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Financial Support & Fees Info

Information on financial support, course fees & refunds for students at City College

Financial Support

City College is committed to ensuring education is accessible and affordable for all. No matter what you're studying, we are here to help you find out what financial support you're entitled to. 

We offer confidential and free advice on fees and financial support. Depending on your individual circumstances, we can help you gain access to a range of financial assistance options.

The information below on the financial support available at City College is correct for the academic year 2022/2023.

The Department of Education announced funding to support students whose learning was disrupted as a result of the COVID pandemic. 16 to 19 Tuition Fund Statement (pdf)

If you need help or have any questions regarding financial support, please email

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Financial support is available to students on fully-funded or part-funded courses (which includes all 16-18 full-time study programmes) and those paying for their course using an Advanced Learner Loan, if their household income is below £29,000 (or £32,000 for travel only support).  

Students can get help towards the cost of travel, childcare, meals and essential equipment for their course.

Support is not available to students who are on an apprenticeship; are under 16; are paying for their course themselves; or are on a Level 4 or higher education (HE) course.

Additional support is also available for students aged 16-18 who are in vulnerable groups (e.g. in care, a care leaver or financially supporting themselves).

Students who are 16-18 years old at the start of their course and in receipt of financial support are entitled to a weekly meal allowance.

£12 per week will be paid directly into the student's bank account on the first working day of each week during term time only.

Students who are 19 years or over are not eligible for Meal Allowance unless they are on a course they started when they were 18 or they have a current Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Students with a household income of over £29,000 may still be entitled to Meal Allowance if they meet the government eligibility criteria.   

Students in receipt of financial support that live more than 1 mile walk from their college campus (by Google Maps) will be entitled to travel support for the cheapest method of travel. This can be in the form of:

  • A Bluestar bus pass (this is an app on your phone)
  • A First bus pass (this is an app on your phone)
  • Bus tickets reimbursed
  • Train tickets reimbursed
  • Ferry tickets reimbursed

Reimbursed tickets must be received by the Student Finance office by 1pm Friday for payment by BACs payment to be made the following Monday.  No tickets will be refunded prior to your application being authorised. No tickets more than 3 weeks old will be reimbursed.

Bus passes are for students in college 2 or more days per week.

Students with a household income of £29,000 to £32,000 per year can get Travel Only support to the same value.

You may be entitled to free childcare while you are in timetabled lessons.

Aged under 20
If you are under 20 at the start of your course you can apply for Care to Learn. Your childcare is paid for directly by the government. The college has to confirm your attendance each month for your childcare to be paid. You don't have to be in receipt of financial assistance to get Care to Learn.

Aged 20 or over
If you are aged 20 or over at the start of your course you can have your childcare covered if you're eligible for financial assistance. Complete the financial support application form and upload your evidence. Once your application has been approved, the college will provide you with the relevant childcare application form.

Only registered childcare providers can be used. The setting is paid directly by the college. No payments will be made prior to the application being authorised.

Essential equipment and uniform will be provided to students who are eligible for financial support.

This will be brought to your classroom at the start of your course.

No items bought by the student will be reimbursed. If you withdraw from the course, the college reserves the right to request the items are returned or paid for.

Download Equipment and Uniform kit list 2023/24 (pdf)

Higher Level Support for Vulnerable Groups is only available for students aged 16-18 at the start of their course.

Students in the defined vulnerable groups are students who are:

  • in care
  • care leavers
  • receiving Income Support (IS), or Universal Credit (UC) because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner
  • receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC) in their own right

These students are entitled to support of up to £1,200 per academic year. The College takes the cost of any trips, bus passes, equipment and uniform out of the £1,200. The remaining money is divided up and paid as a BACs payment into the student’s bank account. Payments are made on the last Friday of each month until the end of June.

There are two ways to apply

1.    Online via your College CityBit account

This is the quickest and easiest method. Log on to your student account on CityBit using your student ID for your username and your date of birth (as an 8-digit number) as your password. New students will receive their student ID and access to CityBit once they have completed their enrolment.

Complete the online form and then upload your supporting evidence (photographs/screenshots).

You can monitor your application progress and get feedback via your account. Support will only be confirmed after you are fully enrolled on a course.

2.    Printed form and in-person with evidence

Complete the printed application form and bring to the Student Finance office at the start of term along with paper copies of your supporting evidence.

Support will only be confirmed after you are fully enrolled on a course.

Your bus pass, uniform and equipment will be available to collect from college after your application has been successfully completed. Please do not buy anything in advance as it will not be reimbursed.

If your circumstances or requirements change, please visit the Student Finance office in person or email: 

The Student Finance Office is located in the Mall.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 12pm - 2pm (term-time only)

The government requires that we see and retain evidence that a student has a need for financial support. We do this by taking copies (screen shots or photographs are accepted) of your recent household income.

Suggested evidence:

  • 3 months of universal credit statements
  • 3 months of payslips
  • 3 months of bank statements
  • A recent benefits statement

All information must be clearly yours (name / address visible), have no information missing (nothing blacked out / no pages missing) and dated within 3 months.  For example, for courses starting in September we would need evidence for June, July and August.

