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Advanced Learner Loan

Advanced Learner Loans are for people aged 19 and over who want to complete a level 3 or 4 programme.

For courses starting after 1 August 2016 a new student loan scheme will be introduced by the government to help students pay for their study programmes. This means that just like the tuition fee loans for University-level courses, if you are aged over 19 you can apply for a loan to pay for your College fees. This is an extension of the scheme currently available for people aged over 24.

The Advanced Learner Loan is easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account, and doesn’t involve a credit check.

If you are aged 19 or over and want to study an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a level 3 or 4 Certificate or Diploma, you will be liable to pay your college or training organisation for the cost of your programme if it is not your first level 3 qualification.

Loan Eligibility

To be eligible you need to be:

  • Aged 19 or over on the first day of your programme
  • Starting your programme on or after 1st August 2016
  • Living in the UK on the first day of your programme, and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this
  • Studying an eligible programme at an approved College or training organisation in England. We are an approved College
  • Enrolling on an eligible programme at level 3 and above (this includes Access to HE, Certificates and Diplomas, advanced apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships).
  • A UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there’s no restrictions on how long you can stay).

You may also be eligible if you:

  • Are an EU national or a family member of one
  • Are a refugee
  • Have humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum)
  • Are a migrant worker
  • Are the child of a Swiss national
  • Are the child of a Turkish worker.

When do I need to repay the loan?

Repayments are linked to what you earn, and not how much you borrowed.

You only have to start making repayments when you’ve finished your programme and you’re earning over £21,000 a year. Until then you don’t need to pay back anything, but you can make voluntary repayments at any time

If you take out a loan for an Access to Higher Education course, that loan will be ‘written off’ once you complete an eligible higher education course. This means you don’t have to repay it.

When can I apply?

Further information on the application process is available from Student Finance England

Once you are offered a place at the College on an eligible programme, you will be sent an offer letter which has all the information you will need to make a loan application.

You cannot apply for a loan before you have received a Learning and Funding information letter from the College. We anticipate that we will be able to provide the necessary documentation to applicants from June 2016. 

Once you have your letter from the College you can download an application or complete it online.  

Your loan application is submitted directly to Student Finance England – not the College.

For further information and to apply on line for an Advanced Learner Loan please go to

Find out more:

Advanced Learning Loan Bursary
Call our student financial support team on 01634 383300
Please also read the section on Additional Course Costs.

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