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We can support with the costs of studying at college for students who need it most.
A wide range of bursaries are available, helping you with the cost of studying with us. This page is dedicated to our Further Education courses. For university-level, please see our Higher Education financial support information. All bursaries are subject to you meeting eligibility criteria. Each student's individual circumstances and their actual financial need are taken into consideration.
Please note: You must submit a new application each academic year, even if your course runs for more than one year. Bursary forms for 2023-24 courses are now available.
A bursary provides financial support to help students overcome any financial barriers they may face to be able to do their course.
A wide range of bursaries are available, helping you with the cost of studying with us. They can be used to pay for essential travel, meal credits, essential trips, and childcare.
All bursaries are subject to you meeting eligibility criteria, with each student’s individual circumstances and actual financial need taken into consideration..
See below for more information about our bursaries, eligibility and how to apply.
All decisions about which students receive a discretionary bursary and how much they receive are based on each student’s individual circumstances and their actual financial need.
Financial support communications will be sent to both the students and parents/carers (emergency contacts) of students ages 16/17 on 31 August 2023.
Travel bursaries are available to support students with travel costs to and from college. To be eligible, students must live three miles or more from the nearest Activate Learning campus offering the course they are studying.
How will support with travel be provided?
The support provided will be by the most cost-effective method, which will either be a travel pass or travel expenses paid into your bank account.
We buy travel passes from the following travel companies:
In the event that we are unable to award a travel bursary, we recommend that you take a look at Local Authority Transport Policies for possible support.
Students may be awarded travel expenses, but only in the following circumstances:
A bursary to support students with the cost of essential items needed for their course.
All students have access to essential materials, consumables, kit, equipment, and tools to complete their course. There is no need to buy these items, so bursary funds do not support these costs.
Students are free to buy their own essential items for their course but should be aware that this will be at their own cost.
Students aged 16–18
The fund supports:
Students aged 19+
We can support with:
Support paying your course fee
How do you provide support?
Awards for course items will only be made to students with costs directly related to participating in their course, which are detailed on the course participation record.
Faculty will provide students who have been awarded a bursary with the items detailed on the course participation record.
We recommend that students don’t buy their specialist protective clothing if they are eligible for a bursary, as faculty will provide these items to eligible students.
Funds for UCAS fees and university visits will be paid by:
When you complete your course or if you withdraw from college, all equipment and books purchased using bursary funds must be returned to your faculty.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive a free breakfast or lunch only on the days that you attend college.
To be eligible, you must be aged 16-18 on 31 August 2023; or continuing a course you began aged 16-18; or have an EHCP plan and provide evidence that your household is in receipt of one of the following benefits:
If you received free meals last year and we can confirm the award, you will continue to be eligible for free meals if you let us know you want them. We may ask you to provide your free meal entitlement letter.
Parents who are self-employed and in receipt of Universal Credit will need to provide:
Please note: Working Tax Credit is not a qualifying benefit for free meals.
If you are not eligible for meal credits under the standard criteria, you may be able to access these through Student Support; please speak to a member of the Student Support Team.
Meals credits(taken at lunch or alternatively at breakfast)
Meal credit expenses
If your course is not based at a campus with a refectory, or you have been awarded meals while attending on work experience, you will receive a fortnightly, term-time direct transfer payment (£3.50 a day) into your bank account to buy a meal.
This bursary supports eligible students who have a financial need to enable them to remain in education.
What are the defined vulnerable groups?
Students in the defined vulnerable groups are:
How is the support provided?
Please note: Students who meet the criteria for bursaries for vulnerable groups are not automatically entitled to a bursary if they do not have financial needs and/or their financial needs are covered from other sources.
The bursary provides a contribution towards the cost of accommodation for students who are enrolled on a specialist subject that is not available where they live.
To be eligible you must:
How is the support provided?
Support with accommodation for the academic year as follows:
Please note: Where students leave part way through the year, transfer to a non-specialist course, or are excluded from their accommodation, their accommodation bursary payments will stop on the date they left their course or were excluded.
Students aged 19+ in receipt of an accommodation bursary will only be supported with a travel bursary in exceptional circumstances.
This is a bursary fund to support with childcare costs whilst studying.
Parents aged 16-19 years old
Care to Learn can help you with childcare costs while you study.
Care to Learn can help with the cost of:
You can receive up to £180 per child per week if you live outside London.
The childcare bursary can top up Care to Learn funds by a maximum of £50 a week
Apply for a Care to Learn online at https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn
Do I need to provide any evidence?
You will need to provide evidence that you receive Child Benefit or a copy of your child's birth certificate to FEBursaries @activatelearning.ac.uk
Parents aged 20+
You may be able to receive childcare costs to support time needed to attend timetabled sessions at college plus a realistic amount of time to travel to college to the maximum award.
How is the support provided?
Please note: Both students and the childcare provider must return a signed copy of our full Childcare Bursary Terms and Conditions document before invoices will be paid.
How do I apply for the Childcare bursary?
To be eligible for our bursaries, students need to meet the household income thresholds detailed below:
Evidence of household income is required for all bursary applications, except for asylum seekers and students who are looked after or in care, who will need to supply local authority confirmation of their status.
For full eligibility and evidence requirements for each bursary, please refer to the relevant FE bursary application form and guidance notes.
If you need any help completing your application form, one of our Advice and Admissions Team will be happy to help you either at one of our Advice Centres on each campus, by calling 0800 612 6008 or send an enquiry.