16 to 19 Bursary Fund
A bursary is money that you, or your education or training provider, can use to pay for things like: clothing, books and other equipment for your course or transport and lunch on days you study or train.
You could get a bursary to help with education-related costs if you’re aged 16 to 19 and:
- studying at school or college (not university) in England
- on a training course, including unpaid work experience
For a helpful introduction to bursary funding, please watch this video.
There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursary.
Vulnerable student bursary is worth up to £1,200, depending on your circumstances and benefits.
Discretionary bursary for if you need financial help but don’t qualify for a vulnerable student bursary. Your education or training provider decides how much you get and what it’s used for.
You could get up to £1,200 if at least one of the following applies:
- you’re in or recently left local authority care
- you get Income Support or Universal Credit because you’re financially supporting yourself
- you get Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in your name and either Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit
- you get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in your name and either ESA or Universal Credit
You may get the full amount if you have expenses and study full-time on a course of at least 30 weeks.
You’ll usually get less than the full amount, or no bursary, if one of the following apply:
- your course is shorter than 30 weeks
- you study part time
- you have few expenses
You’ll be told what evidence you need, for example benefit letters.
Your school or college will have their own criteria for discretionary bursaries. They’ll look at your individual circumstances - this usually includes your family income.
Ask student services about their criteria and any evidence you’ll need.
You can apply to a discretionary bursary if you’re over 19 and either:
- continuing on a course you started aged 16 to 18 (known as being a ‘19+ continuer’)
- have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- be at least 16 and under 19 on 31 August 2018
- study at a publicly funded school or college, or be on an unpaid training course
- meet the residency requirements - your school or college can check this
Your provider will decide how you get your bursary. You might be:
- paid in full or in instalments
- paid in cash, by cheque or through a bank account
- given things like a travel pass, free meals or books instead of money
Some providers also offer one-off payments to cover study trips or travel for university interviews.
Apply to your school, college or training provider. Ask student services or your tutor to explain what you need to do.
Apply once you know where you’ll study or train, so you’ll get your bursary as soon as possible.
You might need to reapply for a bursary for each year of your course. Check with your provider.