Financial Information and Support for 19+ Years

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


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

Level 2 Entitlement for students aged 19 – 23 Years

Level 2 Entitlements are available to full and part time students studying on a full level 2 qualification. It is a waiver of tuition fees for students who are 19 – 23 years and who have not previously achieved a full level 2 qualification. Please note that students will be required to pay material costs.

Level 2 Entitlements are also available for students who are studying a Level 1 course where this qualification is essential to continue study at level 2, in the same or a related subject area.

Check with the College which courses are eligible for the entitlement.


Level 3 Entitlement is available to students studying their first full Level 3 qualification. It is a waiver of tuition fees. Students must be aged between 19 and 23 at the start of their course and not have previously achieved a full Level 3 qualification.

The entitlement is available for those studying on courses such as Access to HE, A levels, BTEC National, NVQ 3. Please note that students will be required to pay material costs.

Check with the College which courses are eligible for the entitlement.

GCSE Maths and English:

If you are aged 19+ and need a GCSE Maths or English qualification for your career route and have not already achieved a 4 or C or above, then you would not pay any tuition or exam fees. If you have never taken this qualification before, or achieved a 3 or D or below, come and gain this extremely valuable qualification now. A large number of employers and training providers are insisting on GCSEs so make the most of this opportunity.

You can take your GCSE at our Newhaven, Eastbourne or Lewes campuses, Contact us on 030 300 39100  for Newhaven courses, 030 300 39900  for Eastbourne courses or 030 300 38765  for Lewes courses.


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.



Students who are studying on a full or part-time course that leads to a government funded qualification, may be eligible for an award from the DLSF. Awards are available to help with the cost of childcare, travel, uniforms, educational visits, books and equipment needed for your course. Funds are limited so we advise students to apply early.

pdf_icon Financial Support Application Form 2017 – 18 (PDF)

pdf_icon Financial Support Guidance sheet 2017 – 18 (PDF)

pdf_icon Childcare form 2017-18 (PDF)

STUDENT Opportunity fund

pdf_icon Application Form (PDF)

What is the Student Opportunity Fund?

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, a student at Park College, applied for help from the Student Opportunity Fund in 2O12 to help with travel and accommodation expenses during his trials for the 2O16 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.”

Advanced Learner Loan

Adults over the age of 19 looking to study at Sussex Downs College may be able to apply for an ‘Advanced Learner Loan’ to help support their learning for eligible courses.

The Government has introduced the Advanced Learner Loan which provides a means for learners aged 19 and over to improve their qualifications through access to further education.

If you are aged 19 and above, studying Level 3 to 6 qualifications including A Levels, Access to Higher Education diplomas and certificates, you can apply for the loan to help pay fees.

You can apply for a loan even if your course has already started, though you must apply before it finishes.

Receiving the loan doesn’t depend on household income or credit history and repayments do not start until after you finish your course.

The balance of the loan outstanding could be written off if the learner continues to Higher Education having taken an Access course.

Sussex Downs College offers a vast range of full and part-time courses for adults that can help improve career prospects and develop learning. These take place not just at the College campuses in Eastbourne, Lewes and Newhaven, but throughout the community and in the work place. For a full list of adult courses, visit

To find out more about Advanced Learner Loans visit:

Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund

Students who are 19 and over at the start of their course and have taken out a Advanced Learner Loan and have a household income of £25,000 or less may be eligible for an award from the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary. Awards may be available to help with the cost of Learning Support, childcare and travel.  Funds are very limited and eligibility is no guarantee an award will be made.

pdf_icon Learner Support Fund Application Form 2016 – 17 (PDF)

pdf_icon Guidance sheet 2016 – 17 (PDF)

pdf_icon Childcare Support Fund (PDF)

Fee Reductions for Adult Leisure Courses

For Adult Leisure courses, you may be eligible to pay a reduced fee if you are in receipt of an eligible benefit as detailed here or if you are 65 or over. To claim the reduced fee, you must enrol in person at one of our campuses.

No reductions are available on courses that do not show a ‘Reduced Fee’.

Please contact Admissions for more details.

Free tuition fees for unemployed adults on non-leisure courses

Are you in receipt of one or more of these benefits:

Are you unemployed, in receipt of an eligible benefit and need skills and training to get back to work?

If so you may be eligible for tuition fee waiver.

This tuition offer does not apply to our Adult Leisure courses.

Please contact Admissions for more details.

Eligible Benefits


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.  Application forms are available from Admissions or downloaded here.

Brighton Unizone – gives 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:


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

Back to top

Copyright © 2018 Sussex Downs College, All Rights Reserved