Financial Help

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A range of funding opportunities to cover course costs.

Funding for adult learning course fees depends on your individual circumstances, your age, and the course you choose.

Government funding opportunities.

  • 19+ Advanced Learner Loan If you are aged 19 or over when you start your course you could take out a loan to cover the cost of some level 3 or 4 courses. You won’t have to pay it back until you complete your course and not until you earn more than £21,000 per year.
  • Professional and Career Development Loans.  If you study for a professional or management qualification that lasts up to two years you may be able to borrow between £300 and £10,000 to cover course fees, books, travel, childcare and living expenses.

Government funding schemes change regularly but you can get independent advice from the Money Advice Service website or by calling 0300 500 5000.

Student Finance Application Form

You can download the student finance support Application Form 2017-18 here . (Alternatively a PDF version of this form can be found at the bottom of this page.) Get your student finance application form in as early as possible.

For help in filling out the application form see our Guidance notes 2017-18 and please also read our Terms and Conditions 2017-18, then if you are still unsure, call our friendly staff on 01325 503037, or email .

Please note that if you are applying for financial help to the college, meals are based on a different criteria, and will be assessed differently to the general financial support fund.

Your learning could be FREE if you study for a vocational further education course and meet certain criteria.

  • You get state benefits such as Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) – you must be aged 19 or over and applying for a course up to level 2.
  • You enrol on a full level 2 qualification, aged 19-23 (as at 31/8/13) and don’t already hold a full level 2 qualification or higher.
  • You enrol on a full level 3 qualification, aged 19-23 (as at 31/8/13) and don’t already hold a full level 3 qualification or higher.

Other ways to reduce the cost of your education.

  • Payment plan. The college has a plan that allows you to pay 75% of course costs in monthly instalments after paying 25% when you enrol
  • Childcare. You can apply for assistance with childcare costs. If you are under 20 when you enrol on your course you may qualify for childcare fees whilst you study through the Care to Learn Fund. For more details visit and follow the link for Care to Learn or call the helpline on 0800 1218989.If you are 20 or over and have a household income of less than £21,000 per year you can apply for assistance with the cost of childcare fees (for up to 2 children) through our 19 + Learner Support Fund. If your child is entitled to the Government’s 15 hours of free childcare initiative (over 38 weeks), then this must be used to cover your timetabled hours in college. In addition to this, Darlington College will pay for any additional childcare cover, for example if you are timetabled to be in college for 22 hours per week, the college will fund the additional 7 hours of childcare per week, during term time only.
  • Transport. If you have a household income of less than £21,000 per year and live more than three miles from the college you may be eligible for help with travel costs. Assistance includes: Free Arriva bus pass for Darlington, County Durham and Tees Valley students*; a travel grant worth up to £654 for students either with their own car or who can’t use public transport *
  • Essential clothing, equipment and kits. You can receive a contribution of up to £250 for help with the cost of essential clothing, equipment and kits for your courses such as hairdressing, beauty or catering kits and uniforms, etc. To qualify your household income must be below £21,000.*
  • Free meals. To be eligible for free meals, a student’s household income must be below £21,000.*   * These benefits are means tested and subject to conditions. The level of support the college can offer students is dependent on the total funding received from government.

As well as course fees, you may need to cover the cost of materials including textbooks and photocopying.

We are happy to advise you on the most appropriate funding opportunities for your personal circumstances.For further information on all aspects of financial support contact our Student Finance Department, call: 01325 503037 or email:

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