Do I have to pay a fee? – Adult Learners

Do I have to pay a fee?
Maybe not! Fee exemptions are available, for some students, on all courses which show this symbol:
Do I have to pay a fee?
The fact is that funding is complicated and it depends on a number of things: your age; the programme that you want to study; the qualifications that you already have and in some cases your income or benefit entitlements.

At Colchester Institute we have staff in the Student Finance team who can talk to you individually about your options and signpost you to further information. In general terms the following might be helpful to get you started:

Your programme will be free if you and the course, fall into one of the categories below.

If these do not apply, you may need to pay a fee, and the fee will be shown with the course information, but for some Level 3 programmes, you can apply for a loan to cover all of your tuition fees.

Age 19 – 23Enrolling on some full level 2 or 3 courses and if you do not already have a qualification at this level. (In some cases if you need to enrol on a lower level to be able to progress to Level 2 you may also be eligible for free training)
If you have already achieved a level 2 qualification and wish to undertake another in a different subject, providing you can provide evidence of state benefits that show you are unemployed
Age 19+, employed on a low income, and enrolling on a course up to and including level 2:-If you are employed and earn less than £17,004.00 per annum
You will need to provide supporting evidence at enrolment:

  • Wage slip dated within the last 3 months prior to your course starting


  • An employment contract that states your monthly wage or annual salary
Age 24+, unemployed, and enrolling on courses up to and including Level 2 receiving one or more of these benefits:-In receipt of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
In receipt of Universal Credit (you need to meet some criteria – please ask for more information)
In receipt of other state benefits, dependant on your earnings – please ask for more information
Students aged 19+ enrolling on either a GCSE or Functional Skills course in English or maths do not have to pay tuition fees if you do not already have a GCSE grade A* – C in that area.