Support and Advice
Further education finance
Tuition and Registration Fees
Aged under 19
If you are under 19 on the 31st August prior to the start of your course, then your tuition and registration fees will normally be free.
If you are over 19, you will normally be liable for fees. However, if you are studying for your first full Level 2 qualification (and you are under 24) or your first full Level 3 qualification (and you are under 24) - then your tuition and registration fees may be free. There is also a fee remission system if you are under 24 and studying at Entry Level 1 or Level 1 and you don't already hold a full Level 2 qualification.
Unemployed or low income
If you are unemployed at the time of enrolment, and in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or work-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you may be eligible for a tuition fee remission. In addition, if you earn less than £330 per month and receive other state benefits then you may also qualify for a tuition fee remission. If you have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) and you are aged 19-24 your tuition fees will normally be free.
If you are 19 and over and do not previously have a GCSE Maths/English pass (A-C/9-4 grade) then your fees will be remitted.
Please note that there are no longer fee remissions based on benefit entitlement if you are over 19 and studying a level 3 or 4 course. (See Advanced Learner Loan below).
If your course is at least 15 weeks in duration then you can pay your tuition and registration fees in four monthly instalments. However, you will be required to pay 25% of your fees when you enrol. Payments can be made by cash, cheque or most major credit/debit cards - by post or in person at the Cashiers window in the Wroxham Building.
For any further advice about fee remissions please contact the Advice Shop on 01603 773 773. For further advice about payments please contact Finance on 01603 773110.
Bursaries and Learner Support Funds
16-19 Bursary Fund
If you are under 19 when you start your course - you may be eligible for support from the 16-19 Bursary Fund. The aim of the fund is to help cover some of the financial costs of coming to college - such as travel, equipment, DBS fees and university application costs etc - for students whose parents have a household income of under £26,000 per year. Payments from the general 16-19 Bursary Fund vary from £300-£780 per year depending on income, course and circumstances.
Vulnerable Young Person's Bursary
A payment of up to £1,200 per academic year may be available to you if you are in one of the following categories:
- in care*
- a care leaver*
- estranged from your parents and receiving Income Support/Universal Credit in your own right
- receiving both Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment and Employment Support Allowance (or Universal Credit if it replaces DLA/PIP and ESA.)
- an unaccompanied asylum seeking child
* you may be a classed as 'in care' or 'a care leaver' if you are or have been looked after by the local authority under section 20 or 31 of the Children act 1989
Support from the 16-19 Bursary Fund/Vulnerable Young Person's Bursary is normally paid half-termly - subject to satisfactory attendance of 85% or more. If attendance falls below 85% then payments may be canceled.
Application forms for the 16-19 Bursary/Vulnerable Young Person's Bursary are normally available from the Advice Shop reception from May/June onwards. For additional support for students in care or care leavers, please contact Jock Downie on 01603 773608.
19+ Adult Discretionary Learner Support Fund
If you are over 19 the college has a Learner Support Fund that can provide support if you are on a low income. If you have a gross household of £22,000 or less per year, you will be eligible to apply. If you are married or living with a partner we will assess your joint income but you will be eligible to apply if it is below £35,000 p.a.. We do not assess parental income for the Learner Support Fund. Help with travel, child care, equipment and registration fees may be available. The fund cannot be used to pay tuition fees. (If you are studying on a level 3/4 course and are eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the tuition fees then you will not be eligible for this fund but will need to apply to the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary instead - see below.)
Residential Support Scheme
If you are aged 16-19 and live beyond a 'reasonable daily travelling distance' from the college and you are studying for your first Level 2 or 3 qualification, then you may be eligible for help with accommodation costs from the Residential Support Scheme. The scheme is assessed on parental income.
Travel Assistance from Norfolk County Council
If you are a Norfolk resident you may be eligible for assistance if you are:
- aged under 19,
- studying at least 16 hours per week
- living more than three miles from the College (and travelling on a core route).
From September 2016, a yearly contribution of either £516 or £387 will be expected depending on household income. This contribution can be paid in termly or half-termly instalments.
