The 16-19 Bursary Fund & Free Meals scheme can provide financial support to help some students in their learning. Guidelines are set by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
Colleges are responsible for awarding bursaries to students, deciding the amounts, dates of payments and setting conditions that students should meet in order to receive payments.
Criteria for ALL applications
Students must be aged 16 or over but under 19 at 31 August 2019 to be eligible for help from the bursary fund in the 2019 to 2020 academic year.
Students aged 19 or over are only eligible for discretionary bursary if they are continuing on a course they began aged 16-18 or if they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Students aged 19 or over are not eligible for an enhanced bursary in any case.
Students must have satisfactory attendance and payments will be made based on attendance levels.
Students placed on a Senior Management Contract or above of the Trust Interventions procedure will not automatically receive payments.
Students should show that they have a financial need (see application for details). If there are no relevant costs to meet then college may refuse an application.
Students qualifying for an enhanced bursary may receive up to £1,200 per year.
Students with a financial need may be eligible for an enhanced bursary if they are either;
- in care
- care leavers
- receiving Income Support, or Universal Credit because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner.
- receiving Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in their own right as well as Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right.
- an unaccompanied asylum seeking child (UASC) – under 18 only. See separate ‘Further information for Asylum Seekers’ section for details.
Discretionary bursary is assessed on household income. Applications will only be successful if gross household assessed income is £23,500 or below, for those receiving Tax Credits. If receiving Universal Credit, assessed net income should be £18,500 or below to qualify.
What is household income?
Household income is usually classed as the income of parents/guardians only. Income information is not required for any additional adults living at the same address eg. Grandparents or adult siblings.
Income taken into account:
If receiving Universal Credit…
You should provide the latest three monthly assessments, these must be consecutive and the most recent available. If you are having difficulty accessing your monthly statements contact the Job Centre for assistance.
If you have been receiving Universal Credit for less than three months please provide all statements you have available and include a note on the application of the start date.
If not receiving Universal Credit we require the following evidence…
|Income type||Evidence required|
|Full or part-time wages
– gross earnings including overtime, bonus and commission
|Latest P60 or
Two consecutive payslips dated within the last 6 months.
|Working or Child Tax Credit||ALL pages of your 2019-20 award letter – provisional and estimated awards will require additional evidence.|
|Income Support||Award notice or bank statement (within last 6 months) showing payments.|
|Job Seekers Allowance(JSA)||Award notice or bank statement (within last 6 months) showing payments.|
|Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) / Incapacity benefit||Award notice or bank statement (within last 6 months) showing payments.|
|Pensions including Retirement, Widow’s, Army, Other||Pension statement or
Two consecutive payslips dated within last 6 months.
|Support under Part VI of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999||Official letter showing current status.|
|Any other taxable income||Any relevant evidence|
Income we do not need to know about;
- Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
- Child Benefit
- Childcare element of Working Tax Credits
- Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit
- Rent from lodgers/letting rooms
- Child maintenance
- Bank or Building Society interest
Free meals will automatically also be awarded if the student or parent/guardian are in receipt of any of the following;
- 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 Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income 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
Free meals will be equivalent to £2.41 per day. Credit will be available on student ID cards and will be refreshed each day. Any remaining credit will be lost at the end of each day.
Further information for Asylum Seekers
Accompanied asylum seeking children (under 18 with an adult relative or partner)
Accompanied asylum seeking children (those under 18 with an adult relative or partner) and those aged 18 and above are entitled to education, but not to public funds and therefore may not apply for a college bursary.
If an application for asylum has not been refused, students can contact Student Finance if they have a specific need. Payments cannot be made from bursary funds but college may be able to provide some support in-kind.
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) – under 18 only
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children are treated as looked after children and are eligible for an enhanced bursary (‘in care’ group), where they have a financial need. Evidence must be provided as with all Bursary applications.
For more information about when these children turn 18 (adulthood) contact Student Finance.
How to apply
If you think you are eligible to receive financial support through the 16-19 Bursary Fund & Free Meals scheme, applications will be available to collect from college or can be downloaded here
Complete the application form and return to college (details of how to return on the application form) along with photocopies of all the evidence required.
Applications are now open and the initial deadline for applications to be returned is Friday 30 August 2019 in order to receive the first payment on time. Students may apply after this date but applications may take up to 4 weeks to process.
Applications handed in after 30 September 2019 will not be back dated.
Decisions will be notified by a letter addressed to the student.
For all applications received by 30 August, a decision letter will be issued by 11 September.
How payments are made
Payments can only be made into a bank account held in the student’s own name. Payments are made by BACS transfer each half-term.
If there are special circumstances why a student cannot hold their own bank account this must be discussed with Student Finance before the application is submitted. Applications without student bank details will automatically be returned.
Payment will be a maximum of £1,200 per year paid half-termly provided the student meets the required criteria and has financial need.
Successful students will receive an initial payment of £100 in September at the start of their course. This is to help with the initial costs of starting college such as books, transport, equipment etc.. Students can then receive a maximum of £100 per half-term from 4 November. Payments will be subject to evidence of effort, satisfactory attendance and work performance (payments will be withheld if the student is placed on a Senior Management contract or above of the Trust Interventions procedure).
Payment dates for all bursaries in 2019/20 will be as follows;
Pontefract/Doncaster Monday 16 September (applications received by 30 August)
Bradford Monday 23 September (applications received by 30 August)
Payment 2 Monday 4 November
Payment 3 Monday 6 January
Payment 4 Monday 24 February
Payment 5 Monday 20 April
Payment 6 Monday 1 June
If a student withdraws from college, payments will be stopped from the date of the withdrawal. College reserves the right to ask for any monies paid in advance to be returned.
Calculations can be provided on request for information on why an application has been declined. Contact Student Finance for details.
To appeal a decision, a cover letter should be sent along with any relevant additional supporting evidence. Appeals are referred to the Trust Finance Manager in first instance. Any further query is referred to Trust Director of Finance.
If you have any questions or for further information about the 16-19 Bursary Fund please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To access the application form, click HERE.