If you are 19+ your course funding is dependent on your eligibility, but you may qualify for support to help you with your studies.

If you live more than one mile away from our campus and your household income is less than £28,000 you may be eligible for a travel pass, or support with travel costs, up to a maximum of £60 a month.

Students who are aged 20 or above at the start of their course can apply for support with childcare costs directly through Sunderland College.  

Those students who are applying for an Advanced Learner Loan must have this approved by Student Loans Company (SLC) to be eligible for help with childcare costs.

  • Household income must be below £28,000
  • Childcare providers must be Ofsted registered and costs are paid direct to the provider
  • Childcare provision is offered at a rate of £4.50 per hour, for timetabled hours
  • Students who are unemployed must first use their government funded free hours with the sixth form contributing towards the remaining hours
  • Childcare is awarded for children 0-12 years and capped at two children

You may be eligible to apply for an Advanced Learner loan to help with the costs of your course if you're aged 19 and over studying a vocational, technical or professional qualification at Sunderland College. 

To find out more, visit the government website here.

We have experienced staff available who can talk you through studying if you are unemployed. Advice is available about the fee remission policy, hours of study, clarification of the Jobseekers' Allowance regulations, and we can also give guidance on the possible effects of studying whilst on a disability benefit. 

If you're struggling due to your financial circumstances or have any questions about what support you may be eligible for, please speak to a member of the Finance Support team by emailing welfare@educationpartnershipne.ac.uk.

Complete your financial support application

Advanced Learner Loan:

What am I eligible for?

The amount you are eligible for depends on your course, the tuition fees, and the maximum amounts set by the Government. The minimum loan amount is £300. You can take out a loan for the maximum amount to cover your tuition fees, or you can pay all or part of the tuition fee yourself.

Repayment

  • Repayments start in April following the completion of your course
  • Your monthly repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrowed
  • You'll only start making repayments when your income is over £25,725 per year
  • Repayments are made directly through the tax system
  • You'll only pay back 9% of any income above £25,725 a year
  • Monthly payments

    Annual income Monthly repayment
    Up to £25,725 £0
    £27,000 £9
    £29,500 £28
    £31,000 £39
    £33,000 £54
    £35,000 £69

    No. Getting a loan doesn't depend on your income, and credit checks aren't carried out.

    If you meet the residency criteria, you'll be eligible to apply for a loan.

    Once you've decided on the qualification you wish to do, you'll need to contact the college who will be able to confirm whether there are places available on the course. The college will provide you with a Learning and Funding Information letter, which provides all the information you'll need to make a loan application.

    You will use the information from the college to complete an application via http://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan 

    Yes, applying online is quick and easy. You can register and apply online now at: http://www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan

    You can also download an application form.

    You will need to provide details about your course and the fees, which will be provided to you in the Learning and Funding Information letter from the college.

    A National Insurance number is required in order for the loan to be paid to the college on your behalf. This may mean that you'll need to arrange an appointment with your local Job Centre to have one assigned to you.

    Yes. As long as your course started on or after August 1st this year. It's possible to apply for a loan at any time during your course, but not after you've completed it.

    Applications submitted online that don't require any further supporting evidence (because you've provided your valid UK passport details) should be processed within two weeks. If you don't apply online or don't send the evidence required, the application process will take longer.

    If you decide before the start of your course you no longer want to undertake your course or you don't want to take out a loan for the course, log onto your student finance account and follow the instructions. Your loan application will be cancelled and you won't have any loan to repay.

    No loan payments will be made to your college on your behalf until you've attended the course for at least two weeks. If you leave the course after more than two weeks, you'll be liable to repay the loan payments made to the college on your behalf, for the time you have been on the course.

    It'll depend on how much of the course has been undertaken. If you've done less than two weeks you can simply cancel the loan and this will not count against you.

    The Advanced Learner Loan only covers the tuition fee you're being charged for by the college for your course. However, the college may be able to provide financial support for course related costs for those facing financial hardship.

    Yes. Previous qualifications you've achieved won't affect your ability to apply for your first loan. However, you might not be able to get another loan to do the same type of course at the same level.

    Repayments will start in the April after you complete or leave your course, if you are earning more than £22,000 a year. However you can make voluntary repayments at any time in order to pay off your loan quicker.

    You'll need to consider whether it's the best value loan for you in your circumstances. If you want impartial advice on managing your money, contact the Money Advice Service at: http://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/

    Yes. If you go abroad the Student Loans Company (SLC) will make arrangements with you to collect repayments whilst you are outside of the UK tax system. However, if you move abroad the repayment thresholds will vary according to price level indices for that country. You will be required to pay a fixed instalment to be calculated by the SLC.

    Some of the interest on your loan will be based on inflation (Retail Price Index (RPI)) + 3% during the period of study and up until the end of April after you leave the course.

    The Retail Price Index (RPI) is a measure of UK inflation. It measures changes to the cost of living in the UK. The UK government uses the rate or RPI for many purposes, including setting the interest rate charged on student loans.

    Adult fees:

    Some of the adult courses available at Sunderland College require you to pay a fee. If you're unable to cover the cost of this up front we offer a range of options to help you pay for your course.

    If the course you would like to study has a * in the 'help with costs' column, then the course could be FREE through fee remission depending on your circumstances.

    If you are unemployed, on a low wage and plan to seek a job after the course, or wish to progress onto more sustainable employment, then you may qualify for fee remission, provided you satisfy one of the following conditions:

    • In receipt of Jobseekers' Allowance
    • In receipt of Employment and Support Allowance
    • In receipt of Universal Credit and earn less than £345 a month or £552 for a joint benefit claim
    • In receipt of low wage earning less than £20,319 annual gross salary (or £21,255 if you live in a NTCA residential area). Evidence of your gross annual wages is required i.e. last 3 months wage slips, or a current employment contract that states gross monthly/annual wages, or a Universal Credit statement
    • Aged 16-18 years of age (undertaking training not related to an apprenticeship)

    If you're not eligible for Fee Remission, you may be entitled to an Advanced Learner Loan.

    All GCSE Maths and GCSE English courses are free to adults if they do not already have a grade 4 or equivalent in that subject.

    If you are 19-23 and do not already have a full Level 2 or full Level 3 qualification you will be able to study on one for free.

    Alternatively, if you need to attend an Entry/Level 1 course as an essential progression step to your first full Level 2 course, this will also be free.

    Where the tuition fee is over £200 and the course lasts more than 15 weeks, installment options are available. Please bring your credit/debit card to the enrolment session in order to set up your instalment plan.

    This policy is a City of Sunderland College (trading as Sunderland College, Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Northumberland College) policy and applies to all students and staff of those institutions. To see the document, click here.

    Learners without a full Level 3 or above can access a qualification on the Level 3 adult offer qualification list. Learners who already hold a Level 3 or higher and meet the definition of unemployed or who are in receipt of low wage.