There is a wide range of financial support packages available to students to help reduce some of the costs associated with study. Prior to starting your course you will need to consider how you will afford some of the following costs: tuition fees, examination/registration fees, travel costs, equipment/materials, uniform/specialist kit and childcare costs if you have a young child/children.
There is a Learner Support Fund available to those students who are in receipt of means tested benefits or a low household income (up to £16,190 for transport costs or up to £25,000 for course additional costs) and experiencing financial difficulties – set criteria apply. It’s means tested, cash limited and allocated on a first come first served basis.
If you are a UK resident, full-time courses are free if you are under 19 years of age on 31 August in the year which you start your course. There may be some costs for equipment, uniforms and travel costs to work placements and residential trips or visits.
If you are aged 19 or over on 31st August in the year in which you start your course, you may be required to pay tuition fees for each year of your course unless you qualify for exemption. If you are wanting to study at Levels 3 – 6 within further education, you may be eligible for an Advanced Learning Loan (to cover course fees only).
Advanced Learner Loan
If you are age 19 and above and studying a level 3 to level 6 qualification, you may qualify for help toward fees through the Advanced Learner Loan. It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there is no credit check. You don’t pay anything up front for your course fees and if you are not earning over £25,000, you don’t pay anything back.
If your loan is for an Access to HE programme and you progress and complete HE study, you will not have to pay back your FE loan. For more information visit www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans/overview.
If you are under 20 and caring for your own child or children then the Care to Learn scheme can help you with your childcare fees whilst you study. For further information or to apply online go to the Care to Learn website https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn
For full-time students aged 16-18 of the current academic year, a bursary worth up to £1,200 may be available. To be eligible, students themselves must be either in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit as well as having a utility bill or tenancy agreement in their name. Or be in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments or DLA. You may also be eligible if you are a local authority care leaver, or be in local authority care.
Free College Meals
If you are 16-18 years of age on 31st August in the year in which you are studying, you may be entitled to receive a free meal for the timetabled days of your course. To be eligible you must meet a set criteria as set within the learner support fund.
Peterborough Education Trust
The Peterborough Education Trust (PET) awards scholarships of up to £5,000, on a pre-defined selection criteria, to applicants who have shown they have exceptional skills and the potential to make a significant contribution in their chosen field of study. Scholarships can be used for any expenses associated with their study. For further information visit the Student Recruitment Team in the Information Centre.