Financial Support for College Students

College Financial Support applications for 2021/22 are now open. Click here to apply.

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?

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 (Friday 10th December 2021).

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 an allowance of up to £100 per month towards travel costs, subject to eligibility and good attendance.

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.

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.


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 UCB 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 the Financial Support team in Student Services by email on to find out more or get an application pack for the 2021/22 academic year.

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 2021
  • 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 2021 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?

Visit this page here to complete the application form.

The first time you use the site, you must register for an account using your UCB student ID number (e.g. ABC12345678 – make sure you use capital letters). 

You will be asked to upload evidence of your household income during the application process so please have this ready.

Please note:

  • Applications are only available online, we will not be offering paper forms or accepting email submissions of evidence.
  • All communication about your financial support application will be by email.
  • We will aim to process applications within 10 working days however this may be longer during peak times.
  • Please submit your application as soon as you can!


Application deadline

Applications will close on Friday 10th December 2021 for those who started their course in September 2021.

There will be a separate application window for those who are studying courses starting in January 2022.

Get in touch

If you have any questions you can visit us on the ground floor of The Link or contact us on or 0121 604 1000 ext. 2220 or 2519.

As this is a new system please let us know if you come across any problems during the application process and bear with us if you have any issues.

You can report any issues to  including details of the problem and screenshots if you can, to help us get things fixed.

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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