Funding and finance

Depending on your circumstances and the course you’d like to study, there may be funding available to help you.

Support for the course fees

You may be eligible for free tuition on many of our courses if you fit the following criteria:

  • if you are unemployed receiving JSA or ESA (Work Activity Group), Housing Benefit, Income Support or Council Tax Exemption;
  • or you are 19-23 years old and the course is your first full Level 2/3 qualification.

Proof of fee remission must be produced before starting any course.

Further Education


If you are aged over 16 or under 19 on 31 August, you will not normally be charged fees for tuition. Overseas or mature students will be liable for fees – details are available from the College on application.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept mature student applications into some of our full-time 16- to 18-year-old day provisions. This is due to the safeguarding issues related to having mature students taught alongside 16-year-olds.

Financial support

Examination fees

Full-time students who don’t pay tuition fees wouldn’t normally be asked to pay fees for examinations taken as part of the course with the College’s approval. However, if you need to retake an exam, you’ll be asked to pay the fees to do so. If you pay your own tuition fees, you will need to pay your own examination fees. More details are available on application.

Free meals

Students who qualified for free meals at school can now apply for a meal deal card to use at College. You can apply using the FE bursary forms in the bullet points above.

You will be eligible if your parent/carer qualifies for one of the following benefits:

  • Job Seeker's Allowance (Income Based);
  • Income Support;
  • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit), provided annual income, assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed £16,190 (please note: this amount is subject to change in April every year);
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income Related);
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit;
  • support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
Fee remission for 19- to 23-year-olds

If you are 19-23 you may be eligible for fee remission for either of the following reasons:

  • the course will be your first full level 1/2/3 qualification;
  • you are unemployed and in receipt of either Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Exemption.

If neither of the above is true, then a fee will apply.

To find out more, please email Annabel Aitken at

24+ Level 1 and 2 courses

If you are 24+ and wish to study a Level 1 or 2 course you may be eligible for fee remission if you are unemployed and in receipt of either Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Exemption. If not then a fee will apply.

To find out more, please email Annabel Aitken at

19-23 Level 3 Courses

You will only be eligible for fee remission if you do not already hold a Level 3 qualification. Otherwise a fee will apply – please see section below.

Advanced Learning Loan (Level 3/4/5/6 courses)

Are you aged 19 or over and thinking about Further Education?

  • You may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with your Truro & Penwith College course fees. The loans are not subject to credit checks and household income isn’t taken into account. You do not pay anything back unless you are earning over £21,000.
  • The Government no longer subsidises 19+ learners with funding (if they already hold a full level 3 qualification). This means that fees are more expensive and the Government has created Advanced Learner Loans which helps with these tuition fees. You can use a loan to pay the whole of the course fee or you can pay part of the fee yourself.
  • Eligible courses include: Access to HE Diplomas, Level 3/4/5/6 Certificates and Diplomas.
  • If you complete an Access to HE course and take out a loan to cover the fees and then go on to complete a Higher Education Degree then your Access loan would be completely written off including any interest accrued.
  • You don’t have to take out a loan, however its availability means that you can improve your knowledge without paying fees upfront.
  • There are also bursaries available for help with childcare, transport and meals etc.
  • Discover the wide range of opportunities at Truro and Penwith College and take advantage of this scheme to help you enhance your life plan.

For further information about 19+ fees, please contact Annabel Aitken on 01872 308193 or email

Advanced Learner Loan information downloads

Higher Education

Higher Education fees 2017/18 (full-time and part-time pro rata)

Home Students (European Economic Area - EEA) 

  • HND/Foundation Degree (new students) – £8,224 p.a.
  • Continuing students – £7,710 p.a.
  • Full-time PGCE/Full Degree top-up year – £9,250 p.a.

Overseas Students (non-EEA)

  • HND/Foundation Degree/Full Degree – £9,335 p.a.

2017/18 bursaries Foundation Degree/HND/Full Degree:

  • Type 1: FT undergraduate whose household income is less than £25,000* (*as assessed by Student Finance England) – up to £720 p.a. 
  • Type 2: all other FT students – up to £320 p.a.
  • Type 3: Higher Education students studying full-time courses on a part-time basis (at least 50%) – up to £225 p.a.

