Financial support

There are various sources of finance available to students depending on their individual circumstances.

Find out below whether you will need to pay for your course or if you might be entitled to any financial assistance.

The other pages in this section provide information on the other forms of financial help available.

Do I have to pay for my course?

16 to 18-year-olds

If you are aged between 16 and 18 when you start your course and are taking a course leading to a qualification, the tuition and exam fees are free. However, there may be some additional costs for optional trips, residentials, recommended text books and professional start up kits.

19-year-olds and over

If you're aged 19 or over, you may need to pay tuition fees and exam fees, but many students will be eligible for discounts on these.

  • If you're 19 to 23 and do not already hold a full Level 2 (five or more GCSEs at Grade A* to C; NVQ Level 2 or equivalent) or full Level 3 (an Access to Higher Education Course, BTEC National Certificate or Diploma, NVQ Level 3, or two or more A Levels or equivalent) qualification you will be exempt from paying tuition fee and exam fees if you undertake a full Level 2 or full Level 3 qualifications.
  • If you are 19 and over, undertaking an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course you may be exempt from paying tuition and exam fees if you receive an active benefit (e.g. Universal Credit, Employment Support Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance) and are seeking work.
  • If you are aged 19 and over and study GCSE Maths or English and do not already hold a C grade or higher in the subject that you are studying you will be exempt from paying tuition fee and exam fees.

Advanced Learner Loans

Don't let fees hold you back from the perfect course - our advanced learner loans help thousands of people get the qualifications they need to succeed.

Advancer Learner Loans are available for students aged 19 and over who want to undertake FE courses at Level 3 or higher. They are an alternative to paying up front for your course, taking out a bank loan or career development loan. Advice concerning the best route for you can be sought from the Money Advice Service.

Advanced Learner Loans won't affect your credit rating, they aren't means tested and aren't based on your income or current financial situation.

Repayment is generous. With an Advanced Learner Loan you won't have to pay a penny back until the April following your course completion and then only if you are earning over £27,295.00 a year. When you start earning over this amount, you'll only pay back 9p in every £1 of what you earn above it.

You can take out up to four loans and can get more than one at the same time. They can be used to pay for vocational, technical and professional qualifications at Level 3 and above. This means you can take them out to pay for A Levels, Access to Higher Education, some apprenticeships, and a number of other courses at Weston College.

It's low interest and easy to repay. You will be charged interest (Retail Price Index) whilst you complete your course and until your secure work with a salary of over £27,925.00. Once you are earning £27,925.00 or more repayments will be automatically calculated by your employer and taken from your salary (interest will be Retail Price Index and up to +3%)

Access to HE Students, if you take out and Advanced Learner Loan, progress to and complete a Higher Education course then the government will “write off” your Advanced Learner Loan balance.


Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible for a Advanced Learner Loan?
What courses can I do?
Can I get a loan if I already have a similar qualification (i.e. I already have an A Level)?
How many loans can I take out?
How much money can I borrow?
How do I apply?
What information do I need to apply?
How will I pay back the loan?

Care to Learn

Care to Learn is a government childcare scheme for young parents aged under 20, providing up to £160 a week for childcare costs incurred whilst taking part in full or part-time Further Education.

All 16-19 year old parents joining Weston College are entitled to financial support with childcare through the 'Care to Learn' scheme.

For older students, if you are on a low income or in receipt of a range of income-based benefits you may be eligible for financial support for childcare through the Discretionary Learner Support Fund.

What is Care to Learn?

The aim of Care to Learn is to give financial support to teenage parents (mums or dads) who want to continue their education or training and need help with the cost of their childcare.

Online applications are available at https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn/applying-for-care-to-learn

Who can get help?

A young parent can get help with their childcare if they are:

  • Aged under 20 years
  • On a course that they started before they were 20
  • On a course that receives some public funding
  • At a college, school or other course
  • On a work based learning programme (non-employed status).

College Care to Learn contact - Fiona Waters, College Registrar - registrar@weston.ac.uk

Apply or find out more

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