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Money matters

Money to learn for 16 - 19 year olds

What financial support is available?

Many 16 - 19 year olds receive financial support to help them with the costs of education. This money is called a bursary and you do not need to repay it.

The bursary can be used to pay for:

  • a meal during the day
  • transport to and from college
  • educational trips, books, clothing or materials you may need on your course.

There are two types of bursary available. The 16 - 19 Vulnerable Student Bursary and the Discretionary Bursary. 

Schools and colleges usually have their own application procedures and will decide based on your situation which bursary you are entitled to. You will normally need to provide evidence for your application and reapply every year.

To apply for a bursary you need to be:

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

Are you eligible for the 16 - 19 Bursary?

You maybe eligible to get the 16 - 19 bursary of £1,200 a year if one of the following applies:

  • You are in care or a local authority care leaver
  • You are claiming income support or universal credit
  • You get Disabled Living Allowance and either receive Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit
  • You get Personal Independence Payment and either ESA or Universal Credit

Discretionary Bursary

Each college can decide on their own criteria for awarding discretionary bursaries.

Money is often awarded based on household income and may cover expenses such as bus passes, free meals and costs of materials or equipment for a course.

You can also apply to a discretionary bursary if you’re over 19 and either:

For all bursaries - Payments may be dependent on attendance to ensure that bursaries are only awarded to students actively engaging in their learning.

Care to Learn – support for young parents

Care to Learn helps young parents, under the age of 20, with childcare costs while 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 online. 

Financial Help at College if you are 19+

If you’re aged 19 or over, on a further education course and facing financial hardship, you could apply to your college for discretionary Learner Support.

 How much you get depends on your circumstances.

The money can help pay for things like:

  • accommodation and travel
  • course materials and equipment
  • childcare

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