School Leavers Financial Support

16-18 Bursary Scheme

Students aged 16-18, from low income households, can apply for one of a number of bursaries. If you’re eligible, this scheme can help with course-related costs and travel to and from College.

Discretionary bursaries

If you're from a low income household, you could be eligible for a discretionary bursary to help with course costs such as course equipment, books, kits and travel.

Guaranteed bursaries

You're eligible for a guaranteed bursary of £1,200 if you are:

  • In care
  • A care leaver
  • In receipt of Income Support
  • In receipt of both Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment (PIP and Employment Support Allowance)
  • Funds are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis, therefore we recommend applying as soon as possible.

Apply for a bursary

Collect a copy of the bursary application form from reception - or download and print from here - then return your completed application and evidence to reception. Make sure you read the guidance notes thoroughly before completing your application. Forms can be returned by post to the address on the form but we encourage you to return the form by hand as we can check the form with you. If you have any questions please call us on 0117 312 5000

Care to Learn

If you’re a young parent (under 20), Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare and travel costs while you are at College. To find out more, contact Care to Learn on 0800 121 8989 or visit

You must then book an appointment with an adviser before sending off your application form. You can do this by calling 0117 312 5000, emailing or popping into reception at one of our College centres.

Free College Meals

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to apply for free College meals. Eligible students must be:

  • Aged between 16 and 18 on 31 August 2019 who are in receipt of, or who have a parent or guardian in receipt of, one or more qualifying benefit
  • Aged between 19 and 25 on 31 August 2019 who have a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) and are in receipt of one or more qualifying benefit.

‘Qualifying benefits’ include:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on, paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa. 

Please note, if you’re in receipt of Working Tax Credit, you do not qualify for Free Meals, even if your annual income is below £16,190. Apprentices are also not eligible for free meals.

Application forms are available from Learner Services (reception). For more information, call us on 0117 312 5000 or email