If you are aged 16-18 you could be eligible for financial support!

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.

Who can apply?

Any student enrolled on an eligible course (check with a member of staff in the Student Hub) and the household income is £30,000 or below per year.

Support can be provided for:

  • Travel Passes
  • Lunch (Free School Meals)
  • Printing credit
  • Educational visits
  • Essential equipment

If you are aged 16-18, there are no course fees payable.

Students are eligible for a free meal if they:

  • Are aged between 16 and 18 on 31 August 2023. (For a free meal in the academic year from September.)
  • Have their 19th birthday during their study programme: they remain eligible for a free meal until the end of the academic year in which that birthday occurs, or to the end of their study programme, whichever is sooner.
  • Are aged between 19 and 25 and are subject to a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) and ESF students attending their provision if they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Are in receipt of, or have parents who are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Job Seekers’ Allowance
    • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
    • State Pension Credit
    • Child/Working Tax Credit
    • Universal Credit

How do students apply?

You will need to complete a financial support application form, they can be collected from the Student Hub.

Once you have completed the application, it must be submitted to the Student Hub along with proof of household income. Please refer to the application form for evidence required as proof of household income.

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 sent to your email 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.

All evidence gathered will be photocopied for assessment purposes only and destroyed following assessment in accordance with GDPR guidelines.

What happens next?

Once your form has been assessed, if 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. 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 live outside the West Midlands the Student Hub will advise you about your travel, as the college is able to support other bus services such as Arriva.

The free school meal allowance is added to your ID card make sure you bring it with you every day. It can be presented in the Student café area at point of payment.

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. To apply, please visit Care to Learn or call them on  0800 121 8989.

*Please note that all the above are subject to change.