Financial Support for College Students

We know your finances and financial future are important to you so we try and give you as much advice about what it's going to cost to study at University College Birmingham and support available to you

What support is available?

The level of support available will depend upon your age, household income assessment and the course that you are studying. Your award letter will outline all of the support that you are eligible to receive which may include:

General Support

Uniform and Equipment

  • Available to first year students on certain courses (Catering, Hospitality and Bakery, Hairdressing, Beauty and Theatrical). A non-refundable £50 contribution is paid to University College Birmingham, we then cover the rest of the cost of the uniform and equipment.
  • This can be a saving of up to £250 depending on the course
  • If you purchase your uniform and equipment yourself and then are award support with these costs, please keep all receipts/proof of purchase. It may be possible for University College Birmingham to refund these costs minus the £50 contribution. However, please note that there is no guarantee that we will be able to issue a refund due to limited funding and refunds will not be considered until after the application deadline (30th October 2020).

Out of county travel support

  • If you live outside the area covered by Network West Midlands (Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Coventry, Walsall, Solihull and Wolverhampton) you can access approximately 50% of the monthly train ticket price

16-19 year olds

Discretionary Bursary Scheme (DBS/Bursary)

  • A bursary of £20 per week based on 100% attendance. The £20 is paid directly into the students’ bank account at the end of the following week. It is only paid for teaching weeks where 100% attendance is achieved. If you do not receive your bursary due to unauthorised absence, there is no alternative payment.
  • The bursary is intended to be used as travel support for the student. There is no additional travel support or bus pass for 16-19 year olds. Students within the Network West Midlands area are encouraged to get their free 16-18 photo card which gives them access to the child rate of travel (more information and eligibility criteria can be found here. This means that, based on 19/20 prices, a weekly ticket on National Express West Midlands buses will cost £9, leaving £11 of the bursary remaining each week.

Free Meals

  • An allowance of £2.41 per day to be used on healthy food options. It cannot be used for items such as fizzy drinks, crisps, chocolate etc.


Travel support

  • If you are within the Network West Midlands area, you may be eligible to receive an NXBus student term pass. The term pass is renewed each term subject to satisfactory attendance.


Am I eligible?

The general eligibility criteria in order to apply are that you must:

  • Be enrolled on a college course (level 3 or below)
  • Be aged 16 or over on the 1st September 2020
  • Be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom
  • Have a total household income of less than £31,000 per year

You are not eligible to apply if;

  • You are an international (overseas) student
  • You are an asylum seeker aged 19 or over
  • You will be attending a Higher Education (degree level) course

Different types of support have different eligibility criteria. The specific criteria for each type of support are:

  • Uniform and Equipment – Household income of £31,000 or less and enrolled on an eligible course
  • Out of County Travel Support – Household income of £31,000 or less and living outside Network West Midlands Area
  • Discretionary Bursary Scheme – Household income of £25,000 or less and aged 16-19
  • Free Meals – Student must be aged 16 or over but under 19 on 31 August 2020 and the household receives one or more of the following benefits:
    • 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)
  • Travel support – Aged 19+ and household income of £31,000 or less

How to apply

Applications are open until Friday 30th October 2020. No applications will be accepted after this date.

Our application form can be found here and all the information relating to financial support has been compiled into a single information document here.

To submit your application form please follow these steps:

  • Complete the application form and gather digital copies of your evidence
    • Ideally you should scan your evidence, and most smart phones now have the ability to ‘scan’ a document and save it as a pdf. If you are not sure how, search ‘how to scan on [phone model]’ and it should tell you how.
  • Attach the application form and all evidence to the same email
  • The subject line of the email should clearly state your name and the word application (e.g. Joe Bloggs application)
  • Send the email with all attachments to

We are not able to accept physical applications in person or by post, only by email. Applications sent to other UCB email addresses may not reach us correctly and may not be accepted.

We need to see evidence of your household income in order to assess your eligibility for support. The evidence that we will need is one or more of the following:

  • Universal Credit statement
  • This should be your most recent statement.
  • Statements can be found by logging in to your Government Gateway account, clicking payments and then clicking on the most recent date. We need to see the entire page (the awarded amount, the breakdown of the payment, any deductions that are taken off)
  • Working/Child Tax Credits
  • This should be your most recent award letter. (Ideally dated 2020)
  • We will need to see all pages of your letter
  • P60 from April 2020
  • Issued by your employer
  • Benefit Award letter
  • If you receive any other means tested benefit (such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance etc.), we will need to see your most recent award letter (ideally from within the last three months)
  • If none of these apply to you or you aren’t sure what to provide, please contact us by email on (Please indicate in the subject line of the email that it is a question rather than an application submission to help us respond to you efficiently)

Please note: we need to be able to see any figures on the award letters/statements. If you obscure any figures or the attachment is hard to read, it will result in a delay in your application being processed while we wait for sufficient evidence.


Childcare doesn't have to be an obstacle to learning at University College Birmingham. There are a number of schemes to assist UK students with childcare costs. If you need to find a suitable childcare provider you should contact the Family Information Service run by your local authority.

Students aged 16 to 19

Students aged between 16 and 19 on the start date of their course must apply for childcare support through the Care to Learn Scheme. To find out more information and how to apply, go to and search 'Care to Learn' Alternatively, call the helpline on 0800 121 8989.

College students aged 20+

Students aged 20 and over are able to apply for help with childcare costs through the Learner Support Fund if their total household income falls below £31,000 per annum. Funding is limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who make a successful application are expected to maintain an excellent attendance record for the duration of their course.

Please contact Student Services by email on to find out more or get an application pack for the 2020/21 academic year.

16 to 19 tuition fund

The purpose of this statement is to set out how University College Birmingham (UCB) will use its 16 to 19 tuition fund allocation to support students who have been academically disadvantaged due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

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