The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help students overcome specific barriers to participation so they can remain in education. It could help you with any education-related costs that may arise during the school year, including essentials like a meal during the day or transport to college. Or you may need extra help to buy additional books, clothing or equipment for your course, or pay for educational visits.

There are two types of 16-19 bursaries:

  • a vulnerable bursary of up to £1200 per year for students in the defined vulnerable groups
  • a discretionary bursary which is awarded to meet individual needs to help with transport costs, meals, books and equipment.

To be eligible for either type of bursary students must:

  • be aged over 16 and under 19 at 31 August 2021
  • students aged over 19 are only eligible to receive a discretionary bursary if they are continuing on a study programme they began aged 16-18 or have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Vulnerable bursary

Students who meet one of the four criteria listed below and who have a financial need can apply for the vulnerable bursary. The defined vulnerable groups are students who are:

  • in care: children looked after by a local authority on a voluntary basis or under a care order
  • care leavers: a care leaver is defined as a young person aged 16 and 17 who was previously looked after for a period of 13 weeks consecutively (or periods amounting to 13 weeks) which began after the age of 14 and ended after the age of 16 or a young person aged 18 or above who was looked after prior to becoming 18 for a period of 13 weeks consecutively (or periods of 13 weeks) which began at the age of 14 and ended after the age of 16.
  • 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 Support Allowance or Universal Credit in their own right.

For students who are in care or students who are care leavers please submit with your application confirmation of your current or previous looked after status from the relevant local authority. We will accept an email from the relevant local authority confirming the students current or previous looked after status to lesley.dawes@aquinas.ac.uk.

Students in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit must provide a copy of their Income Support or Universal Credit award notice. It must state clearly that the claim is in the student’s name/confirm they are entitled to benefits in their own right. The evidence must not state any conditions that prevent them from participating in further education. For students in receipt of Universal Credit who are financially supporting themselves or someone living with them, please provide supporting documentation such as child benefit, child’s birth certificate for children the student is supporting or where relevant, a tenancy agreement and utility bills in the student’s name.

Reminder to parents, if the students claim for ESA is successful you can no longer receive certain household benefits for that child such as Child Benefit

It may be assessed that although a young person may be eligible for a bursary, because they are in one or more of the defined groups above, that they do not have any actual financial need and so do not need support from the scheme.

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children do not receive cash support from the Home Office and are the responsibility of the local authority. They are treated as looked after children and are eligible for a bursary for vulnerable groups where there is a financial need.

Students aged 19 or over are not eligible for bursaries for vulnerable groups

When approved, the bursary will be paid weekly. Payments will be sent by BACS to the students Bank Account.

Foster Care

A young person placed in foster care by the Local Authority, including where the foster carer is on the books of an independent fostering agency, is classed as a looked after child and therefore eligible for help from the vulnerable bursary.

A child who is privately fostered, where a private arrangement is made between the child and the person who will care for the child is not classed as a looked after child and is not eligible for the vulnerable bursary but may submit an application for the discretionary bursary.

In some instances, a young person may have been in the care of the local authority and the care transferred to another party via a permanent form of fostering such as a Special Guardianship Order. In these circumstances, the young person is defined as having left care so is now a care leaver. They must meet the definition of a ‘care leaver’ in full (so, the period of weeks and age range set out above). If they do, they are eligible for help from the bursary for vulnerable groups, where they need financial support to participate.

The Discretionary Bursary

We welcome applications for the Discretionary Bursary award from students whose household income is below £25,000 per year. Weekly payments will be made for students with a household income below £25,000.

For households with incomes between £25001 and £35000, dependant on funds available, we may be able to offer support for essential curriculum trips and resources. Please submit an application form and supporting documentation. Please refer to section “Availability of Funding” below.

The Discretionary Bursary Award is to help students with transport costs, essential curriculum trips, equipment or specialist clothing. These are items the student would otherwise need to pay for in order to participate.

The bursary fund is not intended to provide learning support services that institutions give to students, for example: counselling or mentoring, or to support extra-curricular activities where these are not essential to the students’ study programme.

Decisions for the discretionary bursary award are based on each student’s individual circumstances and actual financial need.

Receiving bursary funding does not affect receipt of other means-tested benefits paid to families, such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Child Benefit, Working Tax Credit and Housing Benefit.

We would encourage applications from lone parents, bereaved parents, households where the student is being looked after by a family member for example grandparents, families receiving tax credits. If you require assistance in completing the application please email your queries to lesley.dawes@aquinas.ac.uk.

When approved, the bursary will be paid weekly.

Payments will be sent by BACS to your Bank Account.

Funding may be withdrawn for students who fail to attend regularly.

Availability of Funding

The college will help as many students as possible with the funding available but will prioritise those in most need. At present we are uncertain of the number of applicants and funding available to the college for 2021-22 and therefore cannot guarantee financial assistance in every case, but welcome applications.

The weekly cash payments made to eligible students could be subject to change during the academic year dependant on funds available and number of applications made.

