If you’re aged 16-19, studying a full-time course and think you might struggle with the costs for your studies, schools, colleges and training providers have funds to help you.

Vulnerable student bursary

The students most in need will be eligible to receive a Vulnerable student bursary of up to £1,200 a year. This group includes:

  • People in local authority care
  • Care leavers
  • People claiming Income Support or Universal Credit (UC) in their own name
  • Young people who receive Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in their own name and either Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or UC
  • Young people who receive a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in their own name and either ESA or UC

Other students who are facing financial difficulties may be awarded a bursary at the discretion of their school, college or training provider, who will decide on the amount paid. They will also decide when the bursaries will be paid and may set conditions that students will need to meet, for example, linked to behaviour or attendance.

To apply for a bursary, you must:

  • Be at least age 16 and under age 19 on 31st August
  • Be studying at a publicly funded school or college, or be on an unpaid training course
  • Meet residency requirements - your school or college can check this

Discretionary learner support

Your school or college will have their own criteria for discretionary bursaries. They’ll look at your individual circumstances - this usually includes your family income.

To apply for a discretionary bursary you will need to:

  • Be aged 19+
  • Be continuing a course you started when you were 16-18 years old, or
  • Have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

You can get more help and information from:

  • Your Connexions Personal Adviser
  • Your careers teacher or school tutor at school
  • Your Student Support Service if you are in college
  • Your Training Provider if you have started training

Help with travel costs

Students aged 16-18 may be able to receive help towards the cost of travelling to and from sixth form or college. Ask your school or college about the help that's available.

Your local council has information about the services, concessions and discounts available for young people - you can find out about the support available where you live by using the postcode checker on the GOV.UK website.

Help for Young Mums and Families

If you are a parent aged 19 or under and want to continue with your learning, you may be able to get a number of benefits, including help towards registered childcare through Care to Learn.

Residential bursaries

Students from low income households may be able to get help with accommodation costs for courses such as agriculture, art and design and horticulture at certain colleges that are not within travelling distance of home. To apply for help, you‘ll need to contact the relevant college directly.

The Residential Support Scheme could help pay towards term-time accommodation for those who want to do a course that is not offered within a 'reasonable daily travelling' distance from home. How much you receive depends on your household income. For more information and to apply, contact the institution where you will be studying.

Tuition fees for further education students

Students under the age of 19 on full-time and part-time courses at publicly funded colleges and school sixth forms are not charged course fees.

Students aged 19-25 taking their first Level 3 qualification (up to A Level standard) do not pay tuition fees.