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Funding further education study

If you are thinking of taking a course at a further education college or training provider, perhaps as your first step towards higher education level learning, you may be able to take out an Advanced Learner Loan. Some courses are free and other support may be available.

Further education covers courses up to and including Level 3, for instance A levels, BTEC Nationals and Access to Higher Education Diplomas. 

Information on financial support for further education can be found GOV.UK.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for further education courses vary widely depending on the college or training provider, the level of course and mode of study. Find out the fees of courses that interest you on the institution's website

Courses in literacy and numeracy are often free. Also, if you are under the age of 24, you may be able to receive free tuition to take your first full qualification at Level 2 (GCSE level) or Level 3.

If you take an Apprenticeship, any course fees will be paid.

Advanced Learner Loans

Advanced Learner Loans are available for those aged 19+ to help with the cost of approved courses at further education colleges or training providers. They cover courses from Levels 3-6.

If you take out an Advanced Learner Loan for an Access to Higher Education Diploma course, if you subsequently complete a higher education course, any balance you owe on your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off.

How much you receive through an Advanced Learner Loan depends on your course fees and the type of course. You don’t have to borrow the full amount but the minimum is £300. It may be possible to apply for more than one loan. 

You pay back your loan plus interest in small instalments when you’ve finished your course and start earning over the threshold of £25,000 a year. 

Other sources of funding

  • If you’ve had approval for an Advanced Learner Loan, you may be able to apply for support form the Loan Bursary Fund to help pay for course expenses such as travel, materials and accommodation. You should apply to your college or training provider. 
  • Extra financial support may also be available for students in financial hardship in the form of Discretionary Learner Support
  • If you get certain state benefits your tuition may be free or provided at a reduced rate.
  • If you are working, your employer may help with your course costs.
  • Help is also provided for students with disabilities and to support the cost of childcare.
  • Charitable trusts sometimes provide small grants, loans etc to certain students. Use Turn2us grant search to find out whether you qualify.

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