Funding & Finance

The adult education budget is designed to help adults gain qualifications to access higher level learning. Funding is also available to bring communities together which allows free courses to be run without qualifications which are linked to local needs.  There are a range of financial support services available to all students over 19 years old, to support you with the cost of education. The funding you can claim to support your studies will depend on your personal circumstances, where you live and the course you are studying.

Funding guides
Application forms

Helpful Information

Tuition Fees are payable by adult students unless the following applies, or dedicated team can support you to ensure a full discussion has taken place in relation to any fees you are liable for:

  • You are studying an Entry Level or Level 1 course (excluding ESOL) and you require this to progress to the next level, and you are 19-23, or 19+ and unemployed and looking for work*, or you are 24+ and on a low wage**


  • You are studying a Full Level 2 course, and you are 19-23 and do not already hold a full level 2 qualification.


  • You are studying a non-full Level 2 course, and you are 19+ and already hold a full level 2 and you are unemployed and looking for work*, or employed on a low wage**


  • You are studying a Full Level 3 course, and you are 19-23 and do not already hold a full level 3 qualification.


  • You are studying a Level 3 course – Free Courses for Jobs Offer, and you are 19+ and don’t already hold a full Level 3 qualification, or you are 19+, already hold a full Level 3 qualification and you are unemployed and looking for work*, or on a low wage**


  • You are studying a Level 3 course that is part of the GMCA Local Offer and you are 19+ and live in Greater Manchester.


  • You are studying a GCSE or Functional Skills English or Maths course and do not hold a grade 3/C already in the subject.


  • You are studying an ESOL course, and you are 19+ and you are unemployed and looking for work*, or employed on a low wage**


  • *UMEMPLOYED AND LOOKING FOR WORK CRITERIA – If you are unemployed and in receipt of JSA, ESA or Universal Credit with take home pay less than £617 a month (sole), or £988 (joint) OR you are unemployed, receiving any other state benefit (with take home income as above) and are undertaking this course to help you find employment, tuition and exam fees will be waived.


  • **LOW WAGE CRITERIA – If you are employed, or self-employed and earn less than £23,104 per year and the course you are studying will help you find or improve your employment, tuition and exam fees will be waived.


What does ‘co funding’ mean?

In some cases, the government expect learners and employers to share responsibility for investing in eligible provision and a learner is ‘co-funded’

An Advanced Learner Loan helps with the costs of further education courses.

Learners aged 19 and over and studying an approved learning aim at Levels 3 or 4 at an approved provider in England can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

Eligibility for the loan doesn’t depend on a learner’s income and there’s no credit checks. Interest is charged from the date the first payment is made to the learning provider.

The Advanced Learner loan, plus any interest, has to be paid back but not until the learner has finished or left their course and their income is over the repayment threshold. Repaying your student loan: How much you repay – GOV.UK (  If you undertake an Access to Higher Education Diploma and then go on to complete a degree, the Advanced Learner Loan costs will be written off – this is only for this qualification.

The amount available depends on:

  • the course
  • the fees charged by the learning provider

Learners can also apply to get money from the Loan Bursary Fund after they’ve received a letter approving their Advanced Learner Loan. If your household income is under £40,000 per annum (gross).

The money can help pay for things such as:

  • travel
  • course materials and equipment
  • childcare

Help with childcare costs

If you need assistance with the cost of childcare while you are at College, you may be eligible for help towards the cost by applying through the Learner Support Fund or the Advanced Learning Loan Bursary

Awards will be made to eligible students based on income levels in the household and using an Ofsted registered childcare provider to help with the costs whilst on the course.

It should be noted that these funds are limited, and no awards can be guaranteed to students. To be eligible student’s household income should be under £40,000 per annum (gross).  Applications are available from Learner Services and Main Reception at all sites.


Council tax exemption

Any full time student aged 18 and over can also apply for Council Tax Exemption from their Local Authority. Council Tax Exemption Certificates are available from Student Services.

Our Higher Education tuition fees are lower than most UK universities’ fees and represent great value for money. We also offer extra financial support through bursaries and other funds.

Available Loans

If you are aged 18 years of age or older you can apply for a student loan to over the cost of your course.  Please speak to Student Finance for further information.

Scholarship Awards

The College offers a limited number of Scholarship Awards made up of a cash grant of £1,000 for first year full time students and £500 cash grant for first year part time students. The awards are paid in February and May. Students are eligible if their household income up to £25,000 and have to demonstrate a commitment to study through attendance and engagement with study. 

Am I eligible for funding?

Funding is available to students on lower incomes to help meet costs associated with their course and coming to college, with several different options available, depending on the type and level of study.

Remember, our Student Financial Support Team is ready and waiting to help with information, advice and support on a range of fees and finance issues related to your study.

Find out more about student finance by visiting Student Finance England




Students aged 19+ on further education courses from low-income households or receiving benefits can apply to the Learner Support Fund for additional help with the costs of course related travel, childcare kit and equipment costs.