Bursary Support – complete your 2020/21 Bursary Application Now!
**The 2021/22 Bursary Fund will be available from 18th May**
You can now apply for your bursary online and can even upload your evidence directly to the Helpzone Funding Team. This means no paperwork, no relying on post and you can track your application progress!
Please note: 14-16 Home Educated students, Apprentices and students undertaking ‘full-cost’ courses, do not qualify for Bursary Support. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss travel support.
Bursary Fund Eligibility:
We have a variety of Bursary Funds, to support a wide variety of learner types and ages!
Eligibility depends upon age, course and household income.
We offer a range of support for students who are either starting or continuing their College studies with us from September. You may be entitled to support towards things such as; course kit/equipment, uniform, DBS checks, meals, tuition fees, childcare, travel/bus passes and IT Packages* (*19+ and vulnerable learners only).
If you are having issues applying online please email email@example.com to ask for assistance.
Please Note: There is a limited amount of funding available and applications are assessed on a first-come first-served basis. Your application will be means tested and proof of household income must be provided at the application stage. During peak times, fully completed applications may take up to 20 working days for applications to be assessed.
16-19 Discretionary Bursary Support:
Students aged between 16 and 18 at the start of their academic year may be eligible for bursary support. The learner must be studying a college course (not apprenticeship) and their earned household income must be below £25,000 per year (before tax). By earned household income, we refer to the parent(s)/carer(s) whom the learner lives with.
Households with an earned income of between £21,000 and £25,000 per year will receive travel support only. For those with an earned income of below £21,000 per year, the learner may be eligible for travel support and also course kit/equipment, uniform, DBS costs and Free College Meals, depending on the course and learner’s individual circumstances.
16-18 Vulnerable Bursary
Up to a maximum of £1,200 Bursary Fund allowance for students who either…
- Live alone and are named on their tenancy agreement and are in receipt of Universal Credit/Income Support
- Are in care/care leaver
- Receive Employment Support Allowance (ESA) AND ALSO Personal Independence Payments (PIP), in their own name
Payments are awarded depending upon personal circumstances and needs. Kit, uniform and travel costs etc may be supported up-front and then support payments to the student are split and made weekly, subject to satisfactory attendance.
Free College Meals / Meal Credits
If you are aged between 16-18 years old at the start of your full-time course and you or your parent/guardian meet any of the following criteria, you may be entitled to meal credits:
- In receipt of Income Support
- In receipt of Universal Credit (with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 per annum)
- Job Seekers Allowance
- Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
- The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 as assessed by HMRC
- Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
You could also be entitled if you are 19 years old and studying the second year of 2-year course that you began at 18, or if you are aged between 19-24 and have a current Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and meet any of the above criteria.
Aged 16-19: Students can get financial help with their childcare costs from Care to Learn. Care to Learn will pay for:
- Childcare costs whilst you learn
- A deposit if one is charged
- Travel expenses to and from your childcare provider
Aged 20+: Students aged 20+ can apply to our Adult Bursary Fund for help towards childcare costs.
Find out more about the help you can receive with childcare costs by using the Childcare Choices calculator.
19+ Adult Bursary Support
Students aged 19+ at the start of their academic year may be eligible for bursary support. Adults with an earned household income (before tax) of below £35,000 may qualify for travel support.
Those with an income of below £30,000 may be eligible for travel support and also course related costs such as kit/equipment and IT devices, depending upon the course and the individual student’s circumstances.
For full information regarding Adult Bursary and course funding options, including University Centre South Devon, please see the Adult Funding Page HERE.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.I have applied to the 21/22 Bursary Fund, when will I hear back?
Once we have received your fully completed and signed application form, along with sufficient supporting evidence of income, we will write to you or email as soon as possible. At peak times, this may take up to 20 working days. Please apply early to avoid delay.
2. How much will I get if I am eligible?
It will depend on your personal circumstances and household income. The bursary is used to support towards essential course materials, travel, meals, tuition fees and childcare (If applicable). Not all bursary awards will be paid direct to you in cash as some awards may be paid as a voucher, travel pass or if applying for childcare, this will be paid directly to the provider.
3. Do I need to be on a full time course to be able to apply for this fund?
If you are aged 16-18, yes you need to be on a full time course to be eligible for a bursary.
If you are aged 19+, you do not need to be on a full time course but your bursary award will be assessed dependent on how many hours you are studying.
Please note: 14-16 Home Education, Apprentices & Higher Education/University students are not eligible for this bursary and if you are a 14-16 High School student you will only qualify for a SDC Travel pass from the bursary.
4. If I buy my kit/equipment/books before the course starts will I get any money back?
If you receive an award from the fund and provide the receipts we will refund up to the value of the award for these essential items after the course has started in September.
5. I don’t know how much money I will need for course books, equipment, materials, and course visits. Where can I find this information?
If you have not already been informed of these costs at your interview, you will be notified before you begin your studies. We will take all of these costs into account when making an award and the Bursary Fund will contribute towards them for those who qualify.
6. What does ‘household income’ and ‘means-tested’ mean?
Your household income is as follows:
- If you live alone – your income
- If you live with a partner – your income and their income combined
- If you are under 25 and live with parents (including step-parents/carers/guardians) – their income combined, not your income
Note that by income we also need to know about any benefits being received by any of the above and we will need to see evidence of this.
Once we have the above information we are able to means-test the application, this is where we make an award based on your household income. This allows us to make sure that we are helping those that need it the most.
We understand that employment circumstances can change quickly at the moment. If you are now not working/have been made redundant, we can accept a letter confirming your redundancy for your evidence. However, if you are living with a partner, we will need evidence of their income as well.
7. As I was at the College last year, do I have to provide any evidence for this year?
Yes, you will need to re-apply and provide recent evidence of income each year. This is in case any circumstances have changed. We are not allowed to assess based on last year’s evidence.
8. I need to provide evidence of proof of income for my Bursary Fund application, how do I do this?
The evidence you need to provide is outlined on the front of the Bursary Fund application. If you have a query, please feel free to contact the Helpzone on 08000 380123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Helpzone Opening Times:
Monday – Thursday: 0830 – 1700
Friday: 0830 – 1630
9. Is there a deadline to send in my Bursary Fund application?
To ensure your funding is in place for when you start in September, we advise you submit your application as soon as possible. We will accept applications all year however there may be a delay in you receiving your bursary and funds may be fully allocated.
Please note: funds are limited and we recommend you apply as soon as possible to secure your funding.