Financial help when studying
For information about financial help whilst at university, see here.
Further Education is free until at least age 18, but courses can be free after this too, depending on the course and level you are studying, your age and circumstances. Get advice before you start a course, or if you are thinking about returning to education.
If you are living at home your parent(s) should still be entitled to claim Child Benefit and Tax Credits (if they are eligible) for you whilst you continue in, or return to, education. This can continue to age 20 depending on when you started the course. See here for more information. If you live independently get advice about any entitlement.
You may be entitled to a bursary through the Bursary Scheme if you are 16–19 and struggling financially. Bursaries are paid through your college, sixth form or training provider. There is a guaranteed bursary of £1200 per year (paid e.g. half termly) to young people most in need – those in care, care leavers, young people claiming Income Support or Universal Credit; or ESA (with PIP or DLA).
Bursaries can also be paid to young people 16–19 who are struggling for other reasons, for example if your family is on a low income. This could help with travel costs or equipment. Each college, sixth form or training provider sets its own rules for how to use it’s discretionary funds. If you are 19+ and on a low income you may still get financial help, so ask student services what help is available.
You may get help with travel costs to your school/college depending on your circumstances. See york.gov.uk.
The Prince’s Trust can offer Development Awards of between £150-180 through the John Causer fund to help you access education, training, work or voluntary work. You must be aged 14–25; it will also depend on your circumstances. You can apply for help with things like the cost of tools; equipment for a training course or a CSCS card etc. Contact The Prince’s Trust direct.
For advice about what benefits (if any) are available while you study, or how any benefits you currently claim will be affected, go to student services at your college.
Help with childcare costs
If you are under 20 when you start your course you may be able to claim ‘Care to Learn’ funding (up to £160 per child per week) to help with childcare costs while you go back or continue in education. Look at gov.uk/care-to-learn or ask your school, college or training provider.
If you are age 20+ ask your college or training provider about a bursary to help with childcare costs.