Failure to provide full information may result in your support being delayed or refused. The college may ask for further evidence if they do not feel what you have provided is sufficient.

Loans for Adult Learners

There are loans available to help support adults with the costs of studying Further and Higher Education courses at City College. These are described below. 

If you're aged 19 or over and want to study Access to Higher Education or a Level 3 or above Vocational Qualification, you'll need to pay for the cost of your course. To help finance the course you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. 

It’s easy to apply for. Household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check. Importantly, you won’t have to pay anything back until you're earning over £25,000 a year.

Good news for Access to HE courses

Student Finance England will 'write off' any outstanding Advanced Learner Loan balances you owe for an Access to HE course once you complete a Higher Education course. This means you do not have to repay it.

When to apply

You can apply for courses starting between 1 August 2023 and 31 July 2024.  Complete and submit your Advanced Learner Loan application as soon as possible to ensure your loan is in place for the start of your course. Please note: you will not be able to apply until you have received a course offer and a Learning and Funding Information letter from the College.

How to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan

Step 1 - Identify whether your chosen course is eligible for a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan. This would be shown in the 'Dates, times & fees' section of the course information page on our website.

Step 2 - Once an offer of a place on the course is made, you will be invited to enrol and obtain a Learning and Funding Information letter from the College.

Step 3 - Apply online for Advanced Learner Loans (new window). – it’s easy and your application will be processed quickly. You should hear within two weeks from applying. You will need to use the Learning and Funding Information letter we provide to apply for your loan.

Step 4 - Upon successful confirmation of your loan from the Student Loans Company you can start your course

Visit Money Helper (new window) for impartial financial advice

You may be able to borrow money to help pay for your college tuition fees and to help with living costs. You might also be able to get extra money on top of this if you’re on a low income, are disabled or have children for example.

The Student Loans Company (new window) can provide students studying their first Degree or other Higher Education course loans and grants to help finance the course fees.  The fees will automatically be paid by the Student Loans Company (SLC) directly to the College.

You can apply for student loans and other student finance in the spring before the start of your course. Don’t wait until you get an offer or receive your exam results – apply as soon as you can!

You usually only get student finance if you’re doing your first Higher Education qualification - even if your previous course was self-funded. You may still be eligible for limited funding in certain circumstances. You will need to contact the loan company to check your eligibility.

Tuition Fee Loan & Maintenance Loan for Living Costs

To assist you with your tuition fees you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan (non-income assessed) and a Maintenance Loan for your accommodation and living costs whilst you are studying.

There are no up-front tuition fees with a student loan and you will only start to repay the loan after you leave the course and start working. The amount you pay is dependent on your salary, not the size of your loan and will be deducted from your salary by your employer in the same way they deduct tax.

Find out Student Finance Loan Information (new window)

Fees Information

Depending on your circumstances and/or which course you wish to take, there may be a fee to pay for your course. If you do have to pay your own fees there are a number of ways you can find help with making this payment. This could be loan or we can help spread the payments out with an interest free payment plan. 

For information on course fees, contact our advice and guidance team by email at

For students aged 16–18 our full‑time study programmes are free to study, but coming to college can involve other costs such as travel, equipment and trips. Financial support may be available (see top of this page for information).

Regardless of your age, you don't need to pay tuition fees for a basic English (literacy) or maths (numeracy) course up to level 2. There are also no fees for GCSE English and maths if you have not already gained a grade 4/C or above in these subjects.

If you meet any of the following criteria you may be eligible for free or discounted study depending on your selected course:

  • You are aged 19 to 23 years and the course is your first full level 2 qualification (the equivalent of five GCSEs at grade 4/C or above)
  • You are aged 19 to 23 years and the course is your first full level 3 qualification (the equivalent of two A-level passes)
  • You are in receipt of active benefits (see Unemployed or on benefits section below for more information)
  • You have been referred to the College through your local Job Centre Plus office

Please note: in some cases exam and registration fees may be payable.

UK and EU students do not pay tuition or examination fees for government funded further education courses, as long as they have not reached their 19th birthday by the month in which their course begins.

If you are aged 19+ and in receipt of active benefits (e.g. Job Seeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Universal Credit) and studying below level 3 you may be eligible for free or discounted study depending on your selected course.

You can set up an INTEREST FREE payment plan using your debit or credit card for course fees over £300 and at least 8 weeks long. Students can choose to pay their instalments on either the 1st or 15th day of the month, the first payment will be due on the month the course starts. The number of instalments is dependent on the length of the course and all payment plans must be completed at least 1 month before the end of the course.

If your employer is intending to pay for your course a signed Employer Authority Form should be supplied to you at enrolment.

Download Employer Authority Form (pdf)

View Fees Policy (pdf)

If you wish to claim a refund for a course you've already paid for, please complete and return the below refund application form.

Download Refund Application Form (pdf)