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16-18 Bursary fund

16-18 Bursary Criteria 2022/23

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 the support of a Mentor and the costs of attending college.

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

To be eligible to receive a bursary the learner must be aged 16 to under 19 on 31 August 2022 or a learner aged 19 to 25 and has an Education (EHCP) assessed by the local authority, satisfy residency criteria and be enrolled on an ESFA, European Social Fund (ESF) or publicly funded programme.

The Bursary and criteria are split into two 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 with income below £7400, Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • A gross household income of below £30,000 (evidenced by a Tax Credit/Universal Credit Award notice)

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, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people
  • 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)

Help available for a Standard Bursary

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 ID 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 Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC))
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

A free breakfast will be made available to all learners eligible for the 16-18 Bursary.  This will be accessed with the learner's college ID.

Learners who live more than three miles from the college are able to apply to the fund for assistance with funding a bus pass. Learners must apply via ‘myPetroc’ for a travel pass in the first instance and then we are able to match this with your Bursary application. Find out more about travel to college.

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 80% towards the full cost of the kit (in some cases the full cost may be capped).

The fund will contribute 80% towards the costs.

50% of the cost of trips organised as part of the student’s programme can be covered. The learner is required to provide evidence of the trip to the Advice and Guidance Centre once they have paid their deposit.

If a 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, 01884 235350 or at studentsupport@petroc.ac.uk.

Help available for an Enhanced Bursary

Where learners are required to have equipment/clothing or pay for trips and fees related to their course, this will be identified during a meeting with the Enhanced Bursary Mentor in the first half term. Funds will then be either paid directly to the faculty or to the learner who must make the payment.

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 ‘myPetroc’ for a travel pass in the first instance and then we are able to match this with your Bursary application. Find out more about travelling to college.

A college mentor will be available to help Enhanced Bursary students access the help they need. This amount will be allocated pro-rata for learners who start late in the year or finish early.

Application process

You can apply for a Standard and Enhanced Bursary by logging onto your myPetroc student account, using your student login details. Under Services, click on the Bursary/LSF. Only the learner can do this – parents and guardians cannot do this through the parent portal.

Please note: 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.

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 & Guidance Centre at North Devon or Mid Devon, where your application can be approved. 

Benefit and care evidence needs to be dated within three 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 & Guidance Centre, a member of the team will assess your financial eligibility. In most cases, this can be done within 14 days and will be confirmed by email.

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 the equipment 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 the 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.

Need further assistance?

Please get in touch with the Advice & Guidance Centre:

North Devon
01271 852422
Mid Devon
01884 235330
16 18 Bursary Information