Find out more about what you’ll need to pay, if you can get any funding, and how we can help you manage it all.
If, at the start of your course, you are aged 16–18 or aged 19-24 with an Education Health Care Plan, you are unlikely to pay any tuition fees for our funded programmes. There may be additional charges for materials, trips, and kit to enhance your learning experience. These are kept to a minimum. If you are not a UK citizen, you can use the UKCISA website to confirm if you need to pay an ‘overseas’ fee.
If you have not lived in the UK for the past 3 years, you can use the UKISA website to confirm if you need to pay a ‘home’ or ‘overseas’ fee.
‘Overseas’ fees will be payable if you live within one of the following devolved regions:
You might not have to pay fees on a funded course if you are:
If you are not a UK citizen and required to pay fees, you can use the UKCISA website to confirm whether you will need to pay a 'home' or 'overseas' fee.
If you are aged between 19-23 when you start your programme, this is your first full Level 3 qualification and your programme is eligible you may not have to pay fees. Contact us to find out if you're eligible before enrolling.
A limited number of free community learning places will be made available on some courses where indicated and to be eligible, you will need to be:
If you are studying on a full-time Level 3 or 4 programme (not as part of an apprenticeship), you are eligible to apply for a loan to help you pay your tuition fees. These loans are not means-tested or subject to credit checks, and you start repaying the loan when you earn over £25,725 per year.
Loans for Access to Higher education programmes are cleared if you go on to complete a higher education programme with the support of a higher education student loan.
For more information regarding eligibility criteria, please visit www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans
Please note that the following area is only for those with an offer for a course at our colleges. For access online, a link will be sent with your joining instructions.
See our HE page for financial support information
Most international students will have to pay fees for their course. Please visit our international website for the most up-to-date information on fees.
Activate Learning is pleased to announce that we will be providing three scholarship awards to higher-education learners that wish to study on our HNC and HND Digital Technologies programmes at Reading college and Blackbird Leys Technology campuses, Oxford starting in September 2022.
Our vision is to increase the representation of black and ethnic minorities, women and other under-represented groups within the sector and make it more representative of the modern society we live in.
The award will be up for 100% of the total cost of your tuition fees, £6,165, for either the Level 4 or Level 5 programme. The following higher-education courses can be applied for at both Reading and Blackbird Leys Technology campuses:
*The HND Digital Technologies Level 5 programme will only be running from Reading College as a top up to Level 4.
In order to be eligible to apply for a scholarship, applicants must meet all of the following criteria points below:
In order to find out if you live in a postcode area from 4) or 5) above, please use the links below in order to search for:
You will need to complete another application form following the submission of your official application via UCAS.
Please contact the HE team to request the scholarship application form, after submission of your UCAS application. Please outline the programme you would like to apply for from the list above.
The deadline for applying is Friday 29 April 2022.
All applications will first be assessed by a panel against the criteria listed above. They will also consider your personal statement and any other relevant information you provide.
If you are successful, you will be notified within ten days of the application deadline.
You will need to apply each year for the scholarship programme if you're progressing from a Level 4 HNC to a Level 5 HND.
Payment may be made in person, over the phone or electronically to the Advice and Admissions department. You can call 0800 612 6008 for details on how to do so.
The preferred methods of payment are:
In certain circumstances, other payment methods may be used, including:
A wide range of bursaries are available, subject to you meeting certain criteria, helping you with the cost of studying with us.
A bursary provides financial support to help students overcome the specific financial barriers to be able to participate in your course. It can be used to pay for uniforms/clothing, books and other equipment for your course. The bursary can also be provided to help meet the costs of travel getting to and from your place of study and for paying for food. Bursaries don't have to be paid back and you get your bursary directly from us. Activate Learning offers several bursaries to ensure financial support reaches those students who are most in need.
You must be a ‘home’ student and enrolled on a funded further education course. If you are not a UK citizen, you can check if you are a home student by using the UKCISA website
To be eligible for our bursary’s you need to meet the below household income thresholds. To assess your financial need we use household income along with individual circumstances such as the number of dependent children in the household.
Evidence of student's household income is required for all bursaries, except for students who are Looked After or In Care who will need to provide local authority confirmation of their status.
Please see pdf for detailed list of all evidence required for each bursary including information regarding how we assess household income.
Applicants are required to apply for all statutory benefits before applying for a bursary. For further information on government benefits you are eligible for, please visit: www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
A bursary fund to support students with travel costs to and from college.
To be eligible, students must live three miles or more from the nearest Activate Learning campus offering the course you are joining.
If you apply by Friday 6 August 2021, students will have their pass available at the start of term. During our peak application period during August and September it can take up to four weeks to process your application and confirm if you have been awarded a bursary, so you will be responsible for any travel costs until your financial support is in place.
The support provided will be by the most cost - effective method, which will either be a travel pass or travel expenses paid into your bank account.
If we do not have a purchasing agreement with your travel company, you will be awarded travel expenses.
The cost of your travel will not be backdated; you are responsible for the cost of travel until your pass arrives.
We will purchase a travel pass on your behalf for the journey you detailed on your financial support application form or the most cost-effective method of travel.
