Student Finance

16 – 18 YearsAdults 19+DegreeApprenticesFinancial SupportLearner Loans

School Leavers (16 – 18 Year Old Learners) Fee Information

If you are/will be aged 16, 17 or 18 on the 31st August in the calendar year when you begin a programme of study, you DO NOT pay tuition fees, College registration fees or examination/board registration fees.

Costs of studying

Students aged between 16 and 18 on 1st September 2017 do not have to pay tuition fees however, there are some courses which have additional costs which could include:

  • equipment costs – such as uniforms, kits, boots, etc.;
  • trips and enrichment activities;
  • DBS checks (formerly CRB checks);
In addition all students are asked to pay a £40 Resource Deposit to cover costs of learning resources and access to facilities, £20 of which is refundable on the completion of their studies.

Adult Learners (19+) Fee Information

Are you aged 19 or over and interested in further study?

If the answer is yes, then you will need to know about fees and the options that there are out there.

The decision to take on further study as an adult can be a big one, the benefits of further study are huge, with opportunities to have a change of career, improve your job prospects, maybe increase your earning capacity, learn new skills, build up your CV, as well as develop employability and social skills. When making decisions about what and where to study, you will need to know about any costs there might be, how to pay, and any support that may be available.

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:

Do I have to pay a fee?

Maybe not! Fee exemptions are available, for some students, on some courses.

This means that the programmes will be free if you, and the course, fall into one of these categories:

Age 19 – 23 Enrolling on a full level 2 or 3 course 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 to show you are unemployed


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 the WRAG group
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.

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 programmes, you can apply for a loan to cover all of your tuition fees (see below).

Support Available to help you pay Fees

Advanced Learner Loans are available on courses showing this symbol24+Icon

If you are aged 19 or over and planning to study a course at Levels 3 to 6, then you are likely to qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay your tuition fees.

Loans are from the UK government, it is easy to apply, your household income is not taken into account and there is no credit check. You don’t have to start paying it back until you’ve finished your course and you are earning over £21,000 a year.

An Advanced Learner Loan can only be used to pay for tuition fees, however some programmes also have additional charges for equipment, books, trips and so on that you may need to pay for. Some students who take out an Advanced Learner Loan may be able to get support through college bursary funds to assist with these additional costs and other costs such as childcare or Additional Learning Support, please ask a member of the Student Finance team for more information or visit for details.

Additional information on Advanced Learner Loans is also available at

Higher Education Student Loans

For HNCs, HNDs and Degrees, tuition fees are payable regardless of a student’s age or circumstances.  Again, most students, regardless of age, will qualify for a student loan.  For more information visit The Student Loans Company and

Paying by Instalments

This option is available for fees that you are paying yourself above £200. You will need to pay at least 40% of the total fee when you enrol (or £500, whichever is the lower).  A monthly payment plan will then be setup for you to pay the remainder.  All fees need to be paid in full within six months of the start of the course.  Please contact our Registry department on 01206 712555 for further details.

Colchester Institute Financial Support

For students with an identified low household income, there may be financial support available. Funds are targeted at course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment, and more information can be found at

For enquiries and Further Information

Please feel free to contact one of the Student Finance Team who will be happy to help you, please contact Student Services in either Colchester or Braintree campuses or the Information Centre in Clacton. Alternatively please phone:

  • Colchester Campus: (01206) 712078
  • Braintree Campus: (01206) 814194
  • Clacton Campus: (01206) 712234

Or visit

Note: This information is for guidance purposes only and is subject to change

Degree Level (Higher Education) Fees
Degree Level (Higher Education) Finance
Travel Scholarship
Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)

Full government funding is available for an apprentice between 16-18 years old. If you are an apprentice 19+ years old your employer will be expected to contribute towards the cost of training.

While you are on an Apprenticeship, your employer pays you a salary and supports you whilst you undertake your training. Most of the training is ‘on the job’ within the workplace however the rest can be provided by a local college or by a specialist learning provider or in some cases it could all be undertaken by your employer.

