The approaching half term holiday signifies the first landmark in many academic calendars. As university students settle into life it’s easy to think that many are school leavers having studied A Levels or BTECS. Many are, but there are increasing numbers of students joining these teenagers having financed their Access to Higher Education Diploma, Level 3 or Level 4 courses with a 24+ loan.

Course fees can be covered by 24+ loans (for eligible people) which means there are no upfront costs and the loans only have to be paid back once earning over £21,000 per year.  Better still if an Access to Higher Education student then nothing has to be paid back if the student goes on to Higher Education and completes a degree.

Food Science undergraduate Andrea Hawkesby attributes the 24+ loan to her securing a place at Bath Spa University. Having left school at 17 to pursue a career in office work and catering, the death of her father proved the catalyst in realising her dream of taking a degree. The horse meat scandal and an intrigued in food testing led Andrea to Andover College to study the Science pathway of the Access to Higher Education Diploma. She said: “I always wanted to do a degree but career, family life and other distractions just seemed to get in the way. The 24+ loan definitely made it possible for me to finance the Access course which in turn made it possible to go to University. My interest is in food science so I am studying BSc (Hons) Food with Nutrition which will ultimately lead me to a career in Environmental Health.”

24+ loans are open to anyone over the age of 24 whether unemployed, employed, already in training, or in further education. They are proving ideal for those people who left school without the qualifications of the desire to go to University. Parents returning to education to re-train, people leaving military service, or those inspired to take a different direction in life can all benefit from a 24+ loan (subject to eligibility).

Those interested in finding out more about 24+ loans, Access to Higher Education Diploma, Level 3 and Level 4 courses should come along to the College’s next Open Evening on Wednesday 19 November 2014, 6.00pm to 8.30pm.

There is also further information available of the website at or by calling 01264 360000.