Access to Learning Fund

This is a fund that can help students aged over 19 financially through their course. Any allocation will depend on family circumstances. You could get help towards travel*, childcare, equipment and material costs. If you are awarded a termly allocation your attendance will be checked with your tutor before releasing your 2nd & 3rd terms’ money. You will have two weeks from the issue date to collect your payments. Allocations are conditional on attendance and conduct and if you withdraw from your course you may be expected to repay all or part of your award. In the last term you will have to provide proof of any benefits again (if applicable).

Access Awards are based on an academic year and there is no guarantee of the same level of funding being available for continuing years. You can collect an application form from Student Services. A new application form must be completed each year. If an application is made after the first term, any financial support given will be from the date the application is received by the Student Finance Office.

*Students living within a three mile boundary will not qualify for support with travel.

ALG – Adult Learning Grant

The ALG is a means-tested allowance for adults in England. Those in receipt of out-of-work benefits or Income Support are not eligible to apply. 


  • You must be studying at least 12 hours a week 
  • You must be 19 or over 
  • It must be your first Level 2 or Level 3 course 
  • You must be on a low income benefit e.g Tax Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit. 
  • You must not be receiving any other education allowance e.g EMA, New Deal or Apprenticeship. 

For more information or an application form please contact the STUDENT BURSARY SUPPORT helpline on 

0800 121 8989 or alternatively Student Finance on Tel: 01793 491591. 


Applications to Swindon College for September start can be submitted any time from the previous September. We can also accept applications for a deferred start to accommodate, for example, gap years. School Leavers can apply through their schools for full time further education courses directly to Student Services or online for all of our courses, except for Higher Education courses listed with UCAS. 

Basic Skills

See Functional and Basic Skills 

Professional and Career Development Loan

This is a deferred repayment loan providing individuals with help to fund vocational education or training. You must be aged 18 or over. For more information please visit 

EMA – Education Maintenance Allowance

The EMA is an allowance for students who are aged 16 to 18 and continuing in education. Payments are made directly into your bank account. The EMAs are means-tested and based on family income. You will need to be studying an FE course in a school or college. The EMA will not affect your or your family’s benefits or income from your part-time job. To be eligible for payment every week you will need to sign an EMA contract with the college and follow the Student Code of Conduct, as well as achieve 

100% attendance. To apply for the EMA please talk to your Connexions Adviser if you are applying before you leave school. To apply once you are at college contact the National Enquiry Line on 0800 121 8989 or visit Alternatively, contact the college’s EMA Administrator. Students claiming EMAs may also apply to the Access Fund. 

Emergency Fund

All FE students who need to borrow a small amount of money for exceptional circumstances can apply to Student Finance for a small, short term loan. 

Entry Level

  • ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) 
  • Skills for Life 
  • Functional Skills at Entry Level (English, maths and ICT) 

Exam Fees

Students aged 19+ will pay the standard tuition fee, plus exam, registration and material costs. 

Full Time Study

Full time study constitutes 15-20 hours of study at college per week during term time, plus self-study time.