The National Apprenticeship Service will pay the costs of your training depending on your age.

 Age  National Apprenticeship Service contribution
 16 -18  up to 100%
 19 – 24 up to 50%
 25 +  Contribution for specified places

More details are available on request, please contact the Apprenticeship Admissions Team

For more information on Apprenticeships and Apprenticeship vacancies please click here.

Further Education

What help can I get with Student Finance?

Apply now for help with your course related costs. Awards can range from help with paying tuition fees to help with your course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment and much more.

If you are aged over sixteen and thinking of enrolling on a full or part-time course, you can apply for funding by downloading one of the student finance application forms below. Funds will be targeted at students where there is an identified low household income.

You are advised to read the notes and policies with the form and ensure that you provide all the evidence that is required when submitting your application.

Application forms on the website are for students currently studying at the college. New application forms for students starting in September 2017 will be available on the website by the beginning of July 2017.
Colchester Further Education FEE Policy 2017-18

School Leavers (16 – 18 Year Old Learners) Financial Support Documents

16-18 Bursary Application Form
16-18 Bursary Policy
16-18 Bursary and Free Meal Guidelines

Adult Learners (19+) Financial Support Documents

These guidelines apply if you are 19+ and taking a Level 1 or 2 course or 19-23 year old and taking your 1st Level 3 course:
19+ Bursary Application
19+ Childcare
19+ Policy
19+ Guidelines

Advanced Learner Loan Financial Support Documents

Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Application
Advanced Learner Loan Childcare
Advanced Learner Loan Policy
Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Guidelines

Please note that an offer of an award from our funds does not guarantee or confirm your place on your chosen course. You can be assessed for an award prior to your application and acceptance to enable you to make an informed decision on whether to apply and accept a place.

For queries and further information

Contact Student Services on (01206) 712078 or visit any campus for Student Finance information and advice.

  • Colchester Campus: (01206) 712078
  • Braintree Campus: (01206) 814194
  • Clacton Campus: (01206) 712234

Part-time courses | Advanced Learner Loans | 19+ Learner Loans

Available to Further Education Students only

19+ Learner Loan Overview

If you are aged 19 or over and are thinking about further education, you may be eligible for a Advanced Learner Loan, for help with your tuition fees.

Applicants must be studying further education at level 3 to level 6.

Most learners that fall into this bracket will be eligible, it doesn’t depend on your household income and there’s no credit check!

Am I eligible?

To qualify for this loan you must be:

  • 19 years old or over on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age limit)
  • Living in the UK on the first day of your course, and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this
  • Taking an eligible course that’s level 3 to level 6

What can I get?

The Advanced Learner Loan, to help pay your tuition fees. The minimum loan you can get is £300 but the maximum will depend on how much the fees are and the type of course you take.

You don’t have to borrow the full cost of your course – if you wish to pay some of it yourself, and take the rest as a loan, you can choose to do that.

How is the loan paid?

The money is paid directly to the College.

How many loans can I apply for?

You are entitled to access up to 4 loans, which you can take out one after the other or at the same time.

  • You will need to complete an application form for each course.
  • You are restricted to only one loan for the completion of an Access to Higher Education Diploma Course.


Repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrow.

  • You will start to repay your loan in the year after you finish studying or after three years from the start of your course, whichever is earlier, if you are earning more than £21,000.
  • Repayments will automatically be deducted from your earnings through the tax system, once you have left the course and your income is £21,000 a year.
  • If your income falls below £21,000, your repayments will stop.
  • The repayment rate is 9% of your income, above the first £21,000 before tax, so for example, if you were earning £23,000 a year your monthly repayment would be £15.
  • You can pay some, or all of your loan at any time without an extra charge.
  • Any outstanding balance is written off after 30 years.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

If you get a loan to cover tuition fees for the Access to HE course and then complete a higher education (degree) course, you won’t have to repay the remaining loan for the Access course.

Further Information

If you would like further information you can contact our Student Finance Advice Team on (01206) 712078 or visit