Investing in your education doesn’t have to cost the earth!

Many financial packages are available to help lower the cost of learning and depending on your circumstances, courses may be free or available at reduced prices. To receive financial support you must comply with nationality and residency conditions, age rules and previous study rules.

To find out whether you are eligible, please see the table below.

Are you …? Aged Then …
In receipt of:

  • Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA).
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).
19+ Courses up to and including Level 2 that lead to a qualification are FREE.
In receipt of Universal Credit, earning less than £330 per month (see table* below for weekly equivalencies) and in one of the following groups:

  • All Work-related Requirement Group
  • Work Preparation Group
  • Work-Focused Interview Group

*Weekly salary equivalencies table

Aged Salary
19-20 £5.30
21-24 £6.70
25 and over £7.20
19+ Courses up to and including Level 2 that lead to a qualification are FREE.
In receipt of a state benefit and either:

  • unemployed (ie not in paid employment or self-employed), actively looking for work, and your chosen course will provide you with the necessary skills and abilities to seek employment; or
  • earning less than £330 per month (see table* above for weekly equivalencies) and your chosen course will provide you with the skills to enhance your employment prospects.
19+ Courses up to and including Level 2 that lead to a qualification are FREE.
Thinking of studying GCSE English or Maths. 19+ If you do not currently hold a GCSE English or Maths qualification at Grade A*-C these courses are FREE.
Thinking of studying a Functional Skills English or Maths qualification. 19+ These courses are FREE.
Thinking of studying your first full Level 2 or first full Level 3 qualification# 19-23 These courses are FREE.
Thinking of studying a further education qualification at Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 9+

Access to a 19+ Advanced Learning Loan is available to support you with the cost of studying a Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 further education qualification.

If you choose to study an Access to Higher Education Level 3 Diploma and progress to/successfully complete a degree/higher education course, the balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off. This means your Access course could be free.

A full Level 2 qualification is equivalent to:

  • 5 or more GCSEs / O Levels at Grade A*-C
  • 5 or more CSEs at Grade 1
  • 1 Advanced Level
  • 2-3 AS Levels
  • NVQ Level 2

A full Level 3 qualification is equivalent to:

  • 2 or more A Levels
  • 4 or more AS Levels
  • GNVQ Advanced
  • BTEC National Diploma
  • NVQ Level 3
  • Access to Higher Education

Advanced Learner Loans (previously 24+ Advanced Learning Loans)

If you are aged 19 or over and thinking about studying a further education vocational, technical or professional course at Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 from September 2016, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay your course fees. To find out more please click here.

Payment by Instalment

If your course fees are £150 or over, you may choose to pay by installment. This will involve the payment of a deposit, followed by up to three Direct Debit payments (depending upon the price of your course). Please contact Course Enquiries on 01772 642040 (email: justask@runshaw.ac.uk) for further details.

Care to Learn 

If you’re a young parent aged under 20, ‘Care to Learn’ could pay up to £160 per child per week towards registered childcare while you learn. To find out more, visit the ‘Care to Learn’ website at www.direct.gov.uk/caretolearn

Professional & Career Development Loans (PCDLs)

A PCDL is a bank loan specifically aimed at providing support for individuals aged 18 years or over, who wish to take part in work-related learning. You will be able to borrow from £300 to £10,000 to help with the cost of learning. For more details visit www.gov.uk/career-development-loans/overview

Learner Support Funds (LSF)

Learner Support Funds are used to assist students who have difficulty in joining, staying on and completing their course because of financial hardship. All applications are assessed to find those students who are most in need of help. For more details call Student Services on 01772 643020.

Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund

This Bursary Fund is designed to help vulnerable students who have taken out an Advanced Learner Loan, such as those experiencing financial hardship, parents who may need help towards their childcare and those with learning difficulties or disabilities. All applications are assessed to find those students who are most in need of help. For more details call Student Services on 01772 643020.

Need Advice?

If you would like more information on financial support, please contact Student Services at our Euxton Lane Campus by phoning 01772 643020.

It is your responsibility to thoroughly investigate whether you are eligible for financial support before you enrol. To receive student finance you must comply with nationality and residency conditions, age rules and previous study rules.