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Money for study

What money is available to help you while you study? The following information will help you at college or sixth form (not university)

Guaranteed Bursaries

Are for students aged 16-19 who are currently in care or have left care, those claiming Income Support or disabled young people who receive Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. You may receive a £1,200 bursary. Read more information about the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund.

Discretionary Bursaries

Are for other students who face genuine financial difficulties. These are awarded at the discretion of the school, college or training provider. They will decide when bursaries are paid, and set conditions that students should meet to receive a bursary, for example, linked to behaviour or attendance.

See details for both guaranteed and discretionary on the government’s 16 to 19 bursary page.

Applying for Bursaries

You need to get an application form from your chosen school, college or training provider. Make sure your college knows about your full circumstances, as this may affect your eligibility.  Details of all the schemes and application forms can be found on the college websites. Go to Your Space for information on local colleges.

Care to Learn

If you are a parent and aged under 20 at the start of your course, you may be able to get help with childcare and travel costs. Call the National Learner Support helpline on 0800 121 8989 for more information or look at Care to learn.


If your parent or carer claims Child Benefit or Tax Credit for you, they may be able to continue to do so while you study. You can find further information on post-16 Child Tax Credits and general Child Benefit Information. If you live independently post-16, your situation is more complicated and you should make enquiries with Jobcentreplus in Crawley, Haywards Heath or Horsham by visiting the government website or by phoning 0800 055 6688.

Travel Costs

If you’re a student you may be able to get support with your travel costs. You can find out more about local travel discount schemes for students at West Sussex County Council.

Dance and Drama Awards

If you are aged 16+ and plan to study dance and drama at a specialist college, you may be eligible for a Dance and Drama Award.

Residential Bursaries

May be available if you are studying a specialist course which requires you to live away from home.

Family Action Educational Grant Search

You can ask the Family Action Grants Programme to search their database of charities and scholarships to see if there is any other funding you could apply to.


This charity also helps you to search for educational funding and has information about benefits at Turn2us.

Hardship Funds

If you have concerns about funding for any reason – either before or after the start of your course, ask your school or college if they have any other funds available for support.

Princes Trust Development Awards

Cash awards of £30 – £180 to help young people to access education, training or work in Sussex. Participants can receive a cash award to help undertake education or training or enhance their ability to gain employment. A Prince’s Trust volunteer will also support you in setting goals, making decisions and finding other programmes or support.

Eligible to UK residents aged 14 – 25 who have educational, training or work-related goals and are either:

  • unemployed (or working less than 16 hours a week)
  • educational under-achievers
  • currently in or leaving care
  • an offender or ex-offender

Applicants, or their Support Workers, should contact Wilf Nicholls on 01273 221475 or wilf.nicholls@princes-trust.org.uk.

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