Fees, Finance & Funding 19+

For anyone applying to college who is over 19 years old, some tuition and exam fees may apply, however, there are several opportunities to help you reduce or fully support your costs.

The funding you can claim will depend on your personal circumstances, where you live and the course you are studying. This includes both study programme awards and loans for the cost of your tuition. You do have the option to pay the fees yourself or they can be paid by an employer and the main reception on your site can provide payment options. A deposit will be required.

If you have any questions or concerns about finance and funding, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Careers, Employability and Welfare team , who’ll be able to help you understand all your available options.

What is it?

If you’re going to be 19 or above at the time you start a Level 3 or Level 4 course with us, you could take advantage of an Advanced Learner Loan, available from the UK government. This loan can be used to pay some, or all, of your tuition fees.

Note: Level 4 courses (such as AAT) must be taken within the College and not courses within UCEN Manchester (Higher Education HNC, HND, Foundation Degree or Top-up) to be eligible.

Am I eligible?

The Advanced Learner Loan is available for those over 19 years old, studying a Level 3 or Level 4 course in further education and training. This includes Access to Higher Education (HE) diplomas, and some other certificates and diplomas. You’ll need to have been resident in the UK for the last three years to be eligible. You can also apply if you are a member of the UK armed forces serving outside of England studying distance learning. The minimum loan amount you can take is £300, and the maximum is the full cost of your tuition fees.

If you wish to take a loan out for an Access to HE diploma, when you progress on to a university-level course that’s eligible for student finance, the loan for the Access to HE course will be written off, meaning you won’t have to repay any more of it.

How do I apply?

Once you have been accepted onto your course, you’ll receive a letter telling you what to do, together with the amount you need to apply for, and any reference numbers needed for the application. The process is simple; there is no means testing or credit rating check. You apply online, and then you don’t need to do anything – your tuition fees are paid automatically.

The loan will only apply for tuition fees only. You may be eligible for your exam fees to be remitted under Welfare Benefits or low income.

The Careers and Welfare Team will be able to assist with your application or give further advice on how to apply.

As part of the government's Lifetime Skills Guarantee, the Greater Manchester (GM) Skills Fund and National Skills Fund have been made available to help adults access qualifications regardless of their age or financial circumstances.

GM Skills Fund

What is it?

Any adult aged over 19 who hasn’t achieved their first or second Level 3 qualification will have the opportunity to access a range of FREE courses that will allow them to develop new skills to improve their career prospects.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a fully-funded course through the GM Skills Fund, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be aged 19 or over
  • This must be your first or second Level 3 qualification

Click here to explore GM Skills Fund courses
 

National Skills Fund

What is it?

Any adult aged over 24 who has not previously achieved a Level 3 qualification will have the opportunity to access a range of FREE courses that will allow them to develop new skills to improve their career prospects.

Alternatively, you can also access these courses for FREE if you earn less than £18,525 per annum or are unemployed, regardless of whether you already have a Level 3 qualification.

The courses that will be made available will range from technical certificates to diplomas and will come in a variety of lengths.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a fully-funded course through the National Skills Fund, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You are aged 24 or over

AND

  • You do not already have a Level 3 qualification, even if it's in an unrelated subject to the one you want to study

OR 

  • You are unemployed or earn less than £18,525 a year

Click here to explore National Skills Fund courses

If you are aged 19 to 23 you can also access similar funding support through your legal entitlement to a first full Level 3 qualification.

What is it?

The 19+ Study Programme Award is made up of four different elements: tuition fees, travel awards, exam fees, and childcare. The elements you can apply for will depend on your circumstances and the course you are studying.

Tuition and exam fees

If you are eligible, you may be able to apply for a 19+ Study Programme Award to cover some or all the cost of your course and exam fees.

Go Explore 

You can explore all the great places in Greater Manchester with a Go Explore travel pass. So not only do you get to travel to a fantastic college, you get to explore Greater Manchester. Please check any Covid-19 restrictions before making any travel plans.

If you are on a low income and studying on a substantial programme of 10 hours or more per week you can apply for support with the cost of travel. The travel award will be provided based on eligibility. Payments and support may stop if attendance falls below college expectations. 
 
Your travel award will now operate an ITSO card which will be the College ID badge. You will be able to renew the travel award every 28 days using a smart phone or tablet. 
 
