College Fees and Funding

2021/22 Further Education tuition fees for UK students

You will not have to pay tuition fees if you fall into one of the categories below at the time you enrol on your course; you must also meet the necessary residency criteria and your course has to be eligible for Government funding (PLEASE NOTE that if your course is not eligible for Government funding you will have to pay the full cost of the course)

(NB: Guidance generated using ESFA Funded Adult Education Budget Funding Rules Version 1  – May 2021 and the West Midlands Combined Authority Adult Education Budget Funding Rules 2021/22 – Version 1 July 2021. Please be aware that the information below can change as the ESFA or WMCA issue new guidance.)

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For students who live within the West Midlands Combined Authority

Level 1 and Level 2 courses

The following students will not have to pay tuition fees: 

  • Students aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2021
  • Students aged 19 to 23 on 31st August 2021, who do not already have a full level 2 qualification (e.g. 5 GCSEs at grade C and above, or grade 4 and above) and are enrolling on the following courses only:
    • C&G Level 2 Diploma in Professional Food & Beverage Services (Bar, Cocktail and Professional Services)
    • VTCT Level 2 Diploma In Hair And Media Make-Up
    • Pearson BTEC First Extended Diploma in Information and Creative Technology
    • VTCT Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing
  • NB: If you are aged 19-23 and do not already have a level 2 qualification, you will have to pay for your tuition fees unless you do one of the courses above.
  • Students who are employed or self-employed and earns less than £18,135 annual gross annual salary. Proof of salary must be shown to qualify for this category. (Proof of income must be presented at enrolment such as a wage slip, a Universal credit statement within three months of the start date of the course, or a current employment contract that states gross monthly/annual wages.)
  • Students who are unemployed. The definition of unemployed for these purposes is: Not currently employed and are able to start work or available for work. The course that you choose to undertake must be relevant to your employment prospects.
  • Economically inactive, i.e. Jobless people who have not been looking for work within the last four weeks. Examples of economically inactive people include people not looking for work because they are students, looking after the family or home, because of illness or disability, or because they have retired.  You must be seeking to secure work through re-training as ‘unemployed’. The learning must be directly relevant to your future career aspirations.

If you do not fall into one of the categories for tuition fee waivers you will have to pay the tuition fees for the course. The fees can be paid in four instalments, the first instalment must be paid when you enrol, then 3 further instalments in November, February and April. 

Level 3 courses

The following students will not have to pay tuition fees: 

  • Students aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2021
  • Students aged 19 to 23 on 31st August 2021, enrolling on the following courses, who do not already have a full level 3 qualification e.g. 2 A Levels, 90 credit diploma:
    • Access to Higher Education Diploma in Business
    • Access to Higher Education Diploma (Computing)
    • Access to Higher Education Diploma (Education)
    • Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health)
    • VTCT Level 3 Diploma In Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair And Media Make-Up
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Business and Finance
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Business
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Computing
    • Mixology, Advanced Wine, Supervision & Events
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Business - Marketing and Social Media
    • Level 3 Tourism, Aviation, Events and Hospitality
    • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business and Finance
    • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Computing
    • Edexcel BTEC Extended Diploma In Hospitality
  • Students aged 19+ on 31st August 2021 who do not already have a full level 3 qualification enrolling on the Level 3 Certificate or Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care or the Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) may qualify for funding under the National Skills Fund.

If you do not fall into one of the categories above you will have to pay the tuition fees for the course. If you are aged 19 and over on the first day of your course you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. This is a non-means tested loan available from the UK Government to pay the tuition fees of full level 3 qualifications (course exclusions apply**). The loan is paid directly to UCB to cover the cost of your tuition, and does not have to be repaid until you are earning over £25,725 a year.

For more information on the Advanced Learner Loan please visit www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan.  

The following courses are not eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan:

  • CACHE Level 3 Award Health & Social Care              

If you are paying your own fees you can either pay in full at enrolment, or payment can be made in 4 equal instalments: instalments are due by the end of October, January, March and May.

For students who live outside the West Midlands Combined Authority and outside any other devolved area

Level 1 and Level 2 courses

The following students will not have to pay tuition fees:

  • Students aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2021
  • Students aged 19 to 23 on 31st August 2021, who do not already have a full level 2 qualification (e.g. 5 GCSEs at grade C and above, or grade 4 and above) and are enrolling on the following courses only:
    • C&G Level 2 Diploma in Professional Food & Beverage Services (FT)
    • VTCT Level 2 Diploma In Hair And Media Make-Up
    • Pearson BTEC First Extended Diploma in Information and Creative Technology
    • VTCT Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing
  • NB: If you are aged 19-23 and do not already have a level 2 qualification, you will have to pay for your tuition fees unless you do one of the two courses above.
  • Students in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA)*
  • Students in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA)*
  • Students in receipt of Universal Credit*, and their earned income from employment (disregarding benefits) is less than £345 per month (learner is sole adult in their benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner).
  • Students who receive other state benefits* and their earned income (disregarding benefits) is less than £345 a month (learner is sole adult in the benefit claim) or £552 a month (learner has a joint benefit claim with their partner); want to be employed, or progress into more sustainable employment, and the identified learning is directly relevant to employment prospects and the local labour market needs.
  • Students who are employed or self-employed and earns less than £17,374.50 annual gross annual salary. Proof of salary must be shown to qualify for this category. (Proof of income must be presented at enrolment such as a wage slip, a Universal credit statement within three months of the start date of the course, or a current employment contract that states gross monthly/annual wages.)
  • Students released on temporary licence, studying outside a prison environment, and not funded by the Ministry of Justice

