Costs of learning: student funding guide 2019 to 2020

Funding guide for learners and students including those going to college or university.

Full-time students in Further Education


If you are a full-time student you will not have to pay fees as long as you meet certain residency conditions. If you are not sure whether you meet these conditions, check with the college you have chosen to study at.

Living costs

You could receive a bursary of up to £98.79 a week, but this will depend on your age, family circumstances and income. You would not have to pay this bursary back. To be eligible for a bursary, you must meet certain residency conditions. If your household income is above the levels set out below, your family will be expected to contribute to your financial support.

The basic allowance per week is as follows:

Household income of less than (see note 2 below) Living with your parents, you could get up to Living away from home, you could get up to Supporting yourself, you could get up to
If you are under 18 (see note 1 below) £20,351 £0 £41.60 (see note 3 below) Does not apply
If you are aged between 18 and 25 £24,275 £82.81 £104.65 Does not apply
If you are aged 25 and above, supporting yourself, or living with a partner (you and your partner's income - if you have one - will be assessed) £20,643 Does not apply Does not apply £104.65

Note 1 - If you are going to college you may be eligible for an Education Maintenance Allowance - see the table on page 10.
Note 2 - The award amount is dependent on household income levels
Note 3 - You may get this allowance as well as an Education Maintenance Allowance.
Note 4 - Any income earned by the student, whether they are self-supporting, living with parents or living with a partner, is not counted as Household Income.

You may also be eligible for an extra allowance to cover certain study costs such as:

  • items that you must have to do the course (such as set texts, but not extra (further) reading);
  • items that you need for health and safety reasons;

There is no age limit on study allowance, therefore if you are eligible for bursary support you may be eligible for travel and study costs.

If you are under 18, and eligible for EMA, study allowance will not be assessed against your income.

Help for your dependants

Care Experienced students

A higher bursary grant has been introduced to the college sector in 2018-19 for care experienced students. New and continuing care experienced students studying a full-time FE course at college can apply for non-income assessed higher rate of bursary support of £202.50 per week (equivalent of £8,100 per year).

Dependant's Allowance

You may be able to apply for a Dependant's Allowance of 56.31 a week if you are financially or legally responsible for an adult (including caring for someone). This allowance is also assessed on you and your dependant's income and your family circumstances.

Childcare costs

Colleges have a Childcare Fund which they use to help their students pay for registered childcare. The priority groups for support with childcare are students who are lone (single) parents, mature students and part time students. However, this does not mean full-time students cannot apply for help with their childcare costs. If you receive support from this fund it is on top of any bursary you receive and you should use childcare support to meet the costs of registered childcare only. Some colleges may offer different methods of support, for example, on-site nurseries or childcare vouchers.

Help for disabled students

Additional Support Needs for Learning Allowance

If you have to pay extra costs because of your disability you can apply for an Additional Support Needs for Learning Allowance. This allowance offers help towards your travel and study costs, on top of any other disability grants and benefits you might receive. It is not based on your income.

Travel Costs

You can apply for help with travel costs if you are going to an approved course of study, depending on the eligibility conditions set by the college. If you have dependent children you may be able to get help with extra costs for travel or for extra support. If you are under 18, and eligible for EMA, this allowance will not be based on your income.

Extra Help

Every college runs a Discretionary Fund and students with particular financial difficulties or emergency needs can apply for help from this fund. Discretionary Funds are specifically targeted to help students who have financial difficulties that might prevent them getting access to Further or Higher Education, or from continuing their course. Colleges can also decide whether to give help from their Discretionary Fund to a student who is trying to get off benefits to take a course.

Studying outside Scotland

All the financial support described above is only available if you are studying at a Scottish College. If you want to study a Further Education (FE) course at a college outside Scotland, you will need to contact your local authority to see what funding they can provide.

Further Education

If you want more information about the support available and for advice on how to apply for funding you should contact the college you have chosen to study at.

You can get more information on Education Maintenance Allowances by visiting the website



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