Funding & Loans

One of the biggest factors in deciding whether to return to education is the cost. If you’re under 19 years old courses are free. If you’re 19 years old or over, you’ll find the costs can vary depending on your circumstances and the type of course you are studying.

Outlined below is information about eligibility for fee remission, loans and learner support funds.

For more information about the costs of studying, please contact one of our careers advisors.  Our Careers Advisers are available Monday – Thursday 8.30am – 5.00pm and 8.30am – 4.30pm on Friday or by appointment. To arrange an appointment, please call us on 01207 585 900.

Don’t let worries about paying for your course hold you back... If you are aged 19 or over and applying to study at Level 3 or above, you could be eligible for a student loan.

An Advanced Learner Loan covers the cost of your course fees and is easy to apply for. It doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.  Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed.

You only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £25,725 a year. Until then you don’t need to payback anything.

If you receive a loan to study for an Access to HE course, and then move on to do a HE course, your loan for your Access course will be written off once you complete your HE qualification.

Do I qualify for a loan?

To qualify for a loan you must:
• Be aged 19 or over at the start of your course
• Be resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of your course
• Be studying an eligible course at level 3 or above

Applying for an Advanced Learner Loan is easy...To download an application form or for more information please visit or telephone 0300 100 0619

The College will provide you with the course information you need to complete your application.

If you are aged 19-23 and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification, you will be entitled to receive free tuition and won’t need to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

However, if you already have a full Level 3 qualification, you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

If you are unemployed or in receipt of certain benefits, you may be eligible for free tuition.

We define a learner as unemployed if one or more of the following apply, you:

  • receive Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), including if you receive National Insurance credits only
  • receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • receive Universal Credit, and your earned income from employment  (disregarding benefits) is less then £338 a month, or £541 a month if you have a joint benefit claim with your partner


You may be fully funded at our discretion if all of the following apply:

  • you receive other state benefits not listed above, and
  • your earned income (disregarding benefits) is less than £338 a month or £541 a month if you have a joint benefit claim with your partner, and
  • you want to be employed, or progress into more sustainable employment and your course will help with this


Your course may also be free if you are:

  • Aged 16-18
  • Aged 19-23 on 1st day of learning studying your first full Level 2 or Level 3 qualification

Financial support may be available for eligible learners.  The Learner Support Fund can assist you with travel to college, books, specialist clothing and equipment.  In addition, daytime students can be assisted with meals and childcare support.

To enquire if you qualify or to find out how to apply for financial support, please contact our Finance Team on 01207 585 900.