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Address City College Norwich, Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR2 2LJ

01603 773311
further education student finance

Further Education Finance

Registration and tuition fees

Aged under 19

If you are under 19 on the 31st August prior to the start of your course, then your tuition and registration fees will normally be free.

Aged 19+

When you are 19 or over on 31 August prior to the start of your course, you become liable for tuition, registration and exam fees. However, you may not actually have to pay fees as your course may be fully funded.  Eligibility for a fee waiver will be determined by our Enrolment Team at the time of your enrolment.

If you are a home fees student, studying a government funded course, e.g. GCSEs, ESOL, Diplomas, Certificates, up to and including Level 2 you may be able to get your course free if you are in one of these groups:

1. You are unemployed and in receipt of one of the following:

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), including those receiving National Insurance credits only
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit, and earning wages of less than £338 a month ( single claimant) or £541 a month (joint claimants)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction (replaces CT benefit)
  • Child Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • are released on temporary licence, and not funded by the Ministry of Justice

2. Employed and:

  • You receive Universal Credit or other benefits, and you earn wages of less than £338 a month (single claimant) or £541 a month (joint claimant)
  • Your earned income is less than £17,004 per year

3. Other groups who will not have to pay fees:

  • You are aged 19-23 and studying at Entry or Level 1 in order to progress to a full Level 2 qualification, and you do not already hold a full Level 2 qualification
  • You are aged 19-23 and studying for your first, full Level 2 qualification
  • You are aged 19-23 years and studying for your first, full Level 3 qualification
  • You are 19-24 and subject to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • You are 16-24 on a traineeship and do not have a full Level 3 qualification
  • You are 19 or over and studying GCSE maths or English (or functional skills English or maths from Entry to Level 2) and you do not already  have a pass grade (A*-C or 9-4)

If you receive a fee waiver any registration fee will normally be free too.

Advanced Learner Loan

There may be a tuition fee loan available to you if you are 19 and over and wish to study at Level 3 or above.

The system operates in a similar way to Higher Education student loans. Repayments are due after the course is completed and you are earning £25,725 or over.

You can apply online via Student Finance England once you have received a learning and funding information letter from the college. The letter contains course reference numbers/tuition fee amounts etc.

If you study on an Access to Higher Education course and go on to complete a higher education course then your Advanced Learner Loan will be waived.

Find out more > 

If you are unsure whether you will need to pay fees visit the Finance Advisers in the Advice Shop. They can be contacted on 01602 773773 or

Student Bursary and Learner Support Funds

16 19 Bursary Fund

If you are under 19 when you start your course and your household income is less than £24,000 then you may be eligible for support from the 16-19 Bursary Fund. Find out more here.

The aim of the fund is to help cover some of the financial costs of coming to college such as travel, equipment, DBS fees and study trips.

Payments from the general 16-19 Bursary Fund vary from about £150-£780 per year depending on income, course and circumstances.

Vulnerable Young Person's Bursary

A payment of up to £1,200 per academic year may be available to you if you are in one of the following categories:

  • in care*
  • a care leaver*
  • estranged from your parents and receiving Income Support/Universal Credit in your own right
  • receiving both Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment and Employment Support Allowance (or Universal Credit if it replaces DLA/PIP and ESA.)

* you may be a classed as 'in care' or 'a care leaver' if you are or have been looked after by the local authority under section 20 or 31 of the Children act 1989

Support from the 16-19 Bursary Fund and Vulnerable Young Person's Bursary is normally paid half-termly. This is, however, subject to satisfactory attendance. We expect 100% attendance from students.

19+ Bursary

If you are over 19 the College has a bursary that can provide support if you are on a low income.

If you have a gross household income of less than £22,000 (or £35,000 if you have a partner), you will be eligible to apply for a college bursary over 19.

We do not assess parental income for this bursary. Help with travel, child care, equipment, tuition and registration fees may be available. If you are studying on a level 3/4 course and are eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the tuition fees, then you will need to apply to the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary instead - see below.

Advanced Learner Loan Bursary

This is a hardship fund designed to help with costs such as travel, child care and non-essential books/equipment if you have taken out an Advanced Learner Loan and are on a low income.