If you lose or misplace the SPA bus pass, you will incur a fee of £2 to obtain a replacement from the bus company. Refunds are not available if a bus pass is later found. Whilst the bus pass is being replaced, there will be no replacement funds available. Any student found misusing their bus pass will be subject to the student disciplinary procedures.  Any learner in extreme hardship will go through an eligibility assessment for additional financial support. 
 
Any student who lives outside the GM area or is studying under the 10-hour threshold and needs travel support must submit in writing to the Bursary Team explaining why they should be considered for travel support. This will be looked at by the Bursary Appeals Panel and a decision reached. 

19 – 24 Unwaged Learners  

In some circumstances, for a Level 1 or 2 programme of study, a learner aged 19 – 24, unwaged, may be eligible for support should a signed declaration from parents/guardian be in place, confirming that they do not financially support the learner for educational purposes (eligibility criteria apply).

Childcare

The maximum childcare funding available will be as follows:

For children aged up to 2 years old:

  • You will be expected to pay 5% of the nursery place directly to the provider
  • The College will pay your childcare provider a maximum of £150.00 per week.

For children aged 2 years and under 11 years:

  • The College will support any additional childcare hours above the Nursery Education Grant hours voucher up to a maximum of £150.00 per week, per child
  • You will be expected to pay 5% of the nursery place directly to the provider.

Where you have children both under and over 2 years of age, the maximum that the College will pay is £300 per week.

Any childcare costs incurred before you have official written confirmation from the College that childcare funding has been agreed and you have returned the signed contract, will remain the learner’s liability to pay the nursery provider.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible if your household income is less than £20,000, and you must have lived in the UK for at least three years. If you’re an EU citizen and you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living here after 30 June 2021. If you want to move to the UK from 1 January 2021, you may need to apply for a visa.

Tuition fee support is available for courses up to and including Level 2 and learners aged 19-23 who already have a full Level 3 qualification. Travel awards are dependent on the number of weekly hours of your course and your attendance.

Travel is also available for Level 3 learners who are on a low income/benefit regardless of age.

For childcare support, your childcare provider must be registered with Ofsted, and you’ll be expected to pay 5% of the cost yourself.

How do I apply?

This will be discussed at the point of enrolment and you will be asked for evidence of income by showing either a P60 or wage slips. You may also be asked for evidence of residency by showing passports/visas etc.

If you wish to appeal a decision, you will need to put this is writing outlining why you feel the decision was incorrect and send to the Bursary Team within 10 days of the decision date. It will then go to an appeal panel and you will be informed of the outcome within 10 days.

If you do not have a GCSE grade A* to C (Level 4/5 or above) in these subjects, then you can study for these qualifications with us. You don’t usually have to pay any tuition or exams fees, regardless of other qualifications you might have.

You will need to have your residency assessed as a Home Student - meaning you have been resident in the UK/EU/EEA for the three years prior to learning and have settled status.

You’ll apply for funding when you enrol.

Welfare benefits

There are a range of courses at The Manchester College where you may not have to pay tuition fees if you claim one of the following:

  • Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) including credits only (JSA)
  • Employment Support Allowance (ESA) (Work Activity Group)
  • Universal Credit (Unemployed).

If you’re unemployed and claiming one of the following benefits, you may also get tuition fee support, depending on the type and level of course you wish to study:

  • Income Support
  • Universal Credit.

Employed on a low income

If you are aged 24 and above on 31 August 2021 and studying a course up to Level 2 and working you may be eligible for tuition fee remission under government funding.

If you are earning above £17,550 and your household income is under £20,000 you may get help with the fees through the college bursary fund.

Self-funded

You can choose to fund the course yourself and pay by direct debit.

Employer funded

Your employer may wish to pay as part of your development.

Fee waived courses

Tuition fees will be waived if you are:

Not in paid employment and you are in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance or you are in receipt of Universal Credit.

In paid employment and you receive a means tested benefit accepted by the College; are working less than 20 hours per week and have an income of £338.00 per month (individual claims) or £541.00 per month (household claims) OR you earn less than £18,135 annual gross salary.

AND the course you are studying will help you find or improve your employment.

Some of our courses are not eligible for funding. Regardless of your financial circumstances, you will not be eligible for any remission and all course fees, including any exam or materials fees, will be payable at enrolment.

