Whether you’re looking to take your first steps into Further Education or you’re looking to add to your current skills, finance can be a pretty daunting subject. We’ve pulled together a handy guide that focuses on the costs involved and the support available to you. If you’d like any further help or information, please do get in touch or join us at one of our information events. Please note that the following information refers only to FE students.
Students aged 16-18
If you’re aged 16-18 on 31st August in the year when you start your full-time course, then there are NO course tuition fees payable.
Students aged 19 and over at the course start date – studying at Level 1 & 2 or first Level 3
The tuition fee for full-time students aged 19 or over on 31st August in the year when you start your course is £1,200 per year plus a £140 assessment fee.
Tuition fee remission (i.e. the Government pays the tuition fee and assessment fee) is available to students aged 19 and over at the time the course begins is as follows:
- Students aged 19+ unemployed and in receipt of JSA (Jobseekers Allowance) or Work Related ESA (Employment Support Allowance) - FREE up to and including first Level 3 courses for students aged 19-23
- Students aged 19+ unemployed and in receipt of a means-tested state benefit looking to enter employment - FREE up to and including first Level 3 courses for students aged 19-23
- Students aged 19-23 who enrol on their first full Level 2 course - FREE
- Students aged 19-23 who enrol on their first full Level 3 course - FREE
- Students aged 24 and above may apply for an Advanced Learner Loan for full Level 3 courses
If you’re being supported by your employer or a sponsor, you’ll need to provide a letter of authorisation at enrolment.
If you are aged 19-23 and you believe that you qualify for fee remission and would like to discuss this further, please contact our Admissions Team on 01273 892080 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Students aged 19 or over at the course start date – studying at Level 3 AGAIN and students aged 24 or over at the course start date – studying at level 3
Tuition fees vary based on your programme of study and range from £1,000 per year to £4,500 per year. These fees also include College facilities and assessment fees.
You can apply for a loan via the Advanced Learner Loan scheme to pay your course fee.
If you’re under 24 and haven’t previously studied at Level 3, no fees are payable.
Ex-British Armed Forces
Please contact us to discuss the fee remissions available to you. We are accredited for the Ministry of Defence – Enhanced Learning Credits scheme.
Facilities Fee – all students
If you’re a resident, you’ll be charged a facilities fee of £200. Non-residents pay £120.
We offer deferred payment schemes on an individual basis, so please call the Finance Team to discuss if this applies to you.
College Bursary Scheme
We have bursary funds that are given on a discretionary basis to provide financial assistance to eligible students who without support would not have access to learning. Support is targeted to those most in need. Therefore we consider all awards on an individual basis and in a variety of formats. This doesn’t prevent you from making a case for alternative support as we’ll consider each case on its own merit. We maintain the right to refuse payment if we can provide a cheaper alternative or we believe that the item not to have educational merit.
Please note the total fund for each academic year is allocated by the government. We aim to support all appropriate students where possible and consider applications made during the academic year should an unforeseen situation arise.
We operate four funds which target the following students:
- Students in the 16-18 age range
- Students in the 16-18 age range and considered vulnerable
- Students who are 19+
- Students supported by an Advanced Learner Loan
Who is Eligible?
If you’re an existing student or looking to become a student at Plumpton and in need of financial support to access your learning, you’ll be eligible. Priority is given to vulnerable students – defined by the government, plus students in a household with an income below £20,000.
We can’t award a bursary to you if you are:
- In some waged apprenticeship courses
- An overseas student
- A young person in prison or a young offender institution, or if you have been released on temporary licence, for example day release
How to Apply for a College Bursary
After you’ve received an offer of a course, please apply online via the link on this page. Once we’ve received a completed application with the correct supporting documents, we will make bursary offers. This will also be subject to formal enrolment which will enable you to fully understand the financial commitment from the start of your studies.
How will I receive my bursary award if my application is successful?
