If you have decided that the next step on your career path should be to get into some form of education or training, don’t worry; there are plenty of options available to help you fund your learning.

Whether you are looking to get into further or higher education, or simply researching cost-effective ways to retrain, it’s possible there’s a loan or grant out there to help you reach your career goals.  

The best way to find out what type of funding you may eligible for is to make an appointment with one of our advisers. Our advisers will help you look at all the different options available to you, including local grants that are exclusive to your area.

To talk to an adviser or arrange a face-to-face appointment, call us on 0345 658 8647 and we’ll put your through to your nearest Inspira centre. Lines are open 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday.

In the meantime, here’s a summary of the types of funding available and links to further reading:

Further Education funding

Discretionary Learner Support

Available to anyone over 19, Discretionary Learner Support is accessible to those facing financial hardship, and can be used for any costs associated with studying, including childcare, accommodation, travel or course materials & equipment.

Residential Support Scheme

If you are hoping to study for Level 2 or 3 qualification (equivalent to GCSEs and A Levels), you may be eligible to get help with the cost of term-time accommodation.

Care to Learn

If you are under 20 and need help to pay for childcare while you study, you may be able to apply for Care to Learn funding. Your learning provider can tell you if your course is part of the scheme, which pays up to £160 per child per week.

Professional Career & Development Loans

These loans work in the same way as student loans for higher education and offer between £300 and £10,000 to pay for costs associated with developing your career. They are offered at a reduced interest rate, which the Government pays while you are studying. To be eligible you must be over 18 and your course must last two years.

16-19 Bursary Fund

Unlike a loan, you don’t have to pay back money awarded to you as a bursary. These are available to 16-19 year-olds studying at school or college, or on an unpaid training course or work experience. Those eligible could get up to £1200 towards any education-related costs.

Family Action Grants

Family Action is a charity that offers small grants to people and families to help them improve their skills and improve their life chances. To be eligible you must be studying on a Further Education course and either on benefits or a low income.

Advanced Learner Loan

If you’re 24 or over you can apply for an Advanced Learning Loan to help with the cost of training or college tuition for Level 3 and 4 courses. How much you get depends on what you are studying and how much your tuition fees are.

Higher Education funding

Student Finance

Most UK higher education students are eligible for a student loan. Students beginning their courses in 2016/17 can apply for both a Tuition Fee Loan and a Maintenance Loan to pay for living costs.

Childcare Grant

If you have children you need to support while studying in Higher Education you can apply for a Childcare Grant. This money is awarded on top of your student loan and doesn’t have to be paid back. The amount you get depends on how many children you have and your personal circumstances.

Adult Dependents’ Grant

If you want to get into Higher Education and have an adult who is dependant on you for financial help, you can apply for an Adult Dependents’ Grant of up to £2757 a year. This money is awarded on top of your student loan and doesn’t have to be paid back.

Bursaries, Scholarships, Awards

These are funds you can apply directly to your University for, that don’t have to be paid back. Each institution has it’s own rules around who qualifies for these so it’s best to talk directly to your chosen university’s own Student Support Service about what is available.

Grants and Bursaries for Adult Learners

If you are studying to be a teacher, work in social work or for the National Health Service, there is extra help available to you. Follow the link for more information. You may also be able to apply for extra funding through your local authority. For more information about this or any of the funding mentioned in this article, contact your local Inspira centre.