Money Matters

At South & City College Birmingham, we offer a wide range of courses for most age groups.

For younger students, your college course will most likely be free. But for other students – such as adult learners or those studying a university course – the cost of your study will depend on the course or programme that you choose.

We believe everybody should have the chance to learn. Our funding options ensure that our courses, apprenticeships, and training programmes are affordable and available to all.

Thanks to the various funds, loans and bursaries on offer, we may also be able to help with travel expenses and childcare costs. Take a look at our short explainer video, which will help you with your application. All funding is subject to availability. Explore our financial support options below.

Advanced Learner Loans

All students aged 19 at the start of their programme who wish to study Levels 3 or 4 need to either pay their course fees, or take out an Advanced Learning Loan. There may be an exception for students aged 19-23 that are taking their first full Level 3 qualifications, who could be supported by the Learner Support Fund.

To qualify you must be:

Aged 19 or over on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age-limit) and starting your course – Enrolling on an eligible course at Level 3 or above, such as A Levels, Access to Higher Education courses, Diplomas, Certificates or Advanced / Higher Apprenticeships (subject to funding availability from the Student Loan Company).

Resident in the UK for three years prior to the start of the course For more information, you can download our  Advanced Learning Loans Information Form or visit the government website The loan doesn’t depend on your income and there are no credit checks. Any individual who meets the criteria will be able to apply for a loan, whether they’re employed or unemployed.

The loan will then be paid directly to the college on your behalf. You won’t need to pay anything up front for your course fees, and you won’t have to pay anything back until you earn more than £27,295 a year.

How to apply

You will need to obtain a ‘learning and funding information’ letter from the College before starting your application online at:

If you decide to apply for the loan, please complete your application form as soon as possible after enrolment.

If your loan is for an Access to Higher Education programme and you progress to complete a Higher Education programme, you will not have to pay anything back.

For any additional information about Advanced Learning Loans, please visit:

Advanced Learning Loan Page

Free Meals

The College encourages early attendance and provides a free breakfast to all students who arrive before 08:45. In addition, 16-18 year old students are entitled to one free meal per day (lunch or dinner) from the college canteens.

This is available for students who meet the criteria and is based on the means-tested benefits of your parents/guardians.  Students who have a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education Health and Care Plan up to the age of 24 and are in receipt of means-tested benefits are also entitled to one free meal a day.

Under 19

If you are under the age of 19, your education is mostly free. If there are fees for your course, we may be able to help with the costs of travel, books, trips, equipment, and more. The Discretionary Learner Support Fund gives financial help to students who may not be able to start or complete a course at college without it. The purpose of the fund is to help with travel to the College, uniform and equipment, tuition fees and childcare.

For 16-18 year olds, we provide free travel. You must still apply for funding, and criteria do apply. There is also a Bursary Fund for 16-19 year olds. More information on the Bursary Fund can be found here:

Vulnerable Persons Bursary Scheme

This scheme financially supports learners aged 16-18 who face the greatest barriers to learning.

The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:
  • In care of the local authority
  • Care leavers

Receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit (in your own name) 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

Higher Education Students

If you are on a higher education course such as an honours degree, foundation degree, HND or HNC, you may be eligible to apply for funding for payment of your tuition fees, and also receive a maintenance loan. Information is available, and applications can be made online, by clicking on the button below.

Apply now

Learner Support Fund

If you live in a household with low income or on benefits, you may be eligible to apply for our Learner Support Fund. This can help with expenses such as childcare fees, as well as course equipment.

View the payment portal


Travel support may be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Eligibility is not based on income for 16-18 year olds, but you must live two miles or more from the campus where you are studying. You must also be studying for at least 11 hours per week. If you are eligible, in the first term you will be issued with an mTicket on your mobile. In your second and third term, it will be issued subject to a satisfactory attendance check.

To find out more, please email:

Childcare – Care to Learn

If you are under the age of 20 when you begin your studies and use registered childcare, you may be able to get assistance with childcare costs from Care to Learn. (Please note that external funding is subject to change). Care to Learn can be contacted on 0300 303 8610.

If you are over the age of 20 and are in receipt of benefits or on a low income, then you may be eligible for financial help with childcare fees (this funding is limited and you are advised to apply early). Our Learner Support Team is here to help. They can be contacted by email or visit

Disability Student Allowance

If you have a learning support need or disability, you may be eligible for additional funding to help you with your studies. For more information on the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA), click the button below. If you have problems with Student Loans or need to apply to the Hardship Fund for extra money, please contact The Welfare Team in Student Services.

Our Careers Advisers can also help you to consider progression into employment and study after your course. For more information, please email

Disabled Student Allowance