On some routes, daily payer passes costing £2.80 or £2.30 will be available - subject to household income. Once you have applied for and received your daily payer travel pass from Norfolk County Council you will be able to pay on the bus. This amount covers a daily return ticket.
If you are 18 years old and meet the other criteria - you will be eligible for a free travel pass. If you are aged 19-21 and have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan) you may also be eligible for a free travel pass.
For more details of Norfolk's subsidised post-16 travel scheme, please contact the Passenger Transport Unit, County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich NR1 2SG or call the Student Transport Hotline on 0344 800 8020 or visit: www.norfolk.gov.uk/post16transport.
Suffolk students who are under 19 should contact Suffolk County Council about their discretionary travel scheme: 0845 606 6173. A contribution of £210 per term is normally expected.
Discounted First Bus passes are available to all college students and staff and can be used during term and vacation periods. These can be purchased from the Cashiers Office in the Wroxham building. You will need to take a passport sized photo and your student/staff ID with you. For more information contact Cashiers on 01603 773155 or the First Travel Shop at email@example.com
For more information about travel passes - please check out our dedicated Student Travel Offers page.
Free College Meals
You will be eligible for Free College Meals if you are aged 16-18, are studying on a further education course and you/your parents are in receipt of:
- Income Support
- Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (not Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190 p.a.
- Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
If you are aged 19-25 and subject to an Education Health and Care Plan you may also be eligible for Free College Meals provided you/your parents receive one of the above benefits.
If you are eligible for the scheme you will receive £3.50 for each day that you attend college. The money will be loaded onto your student card. Cards can be swiped in campus cafes/restaurants. If you study off campus or your course involves placements - we will arrange to pay the money into your bank account.
Help with Child Care
Help with the cost of childcare may be available depending on your age and your household income:
- If you are under 20, you can apply to the Care to Learn scheme. Please see the Care to Learn website for more information.
- If you are over 20 and on a low income then you may be eligible for help from the 19+ Discretionary Learner Support Fund.
- If you are 19 or over, studying at Level 3 or 4, on a low income and have taken out an Advanced Learner Loan - then you may be eligible for help from the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary.
If you would like more information about help with child care costs - please contact the Advice Shop on 01603 773773.
Please note that studying full-time can affect your benefit. If you receive Job Seeker's Allowance - then you would only be able to study on a part-time course (16 or less hours per week). The regulations governing students and benefits are complicated, so please check with the Advisers (Finance) in the Advice Shop if you'd like further information.
The Advice Shop holds lists of Norfolk educational charities. If you are under 25 and live in or around Norwich you may be eligible to apply to the Thomas Anguish's Educational Foundation - email: firstname.lastname@example.org or the Joanna Scott Foundation: www.foundationofjoannascott.org.uk. The Advice Shop also has a copy of 'The Educational Grants Directory' which contains details of national charities. In addition, the Student Advisers administer a small number of educational charities on behalf of the Norfolk Community Foundation.
Professional and Career Development Loans
We are a Professional and Career Development Loans registered Learning Provider, registration number 2233. A Professional and Career Development Loan is a commercial bank loan that you can use to help pay for work-related learning. For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit the GOV.UK website or contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.
Advanced Learner Loan
There may be a tuition fee loan available to you if you are 19 and over and wish to study at Level 3 or above. The system operates in a similar way to Higher Education student loans with repayments due after the course is completed and you are earning £21,000 or over.
You can apply online (via Student Finance England) once you have received a special offer letter from the college which contains course reference numbers/ tuition fee amounts etc.
If you study on an Access course and go on to complete a higher education course - then your Advanced Learner Loan will be canceled.
For more information about this scheme - please visit the following website.
Advanced Learner Loan Bursary
This is a hardship fund designed to help with costs such as travel, child care and non-essential books/equipment if you have taken out an Advanced Learner Loan and are on a low income. If you are single and have a household income of under £22,000 p.a. you will be eligible to apply. If you are married or live with a partner you will be eligible if your income is below £35,000. Application forms for this scheme will be available from the Advice Shop or Norfolk House. Proof of eligibility for the Advanced Learner Loan and details of household income will be required.