course or overestimate your financial commitments. You may also need to pay it back if a change in your circumstances results in a PLA overpayment.
Any grant overpayments made during your studies will get deducted from your future instalments. But, you will need to repay an overpayment after your studies if you leave the course.
Parent Learning Allowance Eligibility Criteria
PLA eligibility does not require you to be paying childcare for qualification. You may qualify if you are a student with dependent children and from England taking either:
- A full-time undergraduate course.
- An Initial Teacher Training (ITT) course.
Providing Evidence of Your Child Dependents
You may need to provide some evidence of your child dependents if you apply for the Parents’ Learning Allowance. Sending in any of the following should meet the requirements:
- The original birth certificate for each child.
- The original certificate of Naturalization for each child.
- Home Office documentation confirming the names and dates of birth of your children.
Recent Tax Credits or your Universal Credit Award Notice prove you have dependent children. The documents name all your children. You can also send pages of your most recent Child Benefit letter.
Parent Learning Allowance Application Form: How to Apply
Applying for the Parents’ Learning Allowance form is best done at the same time as student finance application. You will receive a letter informing you how much you can get after you apply.
You will need to fill in a Confirmation of Income form when the academic year has finished. This ensures that you have received the correct amount of funding.