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16-18 Young Learners

Support is available to “home” students on eligible courses where the household income was £25,000* or less in the 2015/16 tax year.

Some 16-18 year olds may be entitled to a Vulnerable Student Bursary of £1,200 (pro rata for courses of less than 30 weeks). Support may also be available to ‘home-schooled students’ on eligible courses who meet the normal eligibility criteria and will be based on individual need.

Help is usually given in the form of a grant towards specific and actual costs involved in coming to College, such as:

*This figure was correct at time of going to press and may change subject to funds available.

Travelling to and from College

Students travelling more than 1.5 miles from home to College, are eligible for travel support for the most cost effective journey. Passes will be issued for students travelling on NCT, Trent Barton or Tram.

Free Meals

Meal support at college is a separate eligibility criteria from the 16-18 Bursary and is supported in addition to your travel and other course related costs.

Meal support at College has a separate eligibility criteria from the 16-18 Bursary and is supported in addition to your travel and other course related costs.

To be eligible for meal support students must be aged 16-18 as at 31st August 2016 & students or their parents/guardians must be in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits below:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guaranteed element of the State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit Only (provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credits) & have an annual gross income of not more than £16,190 as assessed by HMRC
  • Universal Credits
  • Working Tax Credit run on paid for four weeks after you stopped qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • During the initial roll out of the benefit Universal Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

If Parents/Guardians are in receipt of Working Tax Credits, students will NOT be eligible for Meal Support.

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for meal support you will still be eligible for support for travel/course related costs if your income is below £25,000*.

Eligible students will be issued with a voucher to exchange for a meal on each of their timetabled days.

You can apply online via StudentNet

Download 16-18 Meal Support Application Form

Essential Course Costs

On some courses students are required to purchase essential kit or equipment e.g. Hair &Beauty/Sports Kits. Eligible students will receive support towards these costs; awards may be paid directly to the department where appropriate. Where students purchase kits/equipment direct, receipts maybe required for refunds to be made.

Eligible students on courses such as Art, Design & Photography will receive support towards material costs.

Eligible students on certain courses may receive support towards the cost of their essential course books.

Essential Study Visits

On some courses students are required to attend trips as part of their studies. Eligible students may receive support towards the cost of trips – subject to confirmation from tutors.

Awards are paid directly to the department.

Vulnerable Students Bursary (VSB)

Vulnerable students aged 16 - 18 will be eligible to receive a Vulnerable Student Bursary (VSB) of £1,200.

Vulnerable students are specifically named as:

  • Young person in care or a care leaver (definitions apply).
  • Young people in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit in your own right
  • Young people in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or
    ESA (Employment Support Allowance) and PIP (Personal Independence Payment).

The £1,200 support package will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual student and may involve help with transport, kit and other costs. Part time students will be awarded on a pro rata basis.

* This figure was correct at time of going to press and may change subject to funds available.

Care to Learn Childcare Support

Students aged under 20 at the start of their course can apply for childcare support from the Care to Learn scheme.

For further information please call the Care to Learn Learner Support Helpline on 0800 121 8989.

For further details and to apply online, visit:

Please note: When applying for Care to Learn online, no matter what site you are studying at, you will need to add in Maid Marian Way as your main site of study on the online application form.

Child Benefit and Tax Credits

Child benefit can be claimed if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20) if they stay in approved education or training.

The course must be ‘non-Advanced’ which, for the purposes of child benefit includes A Levels, all BTEC Levels and Cache qualifications.

Your son/daughter must have started, enrolled or been accepted on their course before the age of 19.
For more information contact the child benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100 or go to
In addition if you are eligible to receive Child Tax Credits, the same age criteria apply

Council Tax Exemption

Your local council may request a certificate which proves that you are a full time student at College if you are 18 or over. “Full time student status” for Council Tax purposes may mean that you (or your parents if you still live at home) will qualify for a discount on the Council Tax bill for the property. Contact your Local Council for information.

Students can request a Certificate from the College Reception.

How to Apply

Contact the Student Finance Team

If you have any questions, please get in touch with our student finance team:

Tel: 0115 914 6414 and ask for Student Finance