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CELTA Funding Options

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No SPAM. Just helpful advice for new teachers.

Many people ask if it’s possible to obtain some financial help towards the cost towards their CELTA course.

It’s important to first be realistic with your expectations – obtaining funding for your CELTA course can be difficult as it’s classed as a private qualification for adults. You won’t find the CELTA offered in colleges or universities, so you are usually expected to pay for it with your own money.

However, CELTA grants and sponsorships do exist, so why not apply if you are eligible?

CELTA trainees come from all over the world – some undertake the course in their home country while others travel abroad to find a good school or CELTA centre. With this in mind, the aim of this guide is to outline the general options available for funding your CELTA course.

In addition, I’ve also gone into more detail about CELTA funding available in the UK (mainly to UK residents) as this is where my personal experience lies. I recommend that you read these UK-specific sections – even if you’re not British – as you may be able to find equivalent funding schemes in your home country.

Government CELTA Funding

Many governments offer schemes to encourage further education, attract teachers, or just to help people find work in general.

Advanced Learner Loan Scheme... This is New!

Advanced Learner Loan Scheme for CELTACambridge English have recently announced that you can now apply for CELTA funding under the government’s Advanced Learner Loan scheme.

If you are eligible, you can apply for funding of up to £1,417 to help cover the cost your your CELTA. Loans do not have to be repaid until the course has been completed and you are earning over a certain amount.

Read more about the CELTA Learner Loan Scheme here

Job Centre

Your local Job Centre (or your country equivalent) may be a good place to make enquiries. If you meet their eligibility criteria, they may be able to offer a full or partial grant for your CELTA course to help you get into work.

Yes, you will probably have to fill in a lot of forms and attend eligibility interviews, but it can be worthwhile even if they agree to only pay for some of the cost.

Government Teacher Schemes

Most governments are keen to attract new teachers as part of their commitment to the education sector, and there may be new teacher schemes already in place with supporting budgets for grants. However, locating and contacting these government schemes can be a bit trickier!

They may – or may not! – be featured on their own website, or a sub-section of a website, or even a page of a website. In fact, governments often run so many different schemes across multiple sectors that they can sometimes forget to remind the public about them.

If you don’t find anything obvious on their official website, then your best approach is to contact someone in the education sector. They might be busy and uninterested so, if they can’t help you, ask who else you should contact.

TEFL School CELTA Sponsorship

I haven’t heard of schools sponsoring trainees for the CELTA course, but I suppose it could be possible if you have a commitment to work there after your training.

It’s more popular to see schools offering sponsorships to their existing teachers for the Young Learners extension (YL) or the DELTA for senior teachers.

Personally, I wouldn’t waste much time on this funding option, unless you already have a strong relationship with a school.

Non-Government Organisations

Some countries have non-government organisations and charities that focus on promoting education, teaching or language. Many of these work very closely with governments, such as the British Council in the United Kingdom, and may be allocated with government funds to share.

British Council – English Teaching Graduate Scheme

No Longer Available

I’ve been informed that British Council no longer offer this scheme. This section is included only to update people on this change.

Available To: “Unemployed UK graduates who are keen to pursue a career in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.”

The British Council will help to fund successful applicants who want to study an intensive or part time Cambridge CELTA course at a UK CELTA centre. Successful applicants will receive a British Council training grant of 50% of the course fee of a Cambridge CELTA.

The great thing about this scheme is that British Council will also provide a day of additional training to offer guidance about starting a career as an English teacher overseas or in the UK.

The next date for the English Teaching Graduate Scheme (ETGS) will most likely be in March 2015, this will depend on whether the scheme still has funding at that time. Should you wish to apply for this scheme and the round goes ahead then it will open for applications approximately 6 weeks beforehand.

Visit the British Council website to read more about the English Teaching Graduate Scheme

Career Development Loans (CDLs)

When a financial grant just isn’t available, or you are not eligible, your government may offer a different scheme for reduced-rate career loans.

The UK, for example, has a scheme called Career Development Loans (or CDLs for short.) These are financial loans supported by certain banks to pay for courses and career training, or help get you into work. The important part is that the CDLs are offered at a reduced interest rate and the government pays the interest while you’re studying.

Important: This is not a standard commercial bank loan. I don’t advise anyone to go into serious debt to fund their CELTA course.

Most UK CDLs offer between £300 and £10,000.

CDL Eligibility

To qualify for a Career Development Loan, you need to:

  • be 18 or over
  • have been living in the UK for at least 3 years before your course starts
  • plan to work in the UK, European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) after the course

Does the CELTA Course Qualify for a CDL?

Courses that qualify for a Career Development Loan must:

  • last only up to 2 years (or 3 years if they include 1 year of work experience)
  • be provided by an organisation on the Professional Career and Development Loan Register
  • help with your career – they don’t have to lead to a qualification

How to Apply for a CDL

  1. Find out which banks offer the loan and order an application pack by calling the UK National Careers Service on 0800 100 900
  2. Fill in the CDL application form and send it to the bank
  3. The bank will decide if you qualify for a loan
  4. You take out the loan with the bank and agree to their repayment conditions

I recommend that you apply 3 months before your CELTA course starts to give the bank time to process your application.

I’m not endorsing them as a CDL provider, but Barclay’s Bank has more information about CDLs on their website.

Remember! A CDL is still a loan, and you will be responsible for paying back the money, even if you don’t complete your CELTA course.