If You're Aged 16-18

16-18 Bursary Fund

North Kent College operates a range of Bursary schemes to assist students from low-income households with the costs of attending college. These schemes are subject to government funding levels, and awarded on a first come, first served basis and can be withdrawn at any time. 
Financial support is available to students who:
Are on a full time government funded course and
Have a household income below the college criteria. This includes housing and council tax benefits. 

Bursary awards are tailored to the individual student and the award allocated will depend upon your course of study and where you live. 
The Bursary is only a contribution towards course related costs and will not necessarily cover the full amount. These costs could include, but are not limited to the following:

Course contribution/materials fee applicable to your course.
Essential books, kit, uniform or equipment required for your course.
Travel (depending on where you live and how many timetabled days you attend college). 
Childcare costs (only applies to students aged 20 or above. Students under the age of 20 should apply to the national Care to Learn Scheme for assistance with childcare https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn).

Travel to and from college

Students travelling more than 1.5 miles from home to college (for Dartford campus students only from home to Dartford station where they can pick up a free shuttle bus to the Dartford campus) may be eligible for travel support.

Depending on where you live and how you are travelling to college, you may receive a monthly travel allowance. 

Students who live in a London Borough need to apply for the 16+ Zip Oyster Photo Card, this entitles them to free travel on London buses and half price travel by train. Students who are 18 as at 31st August should ensure they apply too for the 16+ Zip Oyster Photo Card (and not the 18+ Oyster) as they are still entitled to free travel until the end of their course.

A new 16-17 rail card is being launched in September 2019. Further information will be available as soon as it becomes available to us or you can look on the National Rail website.

Vulnerable Student Bursary

Vulnerable students aged 16 - 18 may be eligible to receive a package of support up to the value of £1,200.

The following groups of students that may be eligible for this bursary:

Young people in local authority care.
Care leavers.
Young people in receipt of Income Support (additional evidence will be required).
Young people in receipt of a Universal Credit payment (additional evidence will be required).
Young people in receipt of both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The £1,200 support package is set 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 and the cost of essential books (these costs will depend on which course you are taking). Once the compulsory costs are deducted, 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 Bursary funds. To be eligible for the 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 with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 p.a.
Working Tax Credit run on - paid for four weeks after you stopped qualifying for   Working Tax Credit.
During the initial roll out of the  Universal Credit benefit .
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.

Eligible students will receive £5.50 per timetabled day in college, which is loaded automatically on to their college ID/cashless catering card. This can be used to purchase hot or cold meals, snacks and drinks in the college cafeteria. This daily amount can be used for breakfast and lunch and is paid weekly depending on the number of timetabled days the student attends college. 

Even if you do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Free College Meals, you may still be eligible for support for travel/course related costs.

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.  Please visit https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn for further information, and the online application. 
The college has an on-site nursery that accepts the children of students with Care to Learn funding. (Subject to availability and the child's age).

Please note:  
Bursary Funds are limited and awarded bursaries are on a first come-first served basis. Where possible, please apply before 1st June for progressing students and 1st August for new students so that your application can be processed before enrolment. If your application is successful you will not be required to pay any course materials fee at enrolment. However there may be other costs that need to be paid for at enrolment that are not covered by the bursary.
All financial support is subject to students meeting the college’s expected attendance levels and standards of behaviour, as well as 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 online Student Financial Support application form by following the link here.
Along with the completed form, you will need to supply full evidence (* all pages required) of your household income for the previous 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 current monthly pay slips). 
Income from self–employment (accounts showing gross profit).
Income from any state benefits (your benefits award notices).
•      Universal Credits (3 months benefits award notices).*
Working Tax/Child Tax Credits (Tax Credit Award Notice 2018/19).*
Council Tax and Housing benefits (your benefits award notices, dated within the last 3 months).*

Please either scan the documents as a pdf file and upload all pages of relevant documentation, or submit your paperwork to the college and we will scan and upload the evidence on your behalf. Your application will not 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 working hours), please provide details in the notes box on the online application form and we will take this into account.
Once the online application is completed, please submit with all relevant digital signatures, ensuring that you have read and agreed to the declaration. 

Please apply by 1st June for progression students and 1st August for new students so that we are able to process your application before enrolment. 

Applications received after 1st June / 1st August will be accepted, however, we are unable to guarantee that it will be assessed before enrolment and you may therefore be required to pay any applicable fees due at enrolment. These may be refunded later (beginning of December) if you are subsequently awarded. The bursary fund is limited and awards are made on a first come, first-served basis. It is 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 Coordinator 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.

If you require any further help please contact Student Financial Support Team:

Email: studentservices@northkent.ac.uk

Telephone:  01322 629400 and ask to speak to a member of  Student Financial Support 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).