Financial Support

Financial Support

At Stratford-upon-Avon College, our aim is for you to succeed and for your education to set you on the path to your future career success.
We appreciate that funding is a concern for many students and our Student Services Team can provide you with information and support before and during your course.

19+ Advanced Learning Loan

If you are aged 19 or over and want to study an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 qualification you will need to pay your college or training organisation for the cost of your course.*

A new loan scheme has been introduced by the government to help learners. The 19+ Advanced Learning Loan is easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.

To be eligible you need to be:

  • aged 19 or over on the first day of your course
  • starting your course on or after August 1st
  • living in the UK on the first day of your course and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this
  • studying an eligible course at an approved College or training organisation in England.
  • enrolling on an eligible course at level 3 and above which includes: Access to HE Diplomas, other Diplomas and Certificates.

When do I need to repay the loan?

  • Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed.
  • You only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £21,000 a year (which is £404 a week or £1,750 a month). Until then you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time.
  • You pay 9% of the money you earn over £21,000, before tax. For example, if you earn £22,000 a year, your monthly repayment will be £7 a month; and if you earn £35,000 a year, it will be £105 per month.
  • Interest is charged on a sliding scale between the Retail Price Index (RPI) and RPI +3%, depending on how much you earn.
  • Any outstanding balances you owe for an Access to Higher Education course will be ‘written off’ once you complete an eligible higher education course. This means you don’t have to repay it.

How and when do I apply?

  • You can apply to  for a loan once you have applied for an eligible course and received an offer letter from the College.
  • Student Finance England expect to begin accepting applications in May.

*If you are 19-23 years old and have not yet studied a full level 3 course you will not have to pay for the cost of your course.

16 – 19 Bursary Fund

If you are aged 16-19 and in full-time or part-time further education or training you may be able to get help to pay for essential education related costs with the 16-19 Bursary Fund.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund can help pay for costs like:

  • equipment you might need for your course
  • lunch
  • transport to and from your college

Eligibility for the 16 – 19 Bursary Fund is based on annual household income:

  • Band 1 – annual household income of £16,190 or less students are entitled to free college meals and may receive 100% contribution towards costs.
  • Band 2 – annual household income of between £16,190-£20,817
  • Band 3 – annual household income of between £20,817- £25,521 may receive 50% contribution towards costs.

Valid forms of supporting evidence necessary to apply for the 16 – 19 Bursary Fund include:

  • An up-to-date Tax Credit Award Notice
  • Other proof of income related benefits such as universal credit letter, Job Seekers Allowance letter (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance letter (income based).
  • Bank or building society statements (3 months evidence).
  • Parent(s)/Carer wage slips (3 months evidence).
  • Self-assessment tax form.

All these funds are subject to availability.

16 – 19 Guaranteed Bursary

The Guaranteed Bursary is intended for young people in care, care leavers, young people in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit in their own name, and disabled young people in receipt of both Disability Living Allowance plus Employment Support Allowance in their own name, or those who claim both Employment Support Allowance plus a Personal Independence Payment in their own name. If you are in one of the following groups, you could get a bursary of £1,200 a year.

A completed application form and appropriate evidence will be required such as:

  • A letter setting out the benefit to which the young person is entitled.
  • Written confirmation of the young person’s current or previous looked after status from the authority which provides their leaving care services.
Discretionary Learner Support Fund 19+

If you are aged 19 or over, on a Further Education course and facing financial hardship, you could apply to the College for the means tested Discretionary Learner Support Fund (DLS).

This can help pay for things such as:

  • accommodation and travel
  • course materials and equipment
  • childcare

To get Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) you must be:

  • 19 or over
  • studying at a learning provider funded by the Skills Funding Agency
  • To get help with childcare costs, you must be 20 or over. If you’re 19, apply for Care to Learn instead, please contact Student Services for further information.
Loan Bursary Fund

You may apply to get money from the Loan Bursary Fund after you’ve received a letter approving your 24+ Advanced Learning Loan.

The money can help pay for things like:

  • accommodation and travel
  • course materials and equipment
  • childcare
  • classroom assistance for a disability or learning difficulty – once you’re assessed by your college or training provider

Please be aware the Loan Bursary Fund is subject to availability.

Free College Meals Scheme

The Free College Meals Scheme is a scheme that provides free meals to students who are aged over 16 whose parents/carers income falls below £16,190, students who are looked after or students aged between 19 & 25 who are subject to a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan).   Students who are eligible for free college meals will be credited for their meals through a new biometric cashless system.

Higher Education Students

At Stratford-upon-Avon College, you get proven high quality education in a supportive environment and with competitive course fees. This webpage provides financial support information for our higher education courses.

Our tuition fees may vary depending on the course, and the tuition fee can be found on the relevant course page on our website. Whichever course you choose to study, you will get value for money and most students will be eligible for financial support.

Paying for your course

You may choose to pay for your course yourself instead of taking out a Tuition Fee Loan. All self-funded students can pay in full at enrolment or arrange with the Finance team at the College to pay in instalments. Please contact the College for further information.

If you are working, and your employer is paying for your tuition fees, your employer must supply written confirmation of sponsorship at enrolment. The confirmation must be on Company headed paper, be unconditional, state the name of the learner & course, and signed by an authorised signatory (not the learner).

You don’t have to pay for your course up front – you can get a loan to cover the cost of your tuition, which you start to pay back only when you are earning over £21,000 a year.

Repaying Your Loans

  • You start to pay back only when you are earning over£21,000 a year.
  • You repay 9% of your income above £21,000. So, for example, if your salary was £25,000, the 9% would apply to £4,000 only, meaning you would repay £30 per month.
  • If your salary falls below £21,000, your repayments stop – for example if you take a career break or are unemployed. Repayments start again only when you earn over £21,000.
  • Loan repayments will be deducted from your salary, normally through the tax system.

Please note that all information on government funding may be subject to change. Stratford-upon-Avon College reserves the right to change its fees as required.

Other Financial Support

A range of financial support is available from Student Finance England. For more details please visit:

Further Information

For further information on how loan repayments work:

For an overview of the student finance:

Would you like to find out more about student finances?

Contact our friendly Student Services Team by calling 01789 266 245, by emailing or use the contact form to send us a message.


Contact our Student Services Team