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Grants and Loans for College
Government Grants and Loans
16-19 Bursary Fund
The 16-19 Bursary Fund supports essential education related costs for the most financially vulnerable young people.
- Disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance who also receive the Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
- Young people in care
- Care leavers
- Young people on Income Support or Universal Credit
- Exceptional circumstances such as a young person providing care to a sick or disabled relative.
Bursaries are paid up to a maximum of £1,200.
Applications are made through your education provider who will establish eligibility. Institutions are also able to make discretionary awards.
24+ Advanced Learning Loans
The Advanced Learning Loans are available to help pay for Level 3/4 courses including A' levels, Access to Higher Education courses and some apprenticeships.
Loans are for a minimum of £300 and must be repaid once you finish your course and earn over £21,000 a year. Individuals who study for the Access to Higher Course who go onto higher education do not need to repay the loan.
Applications can be made on online or a form downloaded from the Gov.uk website.
Care to Learn
Care to Learn can help pay for childcare costs while you are learning if you are the main carer for your child.
Applicants must be under 20 years old at the start of a course held at an institution that has some public funding. This may include:
- School 6th form
- Sixth form colleges
- Your community at Children's centres
The childcare provider must be registered with Oftsed.
Care to Learn does not affect your own or your family's benefits. It is not available for individuals undertaking higher education courses.
To apply: call the Learner Support helpline for an application form and guidance notes on 0800 121 8989 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm)
Discretionary Learner Support
Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) is available to individuals aged 19 years and older who has been accepted to study at a learning provider funded by Skills Funding Agency (check with your college or sixth form).
The learning provider decides how much money is paid and whether it is given as a direct payment that doesn't have to be paid back, a loan which you have to pay back or a payment to someone else such as landlord.
The money can be used to pay for accommodation, travel, course materials and equipment. Applicants over 20 years may also get help with childcare expenses.
Applications for the support should be made directly to your college or learner provider. Each provider will have their own application process as they set their own eligibility criteria.
Professional and Career Development Loans
The Professional and Career Development Loans offered by the Government provide the opportunity to undertake training for your job or to improve your employment prospects.
You may be able to borrow between £300 to £10,000. These are usually offered at a reduced interest rate and the Government pays the interest while you are studying.
To apply you must be over 18 years and have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before starting your course.
Courses must only last up to a maximum of 2 years (3 years if one year work experience). First degree courses are not eligible.
A Professional and Career Development Loan may affect benefit entitlement so do check your own individual situation.
To order an application pack contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.
Educational Trusts and Bursaries
City and Guilds Bursaries
City and Guilds offer a small number of bursaries each year to individuals who would like to study for City and Guilds qualifications.
The bursaries may be used for a wide range of reasons including:
- Course/exam fees
- Living costs if you are unable to work while undertaking the course
- Childcare and travel expenses
- Other costs that may make it difficult for you to do the course.
To apply you need to complete an online application form - help may be given with the completion as success will be judged on the answers not the literacy.
You will need to provide details of your monthly income and the reason why you need financial support to undertake the course.
Crisis - Changing Lives
Crisis Changing Lives grants are for Crisis Skylight members who need support with education, employment and training goals.
- You must to be working on a one to one basis with a coach at a Skylight Crisis Centre
- Be 18 years and over
- Have experienced homelessness in the last 3 years
- Have the right to live and work in the UK
- Be free from substance abuse and alcohol for the last 6 months
- Be unemployed or underemployed
Crisis offers 3 types of grants each up to £2,500:
- Education Grant - funding for course fees and/or tools/equipment/materials for the course.
- Self Employment Grant -funding for tools/equipment or practical costs of starting up a small business or to become unemployed.
- Intro Employment Grant - funding for tools/equipment or materials needed for a particular job.
Applicants who make good progress may be able to apply for a second grant of £2,500 after a gap of one to three years.
The money awarded does not have to be paid back.
Applications can be made throughout the year. Further information can be obtained from the Crisis Changing Lives team is available through Crisis Skylight on 0300 636 1967, or email email@example.com
Helena Kennedy Foundation
The Foundation is an independent charity that works against social injustice by providing finanacial bursaries, mentoring and support to help disadvantaged students.
It provides bursaries to students in the adult and further education sector facing severe financial hardship that may prevent their progress to a degree course in higher education.
The charity helps a wide range of students with varying barriers to learning including those with a history of severe health problems, physical disabilities, emotional difficulties and acquired conditions.
Applications must be made by the student’s FE or Sixth Form College or Adult Education Centre. A college may only nominate 5 students a year.
The maximum bursary is £1,500.
Thomas Wall Trust
The Thomas Wall Trust provides small grants to assist individuals (over 16 years) with the cost of training courses to improve their chance of employment.
The assistance is offered to help them overcome barriers to work and study.
The grants do not exceed £1,000.
To apply: set up an account and register with the charity to request an application form. Details of parental income will be required for young people under 25 years.
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