26 March 2004 S2004/022 1 of 4 pages TO: Principals Principals’ Nominees ATTENTION: Principal’s Nominee Teacher in Charge of Collection of Fees for National Qualifications Financial assistance - 2004 Financial assistance is available in 2004 to secondary school candidates entering standards on the National Qualifications Framework and New Zealand Scholarship. Please refer to circular S2003/115 for the 2004 fees schedule. The purpose of financial assistance is to ensure that the level of fees should not be a barrier to participation in qualifications for students in low to middle income families. To be eligible for financial assistance the applicant (normally the parent or guardian of the candidate) must meet at least one of the following criteria: Be receiving a Work and Income or Study Link benefit. Applications under this category are referred to as benefit-based applications. Have a joint family gross income below the threshold for receipt of the Community Services Card. Applications under this category are referred to as income-based applications. Have more than one child in the family1 undertaking these qualifications in the same year, irrespective of income. Applications under this category are referred to as family-based applications. Applicants cannot claim financial assistance for foreign fee-paying students. 1 A family means caregiver(s) and children living together. A family of two could be one parent/caregiver living with one child and a family of three could be one parent/caregiver with two children or a couple with one child. 26 March 2004 S2004/022 2 of 4 pages Fees for those eligible for financial assistance 2004 Eligible for beneficiary or Not eligible for income-based assistance beneficiary or income based assistance (family based assistance) One child entering $20.00 Full fees qualifications Two or more children A maximum of $30.00 per $100.00 per child with a entering qualifications family maximum of $200.00 per family Change to administration fee for 2004 In 2003 applicants approved under either the Benefit or Income categories paid an administration fee of $35.00 per candidate for entry into NQF qualifications. In 2004 this has been changed to $20.00 per candidate with a maximum of $30.00 for a family. There is no change to the $100 per child and $200 maximum fee for families with more than one child entering qualifications who are not eligible for beneficiary or income-based assistance. Change of process for 2004 In 2003 assistance for families with more than one child, not otherwise eligible for financial assistance, was introduced too late in the year for inclusion in schools‟ software. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority provided a website for schools to enter these family-based applications. Since then NZQA has consulted with a range of schools and all school software providers, and it has been agreed that while there is no clear „best practice‟ it is most sensible for software providers to include functionality in the schools‟ own Student Management Systems (SMS) to allow schools to enter applications. Most software providers are currently updating their products to allow for this change and will be contacting you shortly to indicate when this functionality will be available. As a result of schools entering applications into their own SMS, where an application covers candidates at different schools, it will be necessary for the first school in the chain to send a copy of the application to the next school on the application. 26 March 2004 S2004/022 3 of 4 pages Example The process for 2004 is explained in the following example of a more complex application from a family with two students attending different schools: A parent of the students will complete a single application form covering their two children and send it to one of the schools they have listed on the form. This school will enter the application details onto their system including the number of candidates covered by the application (two) and a unique application ID. Your software provider will be able to advise you on how you will allocate this unique number. The school should ensure the application form displays the unique application ID; this may involve writing the number onto the form in the space provided. The first school should then ensure the second school obtains the application by either faxing them a copy or sending them a copy, possibly via the candidate, but must retain the original application form. The second school will add the application details to their system for their candidate using the same application ID; NZQA will use this number to associate the two candidates. File based schools – staying on the 2003 format If your software provider does not have the changes available to you in time for you to submit financial assistance applications to NZQA you will need to enter all of your applications via your school website. NZQA will be providing this web page at the beginning of June and you will be able to access it via the candidate details screen. You will need to contact your School Relationship Manager to obtain access to this page. If you implement the new version of your software after you have entered applications via the website you will need to re-enter these applications into your SMS otherwise they will be deleted by your next file submission. File-based schools – implementing the 2004 format Most schools will be in a position to implement the new functions currently being developed by software providers in time to submit applications for financial assistance. The file created from the new version of your software (referred to as type E11) has all of the necessary fields for submitting financial assistance applications; there is nothing more for you to do. 26 March 2004 S2004/022 4 of 4 pages Schools submitting web entries NZQA is providing “web schools” with a separate website to enter their candidates and entries. This site will also provide the functionality to add applications for financial assistance. Full instructions will be issued to you. Paper-based schools If you are submitting entries to NZQA on the paper entry forms you will need to send your applications for financial assistance to NZQA for processing. NZQA reserves the right to ask applicants to provide evidence in support of their application. However, there is no requirement for schools to sight this evidence when processing the application. NZQA may ask schools to provide copies of processed application forms from time to time. Timeframes NZQA has advised schools in the key dates circular that 31 August is the close off for financial assistance. This date was chosen to provide several weeks to resolve any outstanding issues with applications prior to payment being due from schools at the end of term 3. On this basis NZQA has indicated on the information sheet attached to the application form that the final date for sending applications to schools is 31 July. You may want to set a different close off date for your candidates. Application form The application form and information sheet are provided with this