Our bursary funding is set up to support all students who need finance to access learning. Most bursaries are made ‘in kind’ for payments such as equipment such as protective clothing, lunch in the canteen or transport passes for College buses. Each case is considered on an individual basis, and we look at your educational need, maximising the value from the limited funding received and on your continued attendance. These bursaries may include:
- Direct payment into your bank account by BACS (normally for vulnerable students)
- Discounted meals at the canteen (if you’re not eligible for free meals in FE)
- Discounted tickets on our own bus service where this is available
- Educational study trips
- Other course equipment & materials
- Personal protective equipment
- Payment of the College facility fees
- We’ll review your attendance, punctuality and behaviour when delivering support. If you withdraw from your course, you may need to repay your bursary funding.
We consider applications for residential bursaries to assist with your costs of our on-site accommodation. If you’re in a household with an income below £30,000, you can apply via the same online process.
Advanced Learner Loans
The loan system is similar to that currently operated within Higher Education by the Student Loans Company. Loans are not means tested and you won’t be credit checked. Repayments do not start until you’re earning over £21,000 after April 2016. To be eligible, you must be:
- Studying a full Level 3 or 4 course (Such as Access to HE courses, Diploma and Certificate courses)
- A resident in the UK for the past 3 years
For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/advanced-learning-loans or contact our Student Finance Officer on 01273 892102 (email@example.com)
Free Meals in FE
We know that our students do better in their studies when they have access to regular meals, so we encourage you by offering healthy options from our daily menus. You’ll need to be aged 16-18 and part of a low-income household.
Professional & Career Development Loans
We are included on the Learning provider list, see
We consider applications for childcare bursaries for students aged 20 and over at the start of their course.
See the Government’s Care to Learn scheme for students aged under 20:
Please contact our bursary officer in person, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone 01273 892102.
Additionally the website http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/index.htm gives full details of all the Government schemes.
Other Potential Sources of Funding for Plumpton Students
Here is a list of organisations offering financial support – many are industry specific. We recommend that you research their websites and follow the application process for each individual organisation.
The Lewes Exhibition Fund - supports students under 25 and living within 5 miles of Lewes (application forms are available from College) or email: email@example.com
Bedgebury Foundation – for students in East Sussex and Kent under 25 years old see http://www.thebedgeburyfoundation.org/
City & Guilds – for students studying City & Guilds qualification http://www.cityandguilds.com/help/help-for-learners/funding-and-bursaries/how-to-apply
Gingerbread – supports single parents see http://www.gingerbread.org.uk/
The Perennial Charity - for students in the horticultural sector see http://www.grantsforhorticulturists.org.uk/Perennial.html
The Prince’s Trust for students under 25 and in hardship - see http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/grants.aspx or ring 01273 221475
RABI Charity – supports families working in the agricultural sector see
The Star Trust - supports children in South East England see http://www.starrtrust.co/
Vegetarian Charity (for students under age 26) – see http://www.vegetariancharity.org.uk
Welsh Pony & Cob Club (for students under 25) see http://wpcs.uk.com/society/young_peoples_section/educational_bursaries/
The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths – see http://blacksmithscompany.org/activities/education
The Worshipful Company of Farmers – see http://www.farmerslivery.org.uk/farmers/grantsandawards/overseastravelawards.htm
The Worshipful Company of Vintners – see http://www.vintnershall.co.uk/?page=educational_awards
List of miscellaneous sources of funding for groups and individuals see https://www.countryside-jobs.com/Information/Grants.htm
Helen Kennedy Foundation
HKF provides support of up to £2,250 to students whose personal and financial circumstances make progression to higher education difficult. They have two awards for a higher level apprenticeship in agriculture, and three awards for students wanting to progress to a land based degree.
Professional Gardeners Trust
The Professional Gardeners’ Trust funds training and education for gardeners (including apprentices), providing them with the opportunity to acquire skills and qualifications which benefit the industry.
Studley College Trust
The Studley College Trust encourages education and research in land based subjects by financially assisting young people who wish to pursue a career in one of these areas but are restricted by financial constraints. It contributes towards the cost of accommodation, study materials, exam fees and study trips.
AgriFood Charities Partnership
The AFCP website provides a searchable list of charities and trusts which provide funding to help with all types of training, education and research in the food and farming sectors.