Financial assistance with trips and resources will be at the college’s discretion and dependant on availability of funds.

Appeals against unsuccessful applications can be made to the college by e-mail to lesley.dawes@aquinas.ac.uk. All appeals will be responded to within one working week by the Assistant Principal Finance.

Appeals against non–payment of the weekly award must be made directly to Student Information Services 0161 419 3624

Who can apply

To apply for a bursary you must be aged between 16 and 19 and in full-time or part-time further education.

Asylum Seekers

Generally asylum seekers are not entitled to public funds. If you are an asylum seeker and have not had your application for asylum refused educational institutions can provide in-kind student support such as books, equipment or a travel pass. Please seek advice from Student Information Services for any assistance which we may be able to make available to you.

How do I apply?

New Applicants

Log into your application in MyAquinas and follow the instructions in the “16-19 Bursary” section

Current Students

Log into MyAquinas, select “Bursary” from the top menu and follow the instructions on the page.

We accept bursary applications throughout the academic year, we understand that households can experience a change in circumstances at any time.

What do I include with my application?

You will need to provide documentary evidence dependent on your individual circumstances.

Please include with your application form images of any of the following applicable documents:

  • P60
  • SA302 and dividends if self-employed. Your accountant will be able to request an SA302 for you, or you can call HMRC yourself. You will need your basic personal information, your ten digit UTR (unique tax reference) and NI Number.
  • Council Tax Bill 2021-22
  • Child and Working Tax Credit Award 2021-22
    (upload full document)
  • Universal Credit Award
    (pages 1 and 2. Submit 3 most recent monthly award statements)
  • Employment Support Award
  • Income Support Award
  • Job Seekers Allowance Award
  • Carers Allowance Award
  • DLA/PIP Award (when applying for the vulnerable bursary)
  • State Pension Award/Pension Credit Award
  • Other Pension income
  • Housing Benefit Award
  • Bereaved Parents Allowance
  • Income from savings, shares, investments, trusts, dividends
  • Income from rental properties
  • Any other household income you may be in receipt of

Failure to submit all the necessary evidence will result in your application being delayed.

When do I send it?

We accept bursary applications throughout the academic year, we understand that households can experience a change in circumstances at any time.

All complete applications received by Monday 8th August 2021 are guaranteed payment at the start of the September term.

Applications received during September may not be acknowledged due to the pressures of enrolment.

Payments will commence from the date the complete application with all documentation is received. Where possible we will request outstanding documentation once by e-mail or letter. No further action will be taken until all outstanding documents are received.

I got a bursary last year, do I need to re-apply?

Yes. Please complete the online application form.

I am studying part-time. Can I apply?

Yes you can apply, colleges can consider applications from part-time students.

How will my bursary be paid?

You, the student, must have a bank account in your own name. Payments can only be made to your bank account and will be paid by BACS.

In exceptional circumstances a cash payment may be made. College may also make payments in kind which means instead of receiving money you could get a transport pass, meals or equipment for your course. Or you might receive part of your bursary in kind and part in money.

Payments will not be made until college has seen and verified the appropriate evidence that the student is eligible to receive a bursary award.

Payments are made a week in arrears for 100% attendance and permitted authorised absences. Payments are authorised every Wednesday and the award should be in the student’s bank account on Friday morning. All queries regarding payments should be made in the first instance to Student Information Services on 0161 419 3624 or by email to diane.bailey@aquinas.ac.uk or julie.hern@aquinas.ac.uk.

Can college tell me what to spend my bursary on?

Yes, your bursary is to help pay for things you really need to stay on at college. We can insist that your bursary is spent on travel costs, meals during the day or equipment for your courses. In certain circumstances the money awarded can be recovered from the student if it has not been used for the reasons it was awarded.

Our Pass

All students living in the Greater Manchester area must apply for an Our Pass and include an image of their Our Pass and their Our Pass number with their application.

We hope to be able to refund the cost of the Our Pass to students during the academic year. Please follow the link for information about Our Pass http://ourpass.co.uk

Can I have help with the cost of trips or equipment?

Depending on the number of successful applications and monies available we would like to be able to help students with some of the cost of essential college trips and equipment necessary for your course. If there is sufficient funding we may be able to help towards the cost of exams, UCAS applications, university visits.

Can college stop my bursary payments?

Yes. You will be asked to sign a bursary contract which can be found in the application form. The contract states the conditions under which your bursary will be paid. Typically these conditions include attendance, lateness, behaviour, medical appointments and sickness.

Payments will cease where a student has been absent for 4 weeks or more.

If I can’t attend college because of illness, medical appointments or authorised absences will I still receive my bursary?

When you sign your contract it will give you details of the amount of authorised absences we will allow you in any half term period before your payments will be withheld.

A parent or carer will need to phone Student Information on 0161 419 3624 every day you are absent due to illness to authorise your sickness, or medical appointments.

Holidays are not authorised absences.

The bursary guidelines may be subject to revision during the current COVID19 pandemic