We purchase travel passes from the following travel companies:
If you have been awarded a Stagecoach or rail pass you will have to insert a photograph in the pass for the pass to be valid for travel.
Passes are available for collection usually within three weeks of the date of this letter: you will be sent a text message as soon as your pass is ready for collection.
You may be awarded travel expenses if:
If you would like the bursary to contribute towards the cost of SEN transport provided by the County Council, you should let us know the estimated amount you will be required to pay the Council when you apply for the bursary.
SEN transport invoices need to be provided by the end 27 November 2021.
We are not able to support the cost of taxis to college unless the taxi is provided by the Local Council.
A bursary to support students with the cost of items needed for their study programme.
Any equipment and materials that are essential for a course may be borrowed from college, therefore the course costs bursary cannot support these costs.
All decisions about which students receive a discretionary bursary and how much bursary they receive are based on each student’s individual circumstances and their actual financial need.
The fund supports:
Please note bursary funds do not support laptops or other IT equipment.
Please complete a course costs bursary form.
You may submit additional course costs forms throughout the year if you have more course costs e.g., trips, university open days, without the need to complete a full bursary application each time.
Completing the form for different costs:
On occasion, the faculty may be able to buy the essential items you need directly. If this is agreed, we will let you know that you don't need to buy the items and the bursary funds will be paid to your faculty instead.
Please note students who are enrolled on ESOL courses who need support with fees or travel for additional courses throughout the year should submit a course costs form each term.
Course costs bursary forms are available from the Advice Centre at your local campus.
Submit completed forms by hand to an Adviser at the Advice Centre or email it to email@example.com
Funds will be paid by:
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive a free breakfast or lunch for the days you are in college or when studying off-site e.g., on work experience/ placement.
To be eligible you must be aged 16-18 on 31 August 2021; or continuing a study programme you began aged 16-18; or have an EHCP plan and you need to supply evidence that your household is in receipt of one of the following benefits:
If you received free meals last year and we can confirm the award, you will continue to be eligible for free meals if you let us know you want them. We may ask you to provide your free meal entitlement letter.
Parents who are self-employed and in receipt of Universal Credit will need to provide:
N.B. Working Tax Credit is not a qualifying benefit for free meals
If you are not eligible for meal credits under the standard criteria you may be able to access these through Student Support. Please speak to a member of the Student Support Team
How are Meal Credits provided?
Students based at a campus take up their meal credits through college outlets. Payment is made for your meal by presenting your ID card at the checkout.
If your course is not based at a campus with a refectory, you will receive a fortnightly term time Direct transfer payment (£3.50 a day) into your bank account to buy a meal.
If you are eligible for Meal Credits and attend a placement you will need to provide details of your placement on a course costs form.
This bursary supports eligible students who have a financial need to enable them to remain in education.
Students who meet the criteria for bursaries for vulnerable groups are not automatically entitled to a bursary if they do not have financial needs and/or their financial needs are covered from other sources.
Bursary fund payments are not made as regular payments for living costs.
Do I need to provide any evidence to prove my entitlement to a vulnerable bursary?
The bursary provides a contribution towards the cost of accommodation for students who are enrolled on a specialist subject that is not available where they live.
To be eligible you must:
Support with accommodation for the academic year as follows:
Please note, where students leave part way through the year, or are excluded from their accommodation, their accommodation bursary payments will stop on the date they left their course or were excluded.
Care to Learn can help you with childcare costs while you study.
Care to Learn can help with the cost of:
You can get up to £160 per child per week if you live outside London
How do I apply for Care to Learn?
Apply online at https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn
Do I need to provide any evidence?
You will need to provide evidence that you receive Child Benefit or a copy of your child's birth certificate to firstname.lastname@example.org
You may be able to receive childcare costs to support time needed to attend timetabled sessions at college plus a realistic amount of time to travel to college to the maximum award.
How do I apply for the Childcare bursary?
How is the support provided?
N.B. Both students and the childcare provider must return a signed copy of our full Childcare Bursary Terms and Conditions documents before invoices will be paid.
All student finance applications are confidential, so you shouldn’t worry about applying.
Funds are limited so please apply early to avoid any disappointment, and applications will be processed on a first come, first-served basis.
The application form will only be processed if it has been completed and submitted with the required evidence so don’t forget to include this with your application.
We strongly recommend that you submit your application before Monday 23 August 2021, as applications received after this date may not be processed within our standard timescales of 4 weeks. Bursary payments will not be backdated for applications made after the start of your course.
If you need any help completing your application form, one of our Advice and Admissions Team will be happy to help you either at one of our Advice Centres on each campus, by calling 0800 612 6008 or send an enquiry.
A basic bank account (which students can open at age 16) allows Direct transfers and allows the student to withdraw money. More information on basic bank accounts can be found here https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/basic-bank-accounts/
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your application and wish to appeal, please submit your appeal in writing with a supporting statement no later than 7 days from the date of the application decision.
Appeals will be reviewed by a panel including the Group Head of Advice and Admissions and Group Head of Student Support. Once the appeal has been considered and a decision has been communicated, there is no further right of appeal.