Bursary & Free Meals 2021/22
The 16-19 Bursary Fund & Free Meals scheme can provide financial support to help some students in their learning. Guidelines are set by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Colleges are responsible for awarding bursaries to students, deciding the amounts, dates of payments and setting conditions that students should meet in order to receive payments.
If you think you are eligible to receive financial support through the 16-19 Bursary Fund & Free Meals scheme, you can download an application form by clicking one of the links below. The form is available in Word and PDF formats:
Criteria for ALL applications
Students must be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2021 to be eligible for help from the bursary fund in the 2021 to 2022 academic year.
Students aged 19 or over are only eligible for discretionary bursary if they are continuing on a course they began aged 16-18 or have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Students aged 19 or over are not eligible for an enhanced bursary in any case.
Students must have good attendance.
Students placed on a Senior Management Contract or above of the Trust Interventions procedure will not automatically receive payments.
Students should show that they have a financial need (see application for details). If there are no relevant costs to meet then college may refuse an application.
Students qualifying for an enhanced bursary may receive up to £1,200 per year. Students with a financial need may be eligible for an enhanced bursary if they are either;
- in care
- care leavers
- receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner.
- receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right.
- an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC) – under 18 only. See separate ‘Further information for Asylum Seekers’ section for details.
Discretionary bursary is assessed on household income. Applications will only be successful if gross household assessed income is £30,000 or below, for those receiving Tax Credits. For households receiving Universal Credit, assessed net income should be £23,000 or below to qualify.
What is household income?
Household income is usually classed as the income of parents/guardians only. Income information is not required for any additional adults living at the same address eg. Grandparents or adult siblings.
Income taken into account:
If receiving Universal Credit…
You should provide the latest three monthly statements, these must be consecutive and the most recent available. All pages of each statement showing a full breakdown must be provided, these can be found by logging on to your account and clicking the hyperlink for each month. If you are having difficulty accessing your monthly statements contact the Job Centre for assistance.
If you have been receiving Universal Credit for less than three months please provide all statements you have available and include a note on the application of the start date.
If not receiving Universal Credit…
|Income Type||Evidence Required|
|Full or part-time wages – gross earnings including overtime, bonus and commission||Latest P60 or two consecutive payslips dated within the last 6 months|
|Self-employment||Copy of accounts for 2020/21 tax year or Tax Award letter (only if accounts have been submitted and confirmed by HMRC – estimates not accepted)|
|Working or Child Tax Credit||ALL pages of your 2021-22 award letter – provisional and estimated awards will require additional evidence.|
|Income Support||Award notice or bank statement (within last 6 months) showing payments.|
|Job Seekers Allowance(JSA)||Award notice or bank statement (within last 6 months) showing payments. Please note if applying for Free Meals the Award notice is required.|
|Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) / Incapacity benefit||Award notice or bank statement (within last 6 months) showing payments. Please note if applying for Free Meals the Award notice is required.|
|Pensions including Retirement, Widow’s, Army, Other||Pension statement or Two consecutive payslips dated within last 6 months.|
|Support under Part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999||Official letter showing current status.|
|Any other taxable income||Any relevant evidence|
Income we do not need to know about;
- Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- Child Benefit
- Childcare element of Working Tax Credits
- Disability element of Working/Child Tax Credits
- Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit
- Rent from lodgers/letting rooms
- Child maintenance
- Bank or Building Society interest
Free meals will automatically also be awarded if the student or parent/guardian are in receipt of any 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 Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income 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 £7,400pa
Free meals will be equivalent to £2.41 per day. Credit of £12.05 will be available on student ID cards and will be refreshed each week. Any remaining credit will be lost at the end of each week.
Travel Grant – New for 2021/22*
We are pleased to announce a brand new Travel Grant will be available for 2021/22. The Travel Grant will consist of either an allowance towards a New College bus pass or a grant payment to help with the cost of public transport or other travel. Applications will automatically be assessed for a Travel Grant when an application is submitted to the Bursary & Free Meals Scheme. *Please note terms and conditions apply
Further information for Asylum Seekers
Accompanied asylum seeking children (those under 18 with an adult relative or partner)
Accompanied asylum seeking children (those under 18 with an adult relative or partner) and those aged 18 and above are entitled to education, but not to public funds and therefore may not apply for a college bursary.
If an application for asylum has not been refused, students can contact Student Finance if they have a specific need. Payments cannot be made from bursary funds but college may be able to provide some support in-kind.
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) – under 18 only
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children are treated as looked after children and are eligible for an enhanced bursary (‘in care’ group), where they have a financial need. Evidence must be provided as with all Bursary applications.
For more information about when children turn 18 (adulthood) contact Student Finance.
How to apply
If you think you are eligible to receive financial support through the 16-19 Bursary Fund & Free Meals scheme, you can download an application form from the top of this page.
Alternatively, new students can collect an application form on enrolment.
Complete the application form and return to college (details of how to return are on the application form) along with photocopies of all the evidence required. If insufficient evidence is provided, applications will be returned.
Information provided to college will be confidential and will only be seen by authorised college staff. It is required and will only be used to process a 16-19 Bursary Fund & Free Meals application and for the prevention of fraud.
Applications are now open and the initial deadline for applications to be returned is Friday 27 August 2021 in order to receive the first payment on time. Students can apply after this date but applications may take up to 4 weeks to process.
Applications handed in after the deadline will be paid pro-rata for the remaining term weeks in the academic year. Decisions will be notified by a letter addressed to the student. For all applications received by 27 August, a decision letter will be issued by 15 September.
Provided a student meets the required criteria and has financial need they will be eligible to receive a maximum of £1,200 over the academic year 2020/21. Students may receive a reduced award or may be refused an award dependant on the student’s financial need.
Successful students will receive a payment in September at the start of their course. This is to help with the initial costs of starting college such as books, transport, equipment etc.. Payments will be subject to evidence of effort, satisfactory attendance and work performance (payments will be withheld if the student is placed on a Senior Management contract or above of the Trust Interventions procedure).
For successful applicants the payment dates will be advised by letter issued on 15 September.
If a student withdraws from college, payments will be stopped from the date of the withdrawal. College reserves the right to ask for any monies paid in advance to be returned.
Calculations can be provided on request for information on why an application has been declined. Contact Student Finance for details.
To appeal a decision, a cover letter should be sent along with any relevant additional supporting evidence. Appeals are referred to the Trust Finance Manager in first instance. Any further query is referred to Trust Director of Finance.
If you have any questions or for further information about the 16-19 Bursary Fund please email: firstname.lastname@example.org