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
What you'll get
There are 2 types of 16 to 19 bursary.
Vulnerable student bursary 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.
How your bursary is paid
Your provider will decide how you get your bursary. You might be:
- paid in full or in installments
- paid in cash, by cheque or through a bank account
- given a travel pass, free meals, books etc instead of money
- Some providers also offer one-off payments to cover study trips or travel for university interviews.
Your provider could stop payments if you break their rules, eg about attendance or how your bursary is used.
You must be:
- under 19 at the start of the academic year you want a bursary for
- studying at school or college, or on an unpaid training course
Who can get a bursary
Vulnerable student bursary
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 in place of Income Support) in your name
- you’re disabled and get both Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) (or Universal Credit in place of ESA), and either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in your name
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, or no bursary, if your course is shorter, you study part time or have few expenses.
You’ll be told what evidence you need, eg benefit letters.
Education and training providers set their own criteria for discretionary bursaries, eg they might look at family income.
How to claim
Apply to the school, college or training provider.
When to apply
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.