circular and will also be available on the NZQA website. If you are providing application forms to candidates please attach the information sheet as well. Enquiries Circulars are available from the Qualifications Authority‟s website (www.nzqa.govt.nz/publications/circulars). Please refer any enquiries relating to the contents of this circular to your: School Relationship Manager Schools Liaison Monitoring and Reporting Secondary Education Group Telephone: 04 802 3000 Fax: 04 802 3113 Email: email@example.com APPLICATION FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE (2004) for National Secondary School Qualifications Application number – Office use only Section A: APPLICANT DETAILS (Parent or Caregiver) Name First Name Surname Address Section B: CANDIDATE DETAILS Complete this section for all members of your family 2 for whom you are applying for financial assistance. Financial assistance is not available for foreign fee paying students. First Name Surname School Date of Birth NSN Complete only one of the following sections, sign the declaration and send to the first school listed above: Section C: BENEFICIARY-BASED APPLICATION Complete this section if you are applying for financial assistance on the basis that you receive a Work and Income or Study Link benefit as your main source of income. Note that an administration fee of $20.00 per candidate or $30.00 per family is still payable. Write your benefit number here Section D: INCOME-BASED APPLICATION Complete this section if you are not receiving a benefit but you are applying for financial assistance on the basis that your joint family income is below the levels set for receiving the Community Services Card. Note that an administration fee of $20.00 per candidate or $30.00 per family is still payable. If your joint family income would qualify you to receive a card then indicate here () If applicable write your Community Services Card number here Section E: FAMILY-BASED APPLICATION Complete this section if you do not qualify for beneficiary or income-based financial assistance but you are applying on the basis that you have more than one candidate in your family1 entering in senior secondary school qualifications. Indicate here if you wish to apply for a family based remission () DECLARATION: I declare that the information provided above is correct and that I am eligible to apply for financial assistance. I further agree to provide NZQA evidence of my income if requested and agree to advise NZQA in writing of any change in circumstance that would render this application invalid. Signed Date 2 Refer to the information sheet for the definition of a “family” for the purposes of claiming financial assistance. NZQA Information Sheet Financial Assistance for National Secondary School Qualifications Who can apply for financial assistance? Financial assistance is available to assist with the payment of entry fees to National Secondary Schools Qualifications. To be eligible to apply you must be the fee payer and meet at least one of the following criteria: Be receiving a Work and Income or Study Link benefit. Have a joint family income below the threshold for receipt of a Community Services Card. Have more than one child in the family undertaking these qualifications in the same year, irrespective of income. You cannot claim financial assistance for foreign fee-paying students. How do I apply for financial assistance? Complete one application form for all students you are seeking financial assistance for. Forms are available from schools or from the NZQA website www.nzqa.govt.nz from the “For Learners” section. Send the completed form to the school that you have listed on the form. If your application covers more than one student, send the form to the school of the first student you have listed. That school will process your application and if you have students attending different schools they will send it on to those schools for you. Which sections do I complete on the form? You must complete section A and B giving full details of both you and the students you are seeking financial assistance for. It is important to write the student‟s National Student Number (NSN) in the space provided and to sign the declaration at the bottom of the form. Complete only one of sections C, D or E depending on your circumstance as follows: Section C – Complete this section if you are receiving a Work and Income or Study Link benefit. Enter your benefit number in the space provided. “Family” is defined as parents (or legal guardians) and children living together. A family of 2 could be 1 parent with 1 child, and a family of 3 could be 1 parent and 2 children - or a couple with 1 child Section D – Complete this section if you are not receiving a benefit but you have a joint family income that is less than the amount for receiving a Community Services Card. Indicate in the space provided that you are eligible to receive financial assistance or enter your Community Services Card number. You must sign the declaration at the bottom of the form and be prepared to provide evidence of your income to support your application. Section E – Complete this section if you do not qualify in the above categories but have more than one child studying for National Secondary School Qualifications. What if I don’t know the National Student Number (NSN)? All secondary students entered in national qualifications will receive a letter from their school at the beginning of June giving them their NSN. This number must be written in the space provided on the application form. If students have entered for qualifications in the past their NSN will be on their Results Notice, Record of Learning or certificates issued by NZQA. What are the income thresholds for a Community Services Card? Family size Income limits (before tax) From 1 April 2004 2 person family $31,225 3 person family $36,371 4 person family $41,517 5 person family $46,665 6 person family $51,813 For each extra person, income limits increase by $4,840 If you are married, or in a relationship like marriage, you should assess your income based on the combined gross income of you and your spouse. When are applications due? Your completed application must be sent to the first school listed on your application form by 31 July 2004. “Family” is defined as parents (or legal guardians) and children living together. A family of 2 could be 1 parent with 1 child, and a family of 3 could be 1 parent and 2 children - or a couple with 1 child. When will I know if my application has been approved? Your school is responsible for approving your application. You can assume it has been approved unless your school advises you otherwise. How much will I need to pay? Eligible for beneficiary or Not eligible for income-based assistance beneficiary or income based assistance One child entering $20.00 Full fees qualifications Two or more children A maximum of $30.00 per $100.00 per child with a entering qualifications family maximum of $200.00 per family Need more information? If you need more information on how to apply for financial assistance please contact your school.