Financial Support

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

16 to 18 Bursary Fund

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.

Care to Learn for students aged under 20 years

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

Travel Grants

Students aged 16 to 18 from families on an income-related benefit with an annual income of less than £16190 should apply to their Local Authority for financial help towards the cost of travel to and from college.
This may be refused if the student has chosen to travel further than their more local college offering the same qualification.

Students from families in receipt of the following may be entitled to help with transport from the County Council if the distance between home and the nearest appropriate provision is over 3 miles:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit based on income of up to £16,190
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

Help is provided in one of the following ways:

  • A season ticket on certain public bus services
  • An annual grant based on the distance between home and College.

Application forms are available from the College or from:

Admissions and Transport Team
Children’s Services Department,
PO Box 4,
County Hall,
St Anne’s Crescent,
Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1SG.

Students doing Apprenticeships should have reasonable expenses met in full by their learning provider.

Travel discounts now available for students aged 16 to 19

East Sussex Bus Travel – Choice ID Cards

What is it?
A travel card for students in full-time further education aged 16-19 years, that gives unlimited bus travel on most routes within East Sussex.

How much does it cost?
Choice ID cards are free and allow you to buy 7 day tickets for £14 a week.

How do I get one?

East Sussex Rail Travel

What is it?

Who is it for?
For students in full-time education who have a home address in East or West Sussex or Brighton & Hove.

How do I get one?

Blackburn Vail Trust for students aged 16-24 years

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 Student Services 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 9 October, 15 February or 15 May.

Level 2 Entitlement for students aged 19 and over

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 and over and who have not previously achieved a full level 2 qualification. Please note that students will be required to pay examination/awarding body fees and 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.

From 2012 / 2013 Level 2 entitlement will be available to 19 to 23 year old learners only. Those learners aged 24 and over who have taken up the entitlement in 2011/12, will continue to have full funding in 2012 / 2013 to complete their learning aim.

Level 3 Entitlement for students aged 19 to 24 years

Level 3 Entitlements are available to full and part time students studying on a full level 3 qualification. It is a waiver of tuition fees. Students must be aged over 19 and under 25 at the start of their course. The entitlement is available for those studying on courses such as Access to HE, A levels, BTEC National, NVQ 3. Students should have no previous full level 3 qualification. Please note that students will be required to pay examination / awarding body fees and material costs.

Discretionary Learner Support Fund (DLSF) for students aged 19 and over

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.

Deposits for uniforms / kit / equipment

Where a learner is “fully funded” by the 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

Contact Us

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

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