Back to Top
Adults > Finance > Bursaries


As an adult learner (19+) you may be eligible for certain bursaries to help towards the cost of travel, material, trips and visits or childcare.


To download the bursary application form click here.

Travel bursary

A fund to support learners with travel costs. You could get a travel pass subject to availability or monthly travel expenses. Apply by Friday 10 August 2019 to ensure your pass is available at the start of term.

Please be informed that your application may take up to four weeks to be processed, you will be responsible for any travel costs until your support is in place.

All students pay a contribution towards their travel pass based on your household income. The maximum award for travel is £2,000 p.a. unless exceptional circumstances are evidenced

Travel passes

Travel passes are provided if you attend college for a minimum of three days per week. Funds will not usually be backdated; you are responsible for the cost of travel until your pass arrives. Any passes not collected within two weeks will be returned to the travel company and there may be a fee for reissuing the pass.

How to pick up your travel pass

Travel Passes are available for collection from the Advice Centre at the college you attend.

Passes will be available for collection usually within three weeks of making the award.

If your course is not based at an Activate learning campus your pass will be posted to your home address.

Important – When you collect your travel pass you should make a note of the pass number which will be needed if you lose the pass and need a replacement.

All train passes and Stagecoach passes require you to insert photo ID before the pass is valid for travel.

Replacement passes

You are responsible for contacting the travel company if you need a replacement travel pass. You are responsible for paying any fees to the travel company to replace the pass.

Study start-up costs, trips and work placement bursary

This bursary provides a contribution of usually up to 50% towards:

  • equipment, materials stationery, uniform, books including revision books, expenses to attend university open days and interviews, fees for short courses e.g. spray tanning.
  • field trips including trips abroad, work placement costs e.g. travel, uniform, food credits.

Learners aged 19+

  • The bursary can support costs for your course as detailed above if you are not eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan e.g.’ if you are enrolling on a level 2 or ESOL course.
  • If you have confirmation that you have an Advanced Learner Loan, bursary funds are not awarded towards your tuition fee, but can support all other costs.
  • If you are eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan and chose to pay your own course costs or your Advanced Learner Loan is not approved, you are not eligible for bursary support.

Please note: bursary funds do not support the purchase of lap tops or any other IT equipment.

Any equipment or materials that are essential for your course may be borrowed from college, so the course costs bursary cannot support these costs. 

  • We ask that you purchase items and attach receipts to the ‘Study start-up costs, trips and work placement bursary form’ and we refund you 50% of the cost.
  • You may submit ‘Study start-up costs, trips and work placement bursary form’  throughout the year which enables you to buy items for your course as you need them.
  • If you have a fee that is payable to college such as a trip or course fee (including the protective services course fee), you should complete the Study start-up costs, trips and work placement bursary form’ there is no need to attach receipts for these costs. By completing the form, it makes us aware that you would like bursary funds to be awarded for this cost. If you have been awarded a bursary in 2019-20 you need pay only 50% of the fee to college.
  • Receipts are required for any items purchased with the support of bursary funds. If receipts are not provided within four weeks of the award you will be required to return the bursary funds awarded to you.

 Not all courses are supported and costs vary from course to course.

To download the Study start-up costs, trips and work placement request form, click here.

20+ Childcare bursary

  • The Childcare Bursary provides a contribution towards the cost of childcare. While you attend timetabled classes. The amount of funding is discretionary but will normally be for a maximum of £180 per week per child.
  • Funds are initially allocated for up to two children per household. Funding for any additional children will be subject to availability.
  • You are encouraged to apply for a childcare bursary before the start of your course as payments are not normally backdated more than 28 days from receipt of the fully completed application.
  • You will need to provide copies of your child’s birth certificate and Child benefit letter before bursary funds are awarded to pay invoices.
  • You and your childcare provider will be sent an email confirming the award with a copy of the terms and conditions. Both parties are required to sign and return the form confirming they agree to the terms and conditions.
  • Any agreement made with a childcare provider is between you (the student) and the childcare provider.
  • If you enrol on a series of short courses e.g. ESOL, bursary funds will be awarded to support childcare while you attend timetabled classes. Funds are not awarded for childcare in between courses.
  • If you are required to attend additional revision sessions or exams, you may apply for additional funds for these sessions. You will be required to evidence the sessions you are.

To download the Childcare provider form, click here.

Food Credits

Good nutrition is important to be able to focus on your learning.

This bursary may be available to students who are continuing on the course they began when aged 18 or for those who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). 

If you are awarded food credits, you are entitled to receive a breakfast and lunch meal deal to the value of £4.50 per day on the days you are timetabled to attend college.

You scan or show your college ID card at the till as payment for the meal.

If you are attending a placement or are studying at a site without the cashless payment system, you will receive a monthly BACS payment to enable you to purchase a meal.

Students not eligible for free meals under the funding guidelines but who have been assessed by a support worker as needing free meals credits, may be awarded college discretionary food credits.

Residential Support Scheme

The College Accommodation Team supports students in our Halls of Residence at Merrist Wood College and in homestay accommodation. We also offer a Residential Bursary Scheme to assist qualifying students with costs. To be eligible for the Residential Bursary Scheme you need to be studying your first full-time Level 2 or 3 vocational course and unable to find a similar course locally to your home (within reasonable travelling distance). For more information on accommodation or the bursary Tel: 01483 88 40 93.

To download the Residential bursary scheme guidance notes, click here


 For more information about fees and financial support please contact the Information, Advice and Careers Team Tel:01483 44 85 85 or Email:



01483 44 85 00

Facebook Twitter