See the section on Advanced Learner Loans, or tuition fees are payable.

Childcare can be expensive so we are offering you the chance to apply for funding from 19+ SPA. If you incur childcare costs with an Ofsted regulated childcare provider whilst studying you can apply for support. The level of childcare funding available to you will be determined by other sources of childcare support available through government led initiatives, such as the 15-30 hours of free childcare for all 2- and 3-year olds.

The maximum childcare funding available will be as follows:

For children age up to 2 years old:

  • You will be expected to pay 5% of the nursery place directly to the provider.
  • The college will pay a maximum of £150.00 per week

For children aged 2 years and under 11 years:

  • The college will support any additional childcare hours above the NEG hours voucher up to a maximum of £150.00 per week, per child.
  • You will be expected to pay 5% of the nursery place directly to the provider.

Where you have children both under and over 2 years of age, the maximum that the college will pay is £300 per week. Any childcare costs incurred before you have official written confirmation from the college that childcare funding has been agreed and you have returned the signed contract will remain the learner’s liability to pay the nursery provider.

Your attendance is monitored and acted on in relation to the contract. If you leave the course you may incur a notice period cost from the childcare provider. The college will give and pay a notice period according to the terms and conditions of the childcare provider.

How do I apply?

Step one: Complete an application form

Download the childcare application here , complete all sections and take it to your childcare provider to complete section 6.

If you are unable to download or prefer to complete a paper application. You can contact the Childcare Admin for a copy to be sent to your home address: (please do not go to any campus to pick up an application form):

Telephone: 0161 674 8416
Email: JPrestage@tmc.ac.uk  

Step two: Book an appointment

Appointment availability at our Harpurhey, Openshaw, Northenden and St Johns’ campuses are as follows:

  • Every Tuesday: 10am-1pm
  • Every Thursday: 1pm-3pm

An adviser will check and sign your application and send it to the Bursary Team to be processed (social distancing measures apply and only one person will be allowed to see an advisor).

Please ensure you have all the evidence needed before you book an appointment, as applications will not be taken with missing evidence.

Childcare will not be paid until you have started your course.

Contact the Childcare Admin team to book an appointment:
Telephone: 0161 674 8416
Email: JPrestage@tmc.ac.uk

Step three: Application outcome

You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email or text and the Bursary Team will communicate with your provider to arrange payments and contracts.  

If you are having any problems finding childcare go to:

childcare.co.uk

manchester.gov.uk/education

If you wish to appeal a decision, you will need to put this is writing outlining why you feel the decision was incorrect and send to the Bursary Team within 10 days of the decision date. It will then go to an appeal panel and you will be informed of the outcome within 10 days.

  • The 19+ Study Award funds are paid from the college allocation of Discretionary Support Funds from the ESFA and the 24+ Advanced Learning Loan Bursary.
  • These funds are paid to meet some of the costs associated with learning, to enable learners to attend college courses where financial issues may not have made this otherwise possible.
  • The funds are paid subject to learners meeting the minimum college attendance requirement of at least  87% attendance and where learners have demonstrated appropriate effort and behaviour whilst in college.
  • Any authorised absence that a learner may have during the academic year will NOT be counted as a positive mark for the purposes of payment of the Study Award and may affect eligibility for payment.
  • Where a learner has been awarded a study award but they do not meet the attendance, behaviour and effort requirements, payment may not be made.
  • Where a learner has been awarded childcare support, attendance will also be monitored and this support may be removed, with one months’ notice in writing to the learner and the childcare provider, where the learner does not have an appropriate level of attendance or where they are not progressing with their studies. No contract should be signed with a childcare provider until you have confirmation of funding and learners are expected to pay a 5% contribution towards the cost of childcare.
  • Continued personal eligibility to the study award and childcare support through the Study Award system is checked prior to any payments being made and should the learner’s programme of study or number of hours have changed, the college will amend the amount of financial support available to the learner and notify them of this change in writing.
  • If a learner withdraws from their studies or stops attending the college, all support through the Study Award will immediately cease and no future payments will be made – this includes the study award and childcare support, where appropriate.
  • If a learner loses their bus pass, there will be a £2 charge for administration costs for a replacement.
  • The Study Award funds are limited and the college seeks to provide the maximum benefit to the most learners possible.  If further payments cannot be made, all recipients will be informed of this in writing.