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Who is Eligible?

Changed funding arrangements introduced in 2012 meant that many serving prisoners could for the first time access student tuition-fee loans to enable them to undertake degree-level Open University studies.  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 prisoners unable to continue existing OU studies because of the ending of transitional arrangements put in place by the OU when the funding arrangements changed in 2012, and therefore prevented from finishing their degree;

(4)  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 new 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 or with the Open University Distance Learning Co-ordinator, or write to

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