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Who is Eligible?

Many serving prisoners can access student tuition-fee loans to enable them to cover the cost of undertaking degree-level Open University studies.  You have to be within six years of earliest release date to qualify if you are planning to study at undergraduate level, and four years if at post-graduate level.  If you have previously received a student loan, it may impact on your eligibility.

The Frank Awards are available to those who CANNOT get a student tuition-fee loan for their chosen OU course.

Among those eligible are:

(1) Those who have been refused a student loan;

(2) Those whose financial situation is such that they can present compelling evidence why they cannot, in any circumstances, take on the debt involved in a student loan;

(3)  Those who already have received a first degree and therefore used up their entitlement to a student loan, but who, as a result of their conviction, now need to retrain at the Open University to improve their employment prospects on release.

These are just examples of those who may be covered by this scheme.  If you are in any doubt as to whether you may be eligible, check with the prison education department, with the PET co-ordinator, with the Open University Distance Learning Co-ordinator, or write to

The Frank Awards,
The Foundry,
17 Oval Way,
London SE11 5RR.