For up-to-date finance information, please check the STUDENT FINANCE ENGLAND website.

We have an in-house Student Support Adviser who can help you to apply for your student finance. Contact or call 01872 267148.

Student Finance England have also created a range of films for students thinking of going to university in 2017/2018.  Many of their films are available with British Sign Language:

Higher Education loans and grants

If you’re an eligible undergraduate student, you will not have to pay tuition fees before you start university or while you are studying (although you can if you wish). Instead, you can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover these costs. This means that you won’t have to find the money before starting your course or while studying, and the fees will be paid direct to the College.

For more information on tuition fee loans, visit the STUDENT FINANCE Government website.

Maintenance loans

These loans are to help with living costs for the duration of your course. The figures below show the maximum maintenance loans available for 2017/18.

Maximum loan for students living at home: £7,097.

Maximum loan for students living away from home, outside London: £8,430.

Rates for final year students are different. Contact STUDENT FINANCE to find out what rate applies to you.

The amount of loan awarded is dependent on the student’s income and that of their household.

The money will be paid directly into the student’s bank or building society account in three instalments – one at the start of each term. You do not have to take out the full amount that is available to you.

Applications for student loans/grants can be made online at STUDENT FINANCE. The Student Room’s GUIDE TO STUDENT FINANCES can be very helpful for understanding the loan system.

Repayment of loans

If you have taken out both a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan, the amounts will be added together. Loans are repayable after you have finished your course. Each month, you’ll pay back 9% of any income over £21,000.

For more information on repayments, visit the Government’s STUDENT FINANCE WEBSITE.

For more information on maintenance grants (only applicable to continuing students), visit the STUDENT FINANCE WEBSITE.

Help for students with children or dependents

Extra financial support is available if you support children or dependent adults. For more information on additional financial support, visit the STUDENT FINANCE WEBSITE.

Students with disabilities

Although the College can provide some student support, further support is available through Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). DSA is available to eligible students with an illness, disability, medical condition or learning difficulty (including dyslexia) who may require help to cover additional costs incurred as a direct result of their disability.

DSA is not means tested, there is no age limit and it does not need to be paid back. You can get more information about Disabled Students’ Allowances from the GOVERNMENT WEBSITE.

For further information and advice regarding support and DSA, please email us at or call 01872 267148.

Download our HE Student Support Leaflet

HE bursaries

Eligible Higher Education students who are actively registered on a Degree, Foundation Degree or HND on 1 February will receive a bursary from the College. Application forms are available to download on the College intranet. 

Details of the bursaries for 2016/17 are as follows:

Full-time students – Type 1
Students whose household income is less than £25,000 (as assessed by Student Finance England).
Up to £700 p.a. (Paid in 2 instalments in February and May).

Full-time students – Type 2
All other students studying full-time.
Up to £320 p.a. towards learning materials (Paid in 2 instalments in February and May).

Part-time students
Higher Education students studying full-time courses on a part-time basis (studying at least 50% intensity).
Up to £230 p.a. (instalments in February and May).

To find out more, contact 01872 267069 or email us at

Payment of bursary 2016/17

In 2016/17 the bursary will be paid in 2 instalments:

Instalment 1 - Thursday 23rd February 2017
Instalment 2 - Thursday 25th May 2017

If you have a query regarding meeting the attendance criteria, please contact your tutor. For other queries contact Su Holden via

HE finance tips

Work out a financial guide by using our simple three-step guide.

  • Calculate how much income you will have while you are a student on a monthly or termly basis. Your income sources include your student loan, grants and bursaries, money from work and money from your family.
  • Now estimate how much money you will spend during that given period. Be sure to include all accommodation costs including rent and bills, plus all travel costs, food, workbooks and money for socialising (don’t forget your television license, which is your responsibility. Failure to get a license can result in a big fine).
  • The final sum may shock you but use it as a guide to control your spending – living on a small income is difficult and can take some adjustment.
Part-time employment

Part-time, Christmas or summer jobs are a great way of supplementing your income during your studies. Jobs are advertised earlier than you may think and are in high demand from students. We advise that you work no more than 15 hours each week during term time to ensure that college work still has priority over your job.

