Money matters

Money to learn for 16 - 19 year olds

16-19 bursary fund

If you’re aged between 16 and 19 years and think you might struggle with the costs for full-time further education or training you may be eligible for a bursary from a college.

Students most in need will be eligible to receive a bursary of £1,200 a year. This group includes:

  • people in care;
  • care leavers;
  • people claiming income support or universal credit;
  • disabled young people who receive Employment Support Allowance and either Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider.

To be eligible for the bursary, you must be:

  • Aged 16-18 on 31st August of the year study commences
  • Studying at school or college, or on an unpaid training course.

There are then two kinds of bursary available. The Vulnerable Student Bursary and the Discretionary Bursary. Find out more at gov.uk.

Vulnerable Student Bursaries

These are amounts of up to £1,200 if at least one of the following applies:

  • The student is in or has recently left local authority care
  • The student gets Income Support (or Universal Credit in place of Income Support) in their name
  • The student is disabled and gets both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (or Universal Credit in place of ESA), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in their name

If you meet this criteria, you may get the full amount of £1,200 if you have expenses and study full-time on a course of at least 30 weeks. Students usually get less, or no bursary, if their course is shorter, they study part time or they have few expenses.

You will need to provide evidence that you meet this criteria. The college will be able to advise you about what they need to see.

Discretionary Bursaries

The criteria for Discretionary Bursaries is set by the individual college. It is often awarded according to family income and may cover such expenses as bus passes, free meals, and kit or equipment costs. Payments are usually made in termly instalments and may be dependent on attendance to ensure that bursaries are only awarded to students actively engaging in their learning.

In some cases, additional money may be awarded to a student to support a particular activity or trip and each college will have different criteria for this funding. A student should not have to pay for a trip which is mandatory to the completion of their course.

Care to Learn – support for young parents

Care to Learn helps young parents, under the age of 20, with childcare costs whilst they study. Up to £160 per week can be provided to support childcare deposit and registration fees, travel costs, keeping childcare places over the summer holidays and a childcare ‘taster’ session of up to 5 days. Students can apply by following this link. Many colleges also have other discretionary learning support funds – see individual websites for information.

More information

If you are planning to study a higher education level course at a college or university then see 'Money to learn for full-time HE course'.