In England you can leave school on the last Friday in June if you’ll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays, but you must continue with some form of education until 18, be that college, apprenticeship, traineeship or volunteering/ work with part time education.
But just because you can, it doesn’t mean you have to or should stop your education at 18. There is no maximum age to education! In the UK there are a huge variety of ways to fund university or further education. Many universities offer bursaries to students in low income families, where your fees are fully paid for and don’t need to be paid back. In addition to this, scholarships are often offered to students who are exceptional in their subject. Grants are available for all sorts of things. Varying from the course you’re studying, to the university you’re at, where you are from or what you are planning on doing when you graduate – you just have to go and find them!
Something most people will have heard about is student loans to pay for your fees and maintenance loans for your living costs. These loans are given upfront and get repaid according to your annual salary after graduating. You repay your loan after finishing study and only when your income is over the threshold value so don’t worry! You don’t have to start paying it back if you’re earnings are lower or you aren’t earning at all.
Whilst many apprenticeships are designed for those who’ve just completed GCSEs, there are also courses that give you the equivalent of a foundation, bachelors or masters degree, all whilst earning a salary. Sounds good right?!
Check out https://www.ucas.com/ > it covers everything you could possibly need to know about further education inc finance, courses, applying etc and has brilliant resources you can use to find things you’re interested, courses your passionate about and exciting career ideas.