Financial support while you study

You may be eligible for financial support while you study, depending on your circumstances.

Here is some information about the main sources of support.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund

This funding is to help remove certain financial barriers to participation so young people can remain in education. There are two types of 16-19 bursaries:

  • Bursaries for defined vulnerable groups of up to £1,200 a year. The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:
    • in care
    • care leavers
    • in receipt of income support or universal credit because they are financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them, such as a child or partner
    • in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as either Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right
  • Discretionary bursaries which institutions award to meet the needs of individual students, for example, to help with the cost of transport, meals, books and equipment. The eligibility criteria for discretionary bursaries are set by individual institutions, in line with the Department for Education's funding rules. 

Schools and colleges are responsible for managing both types of bursary and they'll decide if you'll receive funding, based on their eligibility criteria. Contact your preferred school sixth form or college for more information and to apply.

Students aged over 19 can apply for the discretionary bursary if they have an education, health and care (EHC) plan or are continuing on a course they started aged between 16 and 18.

There is more information about the 16-19 Bursary Fund on GOV.UK, such as the eligibility criteria.

Care to Learn

The Care to Learn scheme provides funding for childcare to help young parents (defined as those aged under 20) continue in education after the birth of a child. The scheme provides funding for childcare whilst the young parent is engaged in learning and can't provide care for their child. It can also help with any additional travel costs involved in taking the child to the childcare provider. Travel payments go directly to the student's school or college and they'll either make a payment directly to the student or will make the travel arrangements on their behalf. The scheme is available for publicly funded courses in England, including courses in schools, school sixth forms, sixth form colleges, other colleges and learning providers and children's centres. 

The eligibility criteria for the scheme includes the following:

  • You are a parent under the age of 20 at the start of your course
  • You must be the main carer and in receipt of child benefit for the child(ren) for whom you are claiming Care to Learn
  • You must be living and studying in England
  • Your course qualifies – your learning provider can confirm if a course is eligible
  • Your childcare provider is eligible.

More information about the Care to Learn scheme, including the full eligibility criteria, can be found by visiting the GOV.UK website Care to Learn page, by calling the Student Bursary Support Service on 0800 121 8989 or by visiting the Student Bursary Support Service online portal.

Discretionary Learner Support

If you're aged 19 or over, on a further education course and facing financial hardship, you could access learner support funding. This funding can help pay for things like accommodation and travel, course materials and childcare. Providers manage their own schemes and they'll determine how much funding a student is awarded. They'll also determine how this funding is paid to the student.

For more information, students aged 19 and over are advised to contact the student support service at their chosen college to discuss this funding and their application process.

You can find more information about Learner Support on GOV.UK.

Residential Bursary Fund

The Residential Bursary Fund (RBF) is to support 16-18 year old students who are participating in a designated specialist subject area. The provision being accessed is mainly, but not exclusively, land-based provision. The RBF isn't intended to support students accessing general provision which is widely available, such as A levels. Students aged over 19 are only eligible for the RBF if they're continuing on a study programme they started aged between 16 and 18 or if they have an EHCP.

The RBF provides financial help towards the cost of accommodation for students attending one of the designated institutions delivering specialist provision. This type of provision wouldn't be available locally and/or requires the student to attend at unsociable hours on a regular basis, meaning they need to live away from home. 

In Lancashire, Myerscough College can provide support through the RBF. Students wishing to access specialist provision at the college can contact the finance office at Myerscough College on 01995 642398 or email to see if they're eligible for residential bursary support.

You can find more information about the Residential Bursary Fund on GOV.UK, including the full eligibility criteria.

Residential Support Scheme

The Residential Support Scheme (RSS) is for exceptional situations where the same or similar substantial level 2 or level 3 qualification a student wishes to study cannot be accessed locally, within a reasonable daily travelling distance of their home address. A reasonable daily travelling distance is defined as a daily return journey which takes 2 hours or less on public transport; or a distance of less than 15 miles from the student's home or term time lodgings to their chosen institution. Most students supported by the RSS tend to live in rural areas and have limited access to a wide range of 16-18 further education provision. Students must apply for the RSS through their chosen institution.

You can find more information about the Residential Support Scheme on GOV.UK, including the full eligibility criteria.