Financial Help

Study now, pay when you’re earning.

There are a range of funding opportunities to cover course costs;

Funding for adult learning course fees depends on your individual circumstances, your age, and the course you choose.

Government funding opportunities.

19+ Advanced Learner Loan 

If you are aged 19 or over when you start your course you could take out a loan to cover the cost of some Level 3 or 4 courses. You won’t have to pay it back until you complete your course and not until you earn more than £27,295 per year.

Government funding schemes change regularly but you can get independent advice from the Money Advice Service website or by calling 0300 500 5000.

Your learning could be FREE if you study for a vocational further education course and meet certain criteria:

  • You get state benefits such as Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) – you must be aged 19 or over and applying for a course up to Level 2.
  • You enrol on a full Level 2 qualification, aged 19-23 (as at 31/8/2022) and don’t already hold a full Level 2 qualification or higher.
  • You enrol on a full Level 3 qualification, aged 19-23 (as at 31/8/2022) and don’t already hold a full Level 3 qualification or higher.

Alternatively there is a Payment Plan

The college has a plan that allows you to pay 75% of course costs in monthly instalments after paying 25% when you enrol.

Student Finance Application Form

The college has funds to help you with associated costs such as transport, meals and equipment, etc, whilst you study. Get your finance form in as early as possible.

You can download the student financial support Student Finance Application Form 2023-24 (Alternatively a PDF version of this form can be found at the bottom of this page.)

For help in filling out the application form see our Guidance and Terms and Conditions 2023-24, if you are still unsure, call our friendly staff on 01325 503037, or email

Assistance you can receive if your household income is less than £45,000:


You can apply for assistance with childcare costs regardless of your age. If you are under 20 when you enrol on your course you may qualify for childcare fees whilst you study through the Care to Learn Fund. For more details visit and follow the link for Care to Learn or call the helpline on 0800 1218989. If your child is entitled to the Government’s 15 hours of free childcare initiative (over 38 weeks), then this must be used to cover your timetabled hours in college. In addition to this, Darlington College will pay for any additional childcare cover, for example if you are timetabled to be in college for 22 hours per week, the college will fund the additional 7 hours of childcare per week, during term time only.


If you live more than one mile from the college you may be eligible for help with travel costs. Assistance includes: Free Arriva bus pass for Darlington, County Durham and Tees Valley students*; a travel grant  for students either with their own car or who can’t use public transport. *

Essential clothing, equipment and kits

You can receive a contribution of up to £250 for help with the cost of essential clothing, equipment and kits for your courses such as hairdressing, beauty or catering kits and uniforms, etc.

Meal Allowance

To be eligible for free meals, a student’s household income must be below £10,000.*

* These benefits are means tested and subject to conditions. The level of support the college can offer students is dependent on the total funding received from government.

All support given is subject to students meeting agreed standards relating to attendance (not falling below 90%) and standards of behaviour. Failure to meet these standards will mean withdrawal of funds.

For further information on all aspects of financial support contact our Student Finance Department on: 01325 503037 or email:

PDF document versions:

Student Finance Application Form 2023-24

Guidance and Terms and Conditions 2023-24