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16-19 Bursary

Our 16-19 Bursary Fund is strictly for students aged 16-18 and less than 19 on 31 August 2021, who have lived in the UK/EEA for the past three years and whose total household income is less than £30,000. If you are aged 19+ please visit our Adult Support Fund page.

Travel Bursary This is a means-tested bursary of £360 or £600 depending on where you live to help with the costs of travelling to college. It is only available if you do not receive subsidised travel through your local authority; you live more than three miles from the campus and have a household income of less than £30,000.
Vulnerable Learner Bursary You could get up to £1,200 towards your course costs, meals and travel if at least one of the following applies:

  • you’re in or have recently left local authority care
  • you get Income Support or Universal Credit in your name
  • you’re disabled and get both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in your name.
Essential Course Costs Bursary You could get up to 75% off essential course costs such as hairdressing kits, uniforms, books or trips. Where the essential course item is provided by Bedford College, for instance, a uniform or a trip, your bursary will be transferred to your department and you will be required to pay the difference.  This is not available to students on the second year of a two year course unless essential course costs are specified for the second year.
Meals Bursary The meals bursary provides eligible students with a free healthy meal up to the value of £3.00 whilst at College, on the days they are timetabled to attend.

Funds are loaded onto student ID cards daily and this can be used towards the cost of purchases at tills in the College refectories. Funds not taken up on the day will not be carried over, students must use it on the day or lose it.

Childcare Support If you’re a parent aged 16-19 the Government’s Care to Learn scheme could help you. You can find out more on the Care to Learn website.

2020/21 Financial Support Applications

After you’ve answered the questions in our eligibility checker, if you qualify you will then be able to start your application. You will be required to upload evidence to prove your eligibility so please have this to hand. You will also be able to save your work and come back to complete your application at a later time.

» Launch eligibility checker

List of Eligible Programme Types 2020/21

Your course must be either:

  • funded directly by ESFA or by ESFA via a local authority
  • funded or co-financed by the European Social Fund
  • otherwise publicly funded and lead to a qualification (up to and including Level 3)
  • accredited by Ofqual or is pursuant to Section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000
  • a 16 to 19 traineeship programme
  • The Prince’s Trust Team programmes: Non-employed students aged 16 to 19 who are participating in a Prince’s Trust Team Programme are eligible to receive the bursary in the same way as any other student participating in an eligible, publicly funded course.

Students must provide evidence of how they meet the three strands of eligibility for financial support to include age, residency and household income, as well as be studying on a programme that is subject to inspection by a public body such as Ofsted and the course must be funded directly by the ESFA or by the European Social Fund (ESF) – we can establish this fact from our college database.

Non-employed 16-19 students on The Prince’s Trust Team Programme are eligible to receive the bursary in the same way as a student on a publicly funded course. Students on a 16 to 19 traineeship programme are also eligible.

Eligibility for the 16-18 Bursary Fund requires that a student:

  • be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2019 or
  • be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2019 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • be aged 19 or over at 31 August 2019 and continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18 (‘19+ continuers’)
  • meet the residency criteria of three years within the EEA before the start of the course
  • meet the low household income threshold as set by the College

Eligibility for the Vulnerable Learner Bursary, students must provide proof of being in one of the following defined vulnerable groups:

  • in care (including a young person in foster carer arranged by the local authority)
  • care leavers
  • receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner
  • receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right

Note: As well as the evidence of IS or UC, colleges are required to see a tenancy agreement in the student’s name, a child benefit receipt, children’s birth certificates, utility bills etc. for students who live independently. This evidence must also be provided to qualify for support where applicable to the student.

The following categories are not eligible for the 16-19 Bursary:

  • Students aged 19 or over at 31 August 2020 unless o they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or
  • are continuing on a study programme they began aged 16 to 18
  • Students participating through partnership arrangements
  • Students on apprenticeship programmes, or any waged training
  • Students on higher education programmes
  • Students who meet the criteria for the Academic Excellence Bursary (AEB) at the Bedford Sixth Form (Discretionary only)

Meals Bursary

From 1 April 2018, Universal Credit will have an income threshold (a maximum net earned income of £7,400). Continuing students who were eligible for free meals immediately prior to 1 April 2018, but do not meet the new criteria after this date, will receive transitional protections and will continue to be eligible for free meals until the end of their course of study

Students must firstly satisfy the general age, residency and course eligibility criteria.

Eligible Students who live in a household that is in receipt of one of the benefits below are entitled to free college meals on days they attend study or activity that is part of their course (i.e. industry placement):

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs(HMRC)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for four weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
  • Aged 19-24 with a valid EHCP

In most cases will be supplied through the College's catering outlets. Where this arrangement is not possible, alternative arrangements will be made.