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Financial help for study

Financial help for adult learners

For the latest information about funding and loans go to the GOV.UK website.  If you're under 24 and you don't have qualifications at level 2 or above (GCSE or equivalent) you'll find that many courses are provided free. If you're unemployed you'll also be able to access free training in specific subject areas to help you get back into work. If you want to do degree level study, please see the section on higher education below. 

The GOV.UK site also has information about Professional and Career Development loans which are offered at a lower than usual rate of interest by participating banks. 

24+ Advanced Learning Loans 

You're eligible if you're planning to take a course at level 3 or above (for example, a higher or advanced apprenticeship or A levels) and you're 24 or older on the first day of your course.  You don't have to borrow the full cost of your course if you can pay for some of it yourself, and you won't start paying the loan back until you are earning at least £21,000. Find out more on the GOV.UK site.   For more funding advice, go to the National Careers Service and open a Lifelong Learning Account. Loans start at £300.  

Parents' Learning Allowance

If you're a full-time student with children, the Parents' Learning Allowance will help with your learning costs (up to £1,508 a year) by paying for books, study materials and travel. How much you get depends on your household income.

Financial support at 16 to 19

Further education and training 

You don't have to pay for any of your courses between the ages of 16 and 18 but there might be some extra costs if you have to pay for travel or small bits of equipment. If you're struggling to afford this, find out about bursaries  that don't have o be paid back and are available from schools, training providers and colleges. Ask your tutor or student support office about them.  

East Sussex County Council Bursaries

West Sussex County Council assistance with travel

Brighton & Hove City Council Grants

Financial help for higher education students of all ages 

University tuition loans

Getting a tuition loan means that you don't have to pay your fees upfront and you won't have to start paying your loan back until you're earning over £21,000. The rules are the same, regardless of age, provided it is your first degree. If your salary falls below that, payments cease.  For example, if you get a job paying £25,000 per year, you'll only be paying back around £30 a month.  At £22,000 you'll only pay back about £7.50 per month. 

  • Go to YouTube for clear advice about exactly where you'll stand with a student loan.
  • Martin Lewis of has loads of sensible advice about student loans 2012. Martin argues for this to be seen as a graduate tax rather than a loan. The website includes examples of salaries and repayments that take account of salary increases over time. It also includes a very useful finance calculator.
  • Check the UK government's student finance pages for the latest information about funding.

Grants, scholarships and bursaries for studying at university

These don't have to be paid back and, depending on your circumstances and the institution you want to study at, they can include help with living costs, fee waivers and discounted accommodation. Different institutions offer different packages. Get more information on the government's student finance pages and from the individual university and college websites.

More detailed information

  • If you're interested in studying higher education at a college or university in Sussex  look at  PDF Financing Your Future - this was produced for young people in Sussex for 2012 entry, but it is still useful now for anyone wanting an overview of the new arrangments and information about local providers.
  • Keep an eye on the news. For example, some private universities may provide intensive two-year degrees in an attempt to introduce competition into higher education. 
  • IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A DEGREE you may not be eligible for financial support - see the information about Equivalent Level Qualifications.

What about studying with The Open University?

Go to The Open University website for information about the cost of studying and advice about student loans and Open University Student Budget Accounts.


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