16-18 Bursary Criteria 20/21

The 16-18 Bursary Fund is available to financially assist learners who are from households on a low income with costs incurred by attending college.

The intention of the Bursary is to assist as many learners as possible from a finite fund and is operated on a first come, first served basis. The Bursary can be used for payments and ‘in kind’ support, including help towards transport costs and equipment related to courses of study. It can also be used to assist learners who may be classed as vulnerable with a regular payment (known as the Enhanced Bursary). Please note that regular weekly payments are only for students who satisfy the criteria for the Enhanced Bursary.

If you wish the fund to assist with equipment or books please ensure the Advice and Guidance Centre has received confirmation from your lecturer of what is required for your course.

The Bursary and criteria is split into 2 levels.


The First Level (known as the Standard Bursary)

The Standard Bursary is for learners being supported by parents/guardians whose household meets one of the criteria below:

  • In receipt of one of the following benefits: Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, the guarantee credit element of Pension Credit, Child Tax Credit (providing you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190), Universal Credit, Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 
  • A gross household income of below £20,000 (evidenced by a Tax Credit/Universal Credit Award notice) 
  • A gross household income of below £22,000 (this threshold applies for help with transport only)


The Second Level (known as the Enhanced Bursary)

Parent or Guardian income is not counted for the Enhanced Bursary. The Enhanced Bursary is only for learners who are:

  • Young people in care
  • Care leavers
  • Young people in receipt of income support or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves and anyone who is dependent on them or living with them, such as a child or partner
  • Disabled young people in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DSA) or Personal Independence Payment(PIP)(must have both)


What Help is Available?

Free College Meals*

The Government have extended the free school meal entitlement to college learners. For eligible learners*, a meal up to the value of £3.00 can be obtained from the college food outlets for each day they attend college. Learners will use their student card to access this.

*Free college meals are only available for students being supported by a parent/guardian in receipt of one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Employment Support Allowance (Income related)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit if you do not also receive WTC and your annual income as assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed £16,190
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)


Standard Bursary

Please see below for the help available from the Standard Bursary. You should be able to find out the specific costs for your course at your interview or from your tutor.

Transport (bus pass)

Learners who live more than 3 miles from the college are able to apply to the fund for assistance with funding a bus pass. Learners must apply via the ‘My Petroc’ for transport in the first instance and then we are able to match this with your Bursary application. Information on transport can be found on the college website at www.petroc.ac.uk/bus-travel.


Where learners are required to have equipment/clothing/books related to their course, i.e. chef’s whites, steel toe cap boots, the fund will contribute 40% towards the full cost of the kit where the full cost is over £100*

*in some cases the full cost may be capped.


If the student has a particular hardship, they can make an application to the fund via the Student Support Team who will assess whether any hardship payments are appropriate. They can be contacted on 01271 852468 at Barnstaple or 01884 235350 at Tiverton or email them on studentsupport@petroc.ac.uk


Enhanced Bursary

Learners that meet the criteria for the Enhanced Bursary are entitled to:

Mentor support

A college mentor will be available to help Enhanced Bursary students access the help they need.

Maximum of £1,200* for the full academic year.

The Bursary, less £120 for start-up costs, will be paid in arrears by 36 weekly payments of £30, directly into the learner’s bank account by BACS. In order to receive a weekly payment, learners will be required to have suitable attendance and progress on their course. This will be checked on a weekly basis. *This amount will be allocated pro-rata for learners who start late in the year or finish early.


Help is the same as for the Standard Bursary. This will not be taken out of their £1200 allocation.

Free lunch

A main meal up to the value of £3.00 can be obtained from the college food outlets for each day they attend college.  Eligible learners will use their student card to access this. This will not be taken out of their £1200 allocation.

Equipment and books

Where learners are required to have equipment/clothing related to their course they will receive £120 start-up payment to cover these items.  However if this is not sufficient it can be requested that the additional cost be taken out of their £1200 Bursary allocation. If the learner chooses to do this, it will reduce the number of weekly payments that they will receive.


How to apply for the Bursary (Standard and Enhanced)

You can do this by logging onto your student account, using your student log in details, under Services click on the 16-18 Bursary. Only the learner can do this – parents and guardians cannot do this through the parent portal.

Please note that completion of the application form does not guarantee funds. Learners must produce relevant income/benefit evidence.  Learners attendance must also be in line with the criteria as laid out by the Learner Rights & Responsibilities Policy and they must be making satisfactory progress.  Funds are a finite amount and therefore on a first come, first served basis.


What Happens Next?

Once you have completed the online application, you must email the evidence of your entitlement eg. benefit/low income/care status etc to bursaryevidence@petroc.ac.uk or take it to either the Advice and Guidance Centre in Barnstaple or Tiverton where your application can be approved.

Benefit and care evidence needs to be dated within 3 months; tax credit evidence needs to be the current tax year’s award, clearly showing the income for the previous tax year. Without this evidence your application will not be processed.

When your income evidence is taken into the Advice and Guidance Centre, a member of the Advice and Guidance team will assess your financial eligibility. In most cases this can be done while you wait and you can then take your benefit evidence away with you. If the team is particularly busy, or the benefit evidence arrives by post, the evidence will be returned in the post to you and you will then need to check with the Advice and Guidance team to see when your funds will be available.


When will the Bursary be paid?

With the exception of help with transport and free college meals, payments will normally only be made if suitable attendance and progress has been made on the course.  This is based on the cost of kit that the tutors have supplied to us (receipts do not need to be supplied).

Because attendance needs to be checked, payments are not usually released until after October half term. Please note that the Bursary is intended to reimburse the learner a percentage of the costs - it is the learner’s responsibility to ensure they purchase what they need for their course and we will reimburse once we have checked attendance.


Further Information

Any further information can be obtained from the Advice and Guidance Centre in Barnstaple on 01271 852422 or Tiverton 01884 235245.


Need further assistance?

Please get in touch with the Guidance Centre:

Bursary Information Video
Bursary Information Video

Upcoming Events


Open Event - Mid Devon Campus

Our Open Events give you the perfect opportunity to chat to lecturers about our exciting range of courses.


Apprenticeship Information session

Join our expert panel for an ‘Apprenticeship Webinar’ and find out about all the benefits of apprenticeships.