Did you know you could be eligible for financial support worth up to £900?
What is Financial Support?
Financial support is available to students who face the greatest barriers to entering, continuing and succeeding in Further Education. For 16-18 year olds, funds are provided by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to colleges and then distributed to those students whose effective participation in education and training may not be possible without the provision of appropriate levels of financial support.
Can I apply?
Yes, if the household income is £25,000 or below per year and you are on an eligible course. Please speak to a member of staff in the college’s Student Hub for more information.
The fund can offer support with the following:
• Travel passes
• Lunch card
• Printing credit*
• Educational visits
• Essential equipment
*Automatically received once the application has been assessed
If you are aged 16-18, there are no course fees payable.
The bursary fund is there to support the most vulnerable young people aged 16-18 to participate in and benefit from education and training.
You may be eligible if you fall into one of the below categories:
• In care
• Leaving care
• Income Support – In receipt of ESA and PIP/DLA
What do I need to do?
You need to complete a Financial Support Application Form, which is downloadable from the bottom of this section. Alternatively, you can pick one up at any one of our student hubs.
Once you have completed the application, it must be submitted to the Student Hub along with proof of household income:
• This year’s Tax Credit Award (2017/2018). However, if you have not yet received your new award letter, we can accept your 2016/2017 award whilst you are waiting for the updated one
Please note that all information supplied to the college remains confidential.
Once your application has been received it will be assessed within 5 working days of receipt and if successful you will receive a letter providing details of your award. (Please be aware that this might not be possible in peak times (September), so the earlier you submit your application the better).
What happens next?
Once your form has been assessed and you are eligible for funding you will be issued with an award letter, which you will need to sign in order to accept your award. The letter should be kept safe as you may need to present it again to confirm your award.
If you have been awarded a bus pass or a scratch card day saver (if you are part-time), you will need to collect these from the Student Hub.
Please note that travel passes are issued to a student at the start of the course. This is subject to all applications being completed and all evidence being received in the Student Hub 5 working days prior to the course start date. Travel passes in terms two and three will be dependent upon your attendance and is monitored through the college’s online register system.
If you are aged 16-18 (under 18 on 1st September 2017), living in the West Midlands and studying full-time with the college, you will need to apply for a Centro 16-18 photo card. (Information is available from the Student Hub and you will need to apply online). The Centro card enables you to travel with a reduced fare bus pass as you will be in full-time education. If you are not entitled to financial support, you will need to pay £10 when you apply online for your Centro Card.
If you live outside the West Midlands you will not be able to apply for a Centro card – the Student Hub will advise you about your travel, as the college may be able to support other bus services such as Arriva.
If you are over 18 (from the 1st September 2016) you will need to take a passport sized photo to the Student Hub in order to collect your bus pass, when you start your course.
If you are being supported for college meals, £10 will be added to your college I.D card each week, which will be activated when your application is assessed. Your card will be scanned to pay for your food/drink when visiting the canteen.
How do I apply for other financial support?
Any other financial support you require, which may include educational visits, equipment and other relevant course costs, will be organised by your tutor. However, if you are having other financial difficulties that are not included within this application process, please speak to the Student Hub team for advice.
How do I apply for funding to help with childcare costs?
You will need to apply for help with childcare through Care to Learn, which provides funding for this separately. You can now apply online via the Student Bursary Support Service (SBSS) or if you would prefer to call for an application and information pack the contact number is 0800 121 8989.
*Please note that all the above are subject to change.