Financing Your Studies

Polly Pancosta benefitted from having her Access to Higher Education course fees paid for by an Advanced Learner Loan.

“Thanks to Shrewsbury College, I’m now starting a Social Work degree at the University of Wolverhampton. I returned to college to do the Access to Higher Education course. I want to become a trained Social Worker and thought the finances might be an issue but the easy Advanced Learner Loan - which gets written off once I complete my degree - has been great."

Courses for 16-18 year olds and apprenticeships are free of charge to students.
If you are aged 19-23, you have an entitlement to full funding for your first Level 1-3 studies, meaning your course will be free.

If you already hold a Level 1-3 qualification (which includes 4 AS Levels or 2 A Levels  you will have to fund your own studies.  This page aims to explain the wide variety of options available to help you fund your studies – this includes loans (which are repayable) and bursaries (which do not need to be repaid, so long as you compete your course).

Your studies will probably prove more affordable than you think.

The Student Services Department will walk you through every step of financing your studies and make applying an easy process. Students of all ages will be able to access information on things such as course costs, transport costs, childcare and free meals.

If you complete an Access programme and then go on to complete a degree at university, your loan will be written off.

Welsh students information

Funding can be obtained through Welsh EMA. Please obtain an application form from Student Services 01743 342322. Alternatively apply online or telephone 0300 200 4050 for an application form.

Advanced Learner Loans

New Advanced Learner Loans for ‘Further Education’ Students aged 19+ on Level 3-6 Courses*

If you are aged 19-23 and already hold the equivalent of a Level 3 qualification (which includes 4 AS Levels or 2 A Levels) you will be required to pay the full cost of the course and would be able to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan. If you are 24+ you will be required to pay the full cost of the course and would be able to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan.

*For ‘Further Education’ courses - such as Access to Higher Education Diploma or a Level 3-6 ‘non-university’ course.

This Advanced Learner Loan funding is easy to apply for, it offers a low rate of interest, it does not take your household income into account, it does not involve a credit check and you only start to pay back your loan when you complete your course and start earning over £21,000.

Furthermore, if you receive an Advanced Learner Loan to cover tuition fees for the Access to Higher Education Diploma and then go on to complete a Higher Education course, the government will write-off your loan for the Access Course.

For more information:

Career Development Loans

A Career Development Loan is another option for financing your course. (The College’s registration number is 2541)

Higher Education Student Loans

For Higher Education university level courses including HNC and HND, you may be eligible for student funding. 

For further information on HE loans:

Financial Support / Bursaries

Students aged 16-18
The College can assist with some course-related costs, meals and travel costs.  This is a means-tested bursary which is based on your age and your household income.  If you are under the age of 19 when you start at College and your household income is under £26,000, you may qualify for the financial support.  These bursaries do not have to be paid back so long as you complete your course.

Students aged 19+
The College runs an Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund for people who have an Advanced Learner Loan. This bursary can help you if you have any support needs, for example if you need help with your learning, or help with childcare or residential costs.

Students aged 19+ studying their first Level 1, 2 or 3 may be able to get assistance with costs associated with travel and childcare dependent on the household income.

Students Living in Wales
If you are between 16-18 years of age you may be entitled to Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA). If you are 19 or over, you may be able to apply for a Welsh Government Learning Grant (WGLG). You will need to apply directly to Student Finance Wales.

For more information:
To enquire about your eligibility for any of the above bursaries please contact Student Services on 01743 342322 or read the full Student Bursary policy

For more information on financial support for courses, meals, travel or on student loans, please drop in to Student Services, call us on 01743 342322 or email

Free College Meals

Is your child missing out on entitlement for a College meal?
The Government gives the College funds which we need to give out. Check the list below and you or your child can come and have a confidential meeting with Student Services to get more information and an application form if: Your child is 16-18 and your child or his/her parent gets:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided not entitled to Working Tax Credit ) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run-on  (rules apply)

For more information drop in to Student Services or call us on 01743 342322.

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