Student bank account

Many banks offer students perks for opening accounts. Most student bank accounts come with interest-free overdrafts, a debit card and possible overdrafts upon graduation. Perks can include anything from high-street vouchers to rail cards. Be sure to shop around to find the best deal for you.


Whether you’re playing sport or own valuable equipment, accidents can happen. Insurance companies offer a variety of student insurance deals encompassing cars, personal property and accidents.

Part-time courses


The tuition fee for some courses is waived (unless otherwise stated) if you fall into any of the categories below:

  • unemployed JSA/ESA (Work Activity Group);
  • unemployed on other state benefit and the course will help you find work; 
  • adult Basic Skills (English/Maths);
  • 19-23 without full Level 2/3;
  • over 16 and under 19 years old at 31 August 2016.

You will be asked to provide evidence at the start of the programme to support your claim for waived tuition.

Have you heard about the Advanced Learner Loan?

If you're aged 19 or over (24 or over if your course begins before 1 August 2016) and want to study an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3 to 6 (Level 3 or 4 only if your course begins before 1 August 2016) vocational qualification, you'll need to pay your college or training organisation for the cost of your course.

The Advanced Learner Loan is a government-funded loan to help learners. It's easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.

Here are some key facts about the loan:
  • repayments are linked to what you earn and not how much you borrowed;
  • you only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your course and you’re earning over £21,000 a year (which is £404 a week or £1,750 a month). Until then you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time;
  • you pay 9% of the money you earn over £21,000, before tax – for example, if you earn £22,000 a year, your monthly repayment will be £7 a month; and if you earn £35,000 a year, it will be £105 per month;
  • interest is charged on a sliding scale between the Retail Price Index (RPI) and RPI +3%, depending on how much you earn.

For further information, visit the government website.

Advanced Learner Loans are administered by Student Finance England (SFE). Student Finance England is a Student Loans Company service, providing financial support to students on behalf of the UK Government.

Advanced Learner Loan Information Downloads

For further information about 19+ fees, please contact: Annabel Aitken on 01872 308193 or email

Exam/registration fees

For the majority of qualification courses, any fees payable to the Awarding Body for registration, examination entry and certification will be collected, together with the course fee payable, before the start of the course. Where this is not the case, the additional payment due will be stated. If you are enrolled on a qualification course, you will automatically be registered with the awarding body and entered for any examinations provided the fee has been paid.

If you need to retake any examinations, you will need to enter for these separately and make a re-entry payment to the examinations office. You will receive written advance notification of the arrangements for formal examinations and written confirmation of your results. Certificates will be posted by recorded delivery to the address given on your enrolment form, so please do contact the part-time courses team about any change in your contact details.

Any questions about registration, examinations or certification should be directed to the Exams Office on 01872 267106 for Truro-based students or 01736 335127 for Penwith-based students. The email contact for both sites is If you are a candidate attending at either site and require examination concessions for medical reasons or because of learning difficulties, please contact the Exams Officer, Jennifer Hoare, as early on in your course as possible on 01872 267105 or

Childcare funding

If you are eligible for free tuition (see categories above) or your gross annual household income is less than £21,000, you may be entitled to financial support towards childcare while attending your course. Financial assistance for the purchase of materials for certificated courses may also be available. For guidance, contact Student Services on 01872 267130.


A full refund will be made if a class does not start or closes after one session. After a course has started, pro-rata refunds can only be made if you are ill (medical certificate required). All refund requests should be made in writing to the Principal.

Initial materials fee

Where possible the initial materials fee has been shown. These are payable even if you receive free tuition and all students are required to provide their own books and materials. If you're household income is below £21,000 the College will be able to make a contribution to the cost of your course materials and/or travel.

The MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC)

The MOD's Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. The scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. You are reminded that ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning i.e. for courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level three or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) with an approved learning provider.

Got a question?
Our Student Services team is here to offer help whenever you need it.

Find out more