If you are single and have a household income of under £22,000, you will be eligible to apply. If you are married or live with a partner you will be eligible if your joint income is below £35,000.

Proof of eligibility for the Advanced Learner Loan and details of household income will be required.

Residential Support Scheme

If you are aged 16-19 and live beyond a 'reasonable daily travelling distance' from the College and you are studying for your first Level 2 or 3 qualification, then you may be eligible for help with accommodation costs from the  Residential Support Scheme. The scheme is assessed on parental income.

Free college meals - free school meals for college students

You will be eligible for free college meals if you are aged 16-19 or 19-24 with an EHCP, are studying on a further education course and you/your parents are in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Universal Credit with income under £7,400 pa
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (not Working Tax Credit) with an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

If you are eligible for the scheme you will receive £3.50 for each day that you attend college.

The money will be loaded onto your student card. Cards can be swiped in campus cafes/restaurants. If you study off campus or your course involves placements - we will arrange to pay the money into your bank account.

Please find the Student Bursary and Free College Meals Application here.

Find out more here.

Help with childcare

Help with the cost of childcare may be available depending on your age and your household income.

  • If you are under 20, you can apply to the Care to Learn scheme. Please see the Care to Learn website for more information.
  • If you are over 20 and on a low income, then you may be eligible for help from the 19+ Bursary.
  • If you are 19 or over, studying at Level 3 or 4, on a low income and have taken out an Advanced Learner Loan, you may be eligible for help from the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary.

If you would like more information about help with childcare costs contact the Advice Shop on 01603 773773 or


Please note that studying full-time can affect your benefit.

If you receive Jobseeker's Allowance then you would only be able to study on a part-time course (16 or less hours per week). The regulations governing students and benefits are complicated, so please check with the Finance Advisers in the Advice Shop if you'd like further information or contact Job Centre Plus.

If you are under 20 and a Further Education student studying over 12 hours per week your parents may be able to claim Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit or the child element of Universal Credit.

Find out more >  

Educational charities

The Advice Shop has a list of educational charities in Norfolk.

If you are under 25, and live in or around Norwich you may be eligible to apply to the Thomas Anguish's Educational Foundation or the Joanna Scott Foundation.

The Advice Shop also has a copy of 'The Educational Grants Directory' which contains details of national charities. In addition, the Student Advisers manage a small number of educational charities on behalf of the Norfolk Community Foundation.

Student travel discounts

For more information about travel passes please visit our Student Travel Offers page.

Discounted First Bus passes are available to all college students and staff and can be used during term and vacation periods.  

These can be purchased from First Travel Shop at or the Cashiers Office in the Wroxham building. Find out more here or contact the Cashiers Office on 01603 773155

Travel Assistance from Norfolk County Council

  • If you are a Norfolk resident, you may be eligible for assistance if you are:
  • aged under 19,
  • studying at least 16 hours per week
  • living more than three miles from the college (and travelling on a core route for City College Norwich

From September 2019, a yearly contribution of either £540 or £405 will be expected depending on household income. This contribution can be paid in termly or half-termly instalments.

On some routes, daily payer passes costing £3 or £2.50 will be available, subject to household income. Once you have applied for and received your daily payer travel pass from Norfolk County Council, you show the bus driver your pass and only pay the amount printed on the pass for a daily return ticket.

If you are aged 19-21 and have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan) you may also be eligible for a free travel pass.

Find more details of Norfolk's subsidised post-16 travel scheme here or call 0344 800 8020

Travel Assistance from Suffolk County Council

If you are a Suffolk resident, you may be eligible for assistance if you:

  • Live over 3 miles from your nearest suitable provision (college or sixth form)*
  • Are studying a full time course (min. 12 hours a week )
  • Started your course before your 19th birthday
  • Are studying a course that is only available at a facility that is not your nearest.

Find more details of Suffolk's subsidised post-16 travel scheme here or call 0345 606 6173. A contribution of £220 per term is normally expected.

Contact the Finance Advisers

For more information about any of the above visit Jane or Rachel in the Advice Shop. You can also contact them on 01603 773322 or