Financial Support Information for 16 to 18 Years

There is a range of financial support available to assist students meet the costs of coming to College.


Students studying on full and part-time courses that lead to a government funded qualification may be eligible for an award from the Bursary Fund towards the cost of travel, uniforms, educational visits, books and equipment. Funds are limited so we advise students to apply early.

Students who are in care, leaving care, claiming income support or Universal Credit in their own name, in receipt of (ESA) Employment & Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment and (ESA) Employment & Support Allowance in their own name will also be able to apply for the Bursary of up to £1200 per year.

Free Meals

You may be entitled to free meals whilst at college if you are aged 16-18 on 31 August 2017 or between 19-24 and have an EHC Plan (Education Health and Care Plan) and you or your parents receive any of the following:

pdf_icon Financial Support Application (PDF)

pdf_icon Financial support guidance sheet (PDF)


Young parents studying at the college may be entitled to up to £160 per week towards childcare. The childcare provider must be Ofsted registered.

Find out more about Care to Learn.




The 3i-D card is available for students 11-19 who live and study in East Sussex.  The card is free and provides 3 key benefits:

More information and application forms are available from  Completed forms need to be brought to Admissions.

3i-D card discounted fares

Bus companies in East Sussex will accept the free 3i-D card as proof of age for reduced fares:

The Freedom Ticket

With the 3i-D card you can purchase the Freedom ticket which gives you unlimited travel on most buses in East Sussex for seven days in a row, including weekends. The cost of the Freedom ticket is currently £16.

Other 3i-D fares for 16-19 card holders

Child rate day tickets on Stagecoach buses in East Sussex, for off peak travel during the week after 1p.m. and all day at weekends and on Bank Holidays.


Sussex Student Card – Students living in East or West Sussex or Brighton & Hove can obtain a third off rail fares by purchasing season tickets on line.  Students need to apply for a Sussex Student Card to obtain the discount.   More information is available from

Application forms are available from Admissions or the Local Education Authority, or can be downloaded here.

Brighton Unizonegives students unlimited travel to all stations below.

You need a valid 16-25 Railcard and a National Union of Students (NUS) card for a college in Sussex before you can buy a Unizone ticket.

Current Prices are:



This Fund is available to students who are under 25 years of age. They must be studying or have studied at Sussex Downs College and need financial assistance to take full advantage of educational opportunities available to them. A range of awards are available (up to £200) to assist with the cost of materials, compulsory field trips, books and equipment.

Please contact Admissions or click here to download and complete the application form.  The Trustees meet three times each year to consider applications.  Applications should be submitted by 6 November, 15 February or 15 May.


Where a learner is “fully funded” by the Education Skills Funding Agency, charges made by the College for such items as uniforms/kit/equipment can be viewed as a deposit. If the learner applies to the College in writing at the end of their course (via the College Manager in their area), and returns such uniform/kit/equipment in good order, then the original deposit charged will be returned against the return of the loaned items. Otherwise the original payment will be deemed to have been an advance payment for purchasing the items in question on completion of their course, and the learner will be entitled to keep these purchased items and take them away.

STUDENT Opportunity fund

What is the Student Opportunity Fund?

pdf_icon Application Form (PDF)

The Student Opportunity Fund was established by Sussex Downs College in early 2012. It provides assistance to current students who are experiencing financial difficulty in their attendance at college, and who do not qualify for support from other funds.

How are the funds Used to help students?

The funds are used to provide assistance to students who are experiencing financial difficulty, by supporting them in college related activities – such as travel to and from college, the purchase of books, equipment and uniform, support with tuition fees, meals, educational visits and more. For just one example of a student who has been helped by the fund, please see the ‘Student Testimonial’ below.

How does the college work to raise money for the Student Opportunity Fund?

Students and staff both work hard to raise money for the Student Opportunity Fund, and fundraising events so far have included quiz nights, coffee mornings, and raffles organised variously by students and by the corporation.

Student Testimonial

Jake Thompson applied for help from the Student Opportunity Fund in 2012 to help with travel and accommodation expenses during his trials for the 2016 Olympics: “The Student Opportunity Fund helped me so much and I received such a quick response regarding the help I would receive. I can’t thank the Student Opportunity Fund enough for all they did for me, and I highly commend all the work they do for others in similar scenarios, where otherwise these important opportunities would pass us by.”


You can also contact Admissions for further information, eligibility criteria and application forms for any of the above funds.

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