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Financial support

Depending on your circumstances, you could get funding to help you while you're at college. This includes help with childcare costs through the Government's Care to Learn fund or the Skills Funding Agency Childcare Bursary.

For advice on financial support and what support you could receive, speak to our Welfare Advisers in the Advice Centres at Merton and Wandsworth, or Student Services at Tooting. Phone 020 8918 7777 and ask for Student Services.

Advanced Learner Loans

If you’re 19 or older, live in the UK and are taking a Level 3 or Level 4 course, you could receive Government funding to help pay for your course. The loan isn’t means tested and you don’t have to pay upfront or pay anything back until you’re earning over £21k a year. And if you take the loan out to study and Access to HE course then go straight on to complete a higher education course, you won't have to pay anything back. 

Find out more about Advanced Learner Loans.

Learner Support Fund

If you're eligible, financial support is intended to help you with the cost of transport, books and equipment related to your College course, up to and including Level 3 or 4 (eligible SFA funded courses only).

You can also receive help with Childcare costs through the Government administered Care to Learn fund (16-19 year Olds), or the College administered Childcare Bursary for students 20+.

16-19 Bursary Fund

If you're 16-18 (at least 16 and under 19 on 31 August), you may be able to apply for one of the two types of maintenance available from this fund. It is aimed at supporting students to continue in full time education and training, by providing a contribution towards costs of attending College, such as transport, food and equipment.

16-18 Priority Bursary
A bursary of up to £1,200 a year aimed at helping young people in priority groups. To be eligible for this you should be:

  • In care or a care leaver.
  • In receipt of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or Personal Independence Payment (PIPs) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in your name.
  • Living independently, receiving Income Support or Universal Credit in your name.

16-18 Discretionary Bursary
A discretionary bursary of £20 per week, aimed at helping young people who still require financial assistance, but are not in a priority group. To be eligible for this you should:

  • Have a total household income of less that £16,190 per year.
  • Or be supported by someone who is in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

19+ Discretionary Learner Support Fund

If you are 19 years and over, you may be eligible for support with the cost of transport, books and equipment related to your College course. You may also be able to access financial assistance with Childcare costs if you are 20+. The amounts allocated to students are based on hours of study and travel distance to your College Campus. To qualify you must:

  • Have a household income of less than £16,190
  • Be in receipt of, or supported by someone who is in receipt of, a qualifying benefit.

The Advanced Learning Loan Bursary

If you have an approved Advanced Learning loan and are experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for support with the cost of transport, books and equipment related to your College course. You may also be able to access financial assistance with Childcare costs. The amounts allocated to students are based on hours of study and travel distance to your College Campus. To qualify you must:

  • Have a household income of less than £16,190
  • Be in receipt of, or supported by someone who is in receipt of, a qualifying benefit.

For further advice on the financial support available, or to pick up an application form to apply, speak to our teams within the Student Services Centre at Merton, Wandsworth & Tooting. You can find our contact details here.

Free College Meals

You could receive a set amount on your college ID card to spend in college canteens if you're:

  • Aged 16-18 at the start of your course; or
  • Aged 19-25 and have an Education, Health and Care plan or Learning Difficulty Assessment.

You or your parents or carers also need to receive at least one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment Support Allowance
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided there is no entitlement to Working Tax Credit and the household annual gross income is below an agreed amount)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

To apply, pick up a Learner Support Fund application form from the Advice Centre or Student Services. You'll need to give us information on your household income with your application.

Financial help for university-level courses

You could receive a student loan if you're on a higher education course. This is a government loan and is repaid depending on your income. Our Student Services and Advice Centre team can talk you through how the loan could work for you.

If you've been accepted on a higher education course and you have a disability, learning difficulty or medical condition that affects your learning, you could be eligible for the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA). For details on eligibility and how to apply, read our DSA information booklet. You should apply for DSA as soon as possible and our Learner Support team can help you with this.

Adult leisure courses

You might be able to get a discount on some of our adult courses if you are 60 or older or are receiving income-based benefit.

To get a discounted course fee you need to come in to enrol at Student Services at any of our campuses - you can't enrol over the phone. You will need to bring proof of benefits or age. Proof of benefit status needs to be from the last two months.

Please note you may still have to pay a materials fee on some courses.

For further advice on the financial support available, or to pick up an application form to apply, speak to our teams within the Student Services Centre at Merton, Wandsworth & Tooting.