* For us to assess your entitlement, you must provide your benefit letter to FISU, either in person at enrolment, or via the online methods made available to you. It must be in your name and dated within the last three months. If you only have a letter older than three months, please bring this/upload this, together with the relevant section of your most recent bank statement. This should contain visible evidence that you are still in receipt of benefit payments.  We must be able to see from the statement that the bank account is in your name and that the payment details match those on your benefit letter. Once checked, we will remove these copies from our systems as we will not need to keep them.

If you do not fall into one of the categories for tuition fee waivers you will have to pay the tuition fees for the course. The fees can be paid in four instalments, the first instalment must be paid when you enrol, then 3 further instalments in November, February and April. 

Level 3 courses

The following students will not have to pay tuition fees:

  • Students aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2021
  • Students aged 19 to 23 on 31st August 2021, enrolling on the following courses, who do not already have a full level 3 qualification e.g. 2 A Levels, 90 credit diploma:
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Business and Finance
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Business
    • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Computing
    • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business and Finance
    • BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Business
    • Pearson BTEC National Certificate in Business
    • C&G Level 3 Diploma in Food & Beverage Service Supervision (FT)
    • Edexcel BTEC Extended Diploma In Hospitality Year 1
    • Edexcel BTEC Extended Diploma In Hospitality Year 2
    • Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health)
    • VTCT Level 3 Diploma In Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair And Media Make-Up
    • VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Make-Up Artistry (VTCT Theatrical)
  • Students aged 19+ on 31st August 2021 who do not already have a full level 3 qualification enrolling on the Level 3 Certificate or Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care or the Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) may qualify for funding under the National Skills Fund.

If you do not fall into one of the categories above you will have to pay the tuition fees for the course. If you are aged 19 and over on the first day of your course you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. This is a non-means tested loan available from the UK Government to pay the tuition fees of full level 3 qualifications (course exclusions apply**). The loan is paid directly to UCB to cover the cost of your tuition, and does not have to be repaid until you are earning over £25,725 a year.

For more information on the Advanced Learner Loan please visit www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan.  

The following courses are not eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan:

  • CACHE Level 3 Award Health & Social Care           

If you are paying your own fees you can either pay in full at enrolment, or payment can be made in 4 equal instalments: instalments are due by the end of October, January, March and May.

Residency Criteria for Funding

For a student to be funded they must meet certain residency criteria.

The following may be funded:

  • UK Nationals and other persons with right of abode. You must have been resident in the UK or British Overseas Territories for at least 3 years prior to the start of your course.
  • UK Nationals living in the EEA on or before 31/12/2020 and have 3 years of residence in the EEA and have lived in the UK/EEA continuously between 31/12/2020 and the start of the course.
  • EEA Nationals in the UK must have settled or pre-settled status (except Irish Nationals) and have lived in the UK, EEA or Gibraltar for 3 years prior to the start of the course.
  • Other non-UK nationals who have permission granted by the UK government to live in the UK (not just for education) and have lived in the UK for 3 years or;
    • Have settled or pre-settled status
    • Are an Irish National and have been resident in the UK or Ireland for 3 years.
  • Family members (husband/wife/civil partner/child/grandchild/dependent parent or grandparent) of a UK or EEA National and, where required, have settled or pre-settled status and have been resident in the UK/EEA for 3 years
  • People with the following immigration status – Evidence of this immigration status (BRP or Home Office letter. (3 years of residency does not apply)
    • Refugee status
    • Discretionary/exceptional or indefinite leave to enter/remain
    • Humanitarian protection
    • Leave outside the rules
    • Afghan locally engaged staff under intimidation policy
    • Husband/wife/civil partner/child of above
    • Section 67 of the Immigration Act Leave (or child of above granted “leave in line”)
    • Calais Leave to Remain (or child of above granted “leave in line”)
  • Children of Turkish workers who are ordinarily resident in the UK on or before 31/12/2020 and have Turkish European Community Association Rights and the child has been resident in the UK for 3 years.
  • Asylum seekers who have lived in the UK for 6 months or more while claim is being considered or are receiving Local Authority Support, or are appealing a refusal of asylum decision and there has been no decision in 3 months
  • Stateless Leave must be resident in the UK since Stateless leave was granted for at least 3 years
  • Armed forces personnel and family members
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