banner

Welfare & Financial Information


Course Fees & Deposit Payment

If you are under 19 when you start your course, you will not be charged tuition fees. We will lend you textbooks and equipment without charge; you will be asked to pay a £60 deposit, of which £50 is refunded when you return any textbooks and equipment in good condition (£10 is non-refundable and is used to cover exam certificates). We do not provide stationery.

Art, Mixed Media, Photography and Media Studies and Drama and Performing Arts, make a charge at the start of your course for materials which you will keep. Also if you are studying CACHE L3 (Early Years) and Health and Social Care L3 Double, you will need to pay for a DBS check.

For further information about the course materials costs, please see the link below:

Financial Assistance for 16-18 year olds

Each year the College receives an allocation of funds to support its Learners aged 16-18. Learners who are 18 at the start of the course but turn 19 during the academic year (i.e. after 31st August) are also eligible. The government has also extended it's Free School Meals programme to Sixth Form and FE colleges. These funds are intended to support students who face financial barriers to participation in education.

The Discretionary Learning Grant is a fixed allocation of money from the government. The College is responsible for determining the eligibility of applicants to this fund and for deciding the amount each student should receive. The College will aim to distribute the funds fairly with regard to the needs of the individual student. This fund is Means tested and the threshold is a household income below £27,000 or where financial circumstances have changed significantly during the year.

There are three categories of support:

1. Vulnerable Bursary

You can apply to this fund if one or more of the following apply to you.
  • In Care or Care Leavers
  • Live independently and are in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit
  • Receive Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right
  • In receipt of a Child Protection Plan
An amount of £1,200 will be paid in 10 payments across the academic year as well as Discretionary College Meals.

2. Free College Meals

You can apply to this fund if your parents/guardians are in receipt of one or more of the following.
  • Income Support or Universal Credit (where the household income is less than £7,400)
  • Income based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit (with no Working Tax Credit element) with a household income below £16,105
  • Working Tax Credit run-on (Paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit)
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act
Students who are awarded Free College Meals will have money put on their College ID card to use in the canteen (£3.00 a day based on each timetabled day). They will also be automatically awarded the Discretionary Learning Grant if applicable.

3. Discretionary Learning Grant

You can apply to this fund if your parents/guardians are in receipt of one or more of the following.
  • Universal Credit (where the household income is more than £7,400)
  • Child and Working Tax credit (where the household income is less than £27,000)
  • Household income is less than £27,000
  • The family financial and/or personal circumstances have recently changed
The amount awarded will be dependent on both household income and educational need and will take into account costs incurred in attending college and costs incurred by following a particular course. Assistance may be given for such items as travel and art material fees.
We assess each application and will award in the first instance:
  • Travel: to those students who live 2 miles or more away from college. For students who live under 2 miles away we may consider an award if there are exceptional or medical circumstances which will be treated on a case by case basis.
  • Art Material Fees: if applicable
  • Free College Meals: if applicable
  • DBS Checks: if applicable

All students will need to have their own bank account and those living within the Brighton & Hove area wanting assistance with travel will need to have a Bus Key Card.

Important Information

  • Learners will not necessarily receive assistance with any/or all of the funds for which they apply. We are given a limited amount of money and the demand from students may be high. The College will use priority groupings to award discretionary grants in line with government guidelines.
  • Although you can apply throughout the academic year, funds are limited so completed applications should be submitted as early as possible.

Please fill out and submit the form reading each section carefully to ensure that you meet the criteria and are eligible to apply for the fund. The information shared on this form will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Apply Now

*For current students please apply using this form:*Application & Guidelines for the Discretionary Learning Grant 21-22

Childcare Cost Support for 16-19 year olds

If you need help with paying for childcare and you are aged between 16-19 years old, you can apply to Care to Learn. For further details and how to apply see here.

Welfare Services

We have a welfare service which is run on a drop-in basis where students can see the Welfare Officer Daniela Sramova at lunchtime (12-12:50) in the tutorial block (room 65) during term-time only.

Our welfare service offers our students advice and practical help with matters such as:

  • Bursary Funding & Discretionary Learning Grants
  • Childcare cost entitlement for students who are parents (Care to Learn)
  • Travel information, allowances & discount schemes information
  • Benefits
  • Housing Information
  • Educational Trusts
  • Filling in claim forms
  • Referral to Young Carers
  • Sexual Health matters and referrals to SHAC
  • C-Card Scheme

In the event of an unexpected event that causes hardship ie. redundancy or an accident, please contact the Welfare Officer who can offer advice on emergency funding.

If you have any queries


Daniela Sramova - dss@varndean.ac.uk or on 01273 508011 ext. 110 in term-time only
Financial Support Team - financialsupport@varndean.ac.uk or on 01273 546636

Financial Assistance for 19+ or Adult Education Students

If you are aged 19+ or an Adult Student doing a SFA full or co-funded course (Level 2 or under) you may be eligible to apply to the 19+ Learner Support fund. This fund is Means tested and the threshold is a household income below £27,000 or financial circumstances that have changed significantly during the year.

Depending on your priority grouping and funds available, we may be able to help with:

19+

20+ Childcare

Advanced Learner Loan Bursary

Advanced Learner Loan Childcare

If you have any queries


Adult Education students - The Adult Education team on 01273 546602
Daytime students - Hillary Teal in Registry on 01273 546636 or email hrt@varndean.ac.uk