Aged 16-18

You may be eligible for Full Funding & Free Course fees if you’re aged 16 to 18 years on 31 August in the calendar year your course starts.

Those who are unemployed

If you are currently unemployed and in receipt of a benefit listed below, the Government will fund you to complete any of our funded courses up to and including Level 2.

Aged 19 & over

If you’re aged 19 or over, there may be ways to reduce your fees or get rid of them altogether. You may be eligible for funding if you:

  • Want to study adult literacy and numeracy, or functional skills in literacy and numeracy are aged between 19 and 23 and this is your first eligible* full level 2 qualification (i.e. equivalent to five GCSEs at grades A to C, BTEC First Certificate or an NVQ Level 2)
  • Are aged between 19 and 23 and this is your first eligible* full level 3 qualification (i.e. equivalent to two A-Levels at grades A to C, BTEC National Certificate/Diploma or an NVQ Level 3)
  • Want to gain a level 2 qualification, but first need to get an entry/level 1 qualification.
  • Low waged earners; Are employed and earning less than £25,000 (from 1st August 2024) annual gross salary. For our level 2 and below courses, these will be funded for anyone with a low-income wage. This threshold is calculated before and is based on how much one person would earn working 37.5 hours a week on the National Minimum wage. This funding can really help learners take the first steps on retraining for a new career

Level 3 Qualifications

If you are aged 19+ and want to take a course at level 3 or above (and have previously achieved a course at the same level), you may be able to get help from the Advanced Learner Loan Scheme.

Learner Support Fund

Learner Support can help pay for things you need to attend your course or study that are not covered by your course fees.

To be eligible Learner Support students must be:

  • 19 or over (in the calendar year your course starts).
  • Studying for a qualification at level 3 or below
  • In financial hardship – you’ll need to provide evidence of any benefits / low income.

You must be 20 or over to get funding for childcare costs.  If you’re 19 and want help with childcare costs, you can apply for Care to Learn instead. You can still apply for Learner Support for help with other costs, like travel.

*Please note, the courses eligible for students to use their free entitlements are specific and published by the Government on a regular basis.  These lists can also be subject to change.

If you have any questions or are unsure what funding you may be eligible for, please call 01752 202269. Our finance team will be happy to help and advise you on all funding matters!


Bursary Fund

You may also be eligible for money from the Loan Bursary Fund if you need help with some costs while studying, e.g childcare, travel or trips related to your course. You apply to your training provider directly for the Bursary Fund. You can apply as soon as you’ve received a letter confirming your Advanced Learner Loan has been approved.

For more information visit: Advanced-learner-loan

Or call on 01752 301407

When you have selected the course you would like to enrol on, the course tutor will help you to apply for the loan through the finance department at ATL. It is very straight forward, you will need to know the start date of the course, the title and the cost, but we will help you every step of the way.

Student loans: a guide to terms and conditions 2024 to 2025


Those wanting to study a government loan funded course (Advanced Learner Loan)


Fundable level 3 courses can also be ‘Loan funded’ this government loan covers the full cost of tuition and is only paid back once you start earning over a wage threshold. For full information and eligibility criteria, please visit: Advanced Learn Loan Information

Loan eligibility doesn’t depend on your income and there are no credit checks. You don’t pay anything upfront for your course fees and will not be required to start repaying the loan unless you earn more than the repayment threshold. You can apply for up to 4 loans in total and can get more than one loan at a time providing it is for a course at the same level as your existing loan. If your loan is for an Access to HE programme and you progress and complete HE study, you will not have to pay back your FE loan. You may be eligible for money from the Loan Bursary Fund if you need help with some costs while studying – example: childcare, materials, travel or emergency accommodation related to your course.



If you start an undergraduate or postgraduate course after 1 August 2023.

Repayment plan 5 is a new repayment plan, being introduced for students starting undergraduate and Advanced Learner Loan courses on or after 1 August 2023.

You won’t be expected to make repayments to your plan 5 student loan until April 2026 at the earliest, even if you leave your course early.

You’ll only start making repayments if your income is over the repayment threshold. The repayment threshold for the 2026-27 tax year will be £25,000 a year, £2,083 a month or £480 a week in the UK. If your income falls below the repayment threshold, your repayments will stop and only restart when your income is over the threshold again.

You can also make additional voluntary repayments to SLC at any time.

You’ll repay 9% of your income over the repayment threshold, which is currently £25,000 a year, £2,083 a month or £480 a week in the UK. If your income changes, either rising or falling, your repayment amount will automatically change to reflect this.


Income each year before tax Monthly income before tax Approximate monthly repayment
£25,000 £2,083 £0
£28,000 £2,333 £22
£29,500 £2,458 £33
£31,000 £2,583 £45
£33,000 £2,750 £60