If You're Aged 16-18
16-18 Bursary Fund
Financial support is available to students who:
• are on a full-time government-funded course and
• have a household income of below £23,000 (for the previous tax year) after housing benefit or annual rent or mortgage payments has been deducted.
Bursaries are tailored to the individual student and the bursary award will depend upon your course of study and where you live.
Help is usually given in the form of payment of the actual costs involved in coming to College and may include the following:
On some courses students are required to pay a course materials fee at enrolment. Students who apply and are eligible for a bursary will have this fee paid for them out of bursary funds.
Essential Trips/Study Visits
An award will be made for any trips or study visits which are deemed an essential part of your course. Awards for trips are normally paid directly to the department except where students are required to travel independently e.g. to London visits, in which case a payment is made into their bank account to cover trip costs.
Travel to and from College
Students travelling more than 1.5 miles from home to College or (Dartford campus students only) from home to Dartford station (where they can pick up a free shuttle bus to Dartford campus) are eligible for travel support.
Depending on where you live and how you are travelling to College, this may be either:
• A Kent County Council 16+ Travel Card (for students travelling by bus who reside in Kent)
• Termly payments for the purchase of Arriva Thameside or South Eastern bus passes
• For students who drive into College, a mileage allowance of 20 pence per mile up to a maximum amount of £450 for the year paid in monthly instalments.
• For students travelling by train (where bus travel is not feasible) a contribution to train fare up to a maximum of £5 per day paid in monthly instalments.
Students who live in a London Borough are expected to apply for the 16-18 Oyster Card which entitles them to free travel on London buses and half price travel by train. (Students who are 18 as at 31 August should ensure they apply for the 16-18 Student Oyster (and not the 18+ Oyster) as they are still entitled to free travel until the end of their course).
Essential books, kit, and equipment
An award may also be made for any essential books and any kit or equipment that may be required for the specific course you are on. Some awards will be paid directly to the department who will purchase this on your behalf. Alternatively a payment may be made directly to your bank account so that you are able to purchase the items yourself. You will receive an individualized award letter which will give you full details of your award and how and when the payments will be made.
Vulnerable Student Bursary
Vulnerable students aged 16 - 18 will be eligible to receive a package of support up to the value of £1,200.
The following groups of students are eligible for this bursary:
• Young people in Local Authority care
• Care leavers
• Young people in receipt of Income Support
• Young people in receipt of a Universal Credit payment
• Young people in receipt of both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
The £1,200 support package will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual student and may involve help with paying for travel to college, course contribution fees, kit, uniform or equipment costs, the cost of essential books and trips (these costs will depend on which course you are taking). Once these costs are taken out, the remainder of the bursary will be paid into your bank account in ten equal monthly instalments.
16-18 Free College Meals
The eligibility criteria for Free College meals is set by the government and is different to the College Criteria for the 16-18 bursary fund. To be eligible for Free College Meals 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) and 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 Free College Meals although free meals may be offered in certain circumstances at the discretion of the College.
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for Free Meals you will still be eligible for support for travel/course related costs if your household income is below £23,000.
Eligible students will receive £3.50 per timetabled day in College which is loaded automatically on their College ID/cashless catering card and may be used to purchase hot or cold meals, snacks and drinks in the College cafeteria
Bursary Funds are limited and bursaries are awarded on a first come-first served basis. Where possible, please apply before 1st August so that your application can be processed before enrolment and if successful you will not be required to pay any course materials fee at enrolment.
All financial support is subject to students meeting the College’s expected attendance levels and standards of behaviour and progressing on their course.
How to apply for a 16-18 Bursary/Free College Meals
To apply for a 16-18 Bursary or Vulnerable Student Bursary (which may include Free College Meals), please complete the Student Financial Support application form available from the College reception or download a copy here.
Along with the completed form, you will need to supply full evidence of your household income for the 2015/2016 financial year. The following documentation for you and any partner you live with, or for your parent(s)/guardian(s) if you are living with them, is required as applicable:
• Income from employment: P60 or last 3 pay slips
• Income from self–employment: Accounts showing gross profit
• Income from any state benefits: Your benefits award notice(s)
• Working Tax/Child Tax Credits : Tax Credit Award Notice 2015/16 (all pages)
Please send in photocopies of the relevant documentation and not the originals. Your application cannot be processed without the required evidence of income. If the financial circumstances of your household have recently changed (for example as a result of redundancy or a reduction in work hours) please provide a letter explaining your change in circumstances and we will take this into account.
Please apply by 1 August 2016 so that we are able to process your application before enrolment. If you are awarded a bursary you will not then be required to pay any materials or trips fees relevant to your course at enrolment.
Applications received after 1st August will be accepted, however we are unable to guarantee that you will receive your award letter before enrolment and you may therefore be required to pay any applicable fees at enrolment. These may be refunded at a later date (end of November) if you are subsequently awarded. The bursary fund is limited however and awards are made on a first come, first-served basis. We therefore recommend that you apply as soon as possible.
Once you have applied for a bursary, if you receive notification that an award cannot be made, an appeal must be made in writing to the Student Services Manager who will review your application and make a decision. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your appeal you should follow the College’s complaints procedure here.
Download the Student Financial Support application form here.
Download information about financial support here
If you require any further help please contact Student Services:
Telephone: 01322 629400 and ask to speak to Student Services at the campus you will be attending. (Dartford or Gravesend)
Alternatively you can call into College to see us. (We are open during the College holidays).
Childcare Support – Care to Learn
Students aged under 20 at the start of their course can apply for childcare support from the Government’s Care to Learn scheme. For further information and to apply online. Please visit For further details, visit https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn
The College has an onsite nursery which accepts the children of students with Care to Learn funding.
Child Benefit and Tax Credits
Both Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits can still be claimed for a young person aged under 20 if they are on a ‘non-advanced’ College course which includes all qualifications up to and including Level 3.
The student must have started on their course before the age of 19.
For more information regarding child benefit for students contact the child benefit helpline on 0300 200 3100 or go to www.gov.uk/child-benefit-16-19
For further information regarding tax credits visit www.gov.uk/child-tax-credit-when-child-reaches-16
Council Tax Exemption
Your local council may request a letter from the College to prove that the student is a full time College student if they are 18 or over. Students can request this from their Course Curriculum Administrator or from the College reception.