Further Education (16+) Finance

We’ve pulled together this guide which outlines on the costs involved and the support available to you.

If you’d like any further help or information,  please do contact our finance team by emailing finance@plumpton.ac.uk, phoning on 01273892102, or by joining us at one of our information events.

Please note that the following information refers only to Further Education students, the Higher Education Finance page for HE advice.

Tuition Fees

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

For full time students aged 19 or over on 31st August in the year when you start your full-time course, there will be tuition fees. The fees payable are dependent on the course you are studying. 

Tuition fee remission (whereby the Government pays the tuition fee and assessment fee) is available to students who are aged 19 and over at the time the course begins and for which any of the following applies:

  • 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 that are on low income and can prove they earn less than £18,250 may be entitled to fee remission
  • Students aged 24 and earning above the threshold 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 call our Enquiries Team on 01273 892080 or email enquiries@plumpton.ac.uk

Studying at Level 3 for a second time or students aged 24 or over at the course start date studying at level 3

Tuition fees vary based on your programme of study. These fees do not include Plumpton College facilities, materials and assessment fees, which will be charged seperately. 

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.

Financial Assistance

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 does not have educational merit.

Please note the total fund for each academic year is allocated by the government. The funds held for support to students is limited. We aim to support all appropriate students where possible and consider applications made during the academic year, should an unforeseen situation arise. However, once the funds are exhausted, students may not automatically receive support. Early application is advised. 

We operate four funds, which apply to the following student groups:

  • 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

Please note that any bursary awarded will not cover the college facility fee. 

Read the updated Plumpton College Bursary Policy

Apply For A Bursary Here

Bursary FAQs

Who is eligible for a bursary?

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 if the household income is below £27,000. A guaranteed bursary is given to vulnerable students (as defined by the government). 

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

Is a residential bursary available?

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 £34,000, you can apply via the same online process.

How will I receive my bursary award if my application is successful?

Our bursary funding is set up to support, while funds are available, all students who need finance to access learning. Each case is considered on an individual basis, and we look at your educational need, maximising the value from the limited funding the college receives and on your continued attendance. 

These bursary awards may include: 

  • Direct payment into your bank account by BACS (normally for vulnerable students) 
  • Discounted or free meals in the dining room (if you’re not eligible for free meals in FE) 
  • Discounted tickets on our own bus service where this is available
  • Educational study trips - a contribution to one trip
  • Other course protective equipment and materials
  • Personal protective equipment
  • 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.

Bursary Scheme Video

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 £26,575. 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 GOV.UK 

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 with parents/carers in receipt of certain benefits. 


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.

Further Information

Please contact our bursary officer in person, by email finance@plumpton.ac.uk or by telephone 01273892102

Additionally GOV.UK gives full details of all the government schemes available. 

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: info@lewes-tc.gov.uk
  • Bedgebury Foundation – for students in East Sussex and Kent under 25 years old. 
  • City & Guilds – for students studying City & Guilds qualification.
  • Gingerbread – supports single parents.
  • The Perennial Charity - for students in the horticultural sector.
  • The Prince’s Trust for students under 25 and in hardship.
  • RABI Charity – supports families working in the agricultural sector. 
  • The Star Trust - supports children in South East England.
  • Vegetarian Charity (for students under age 26).
  • Welsh Pony & Cob Club (for students under 25).
  • The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths.
  • The Worshipful Company of Farmers.
  • The Worshipful Company of Vintners.
  • List of miscellaneous sources of funding for groups and individuals are posted on the Countryside Jobs Service site.
  • 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.  
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