Everyone likes something for free, right? Eligibility is based on three key factors – your age, employment status and choice of qualification. You don’t normally have to pay course fees if any of the following applies:
Courses you can study for free
All level 1, 2 and 3 courses are free.
Entry level English and maths, GCSE English and maths and functional skills English and maths are free, as long as you have not already achieved grade C, 4 or above before you enrol.
19-24 holding an education health care plan (EHCP)
All courses until you reach the age of 25.
You can study your first level 1, 2, or full level 3 qualification for free, if you have not already achieved a qualification at that level. For non-full level 3 courses you would need to apply for an advanced learner loan.
Unemployed, looking for work and in receipt of eligible benefits*
There is no cost for studying a level 1 or 2 qualification, even if you already have a qualification at that level – unless your prior qualification is not a full level 2 and the course you wish to study is not a full level 2, in which case course fees do apply.
Students aged 19 or over who earn up to £17,364.50 annual gross salary are entitled to free courses on level 1 and 2 – unless your prior attained qualification is not a full level 2 and the course you wish to study is not a full level 2, in which case course fees do apply.
*Eligible benefits include Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit. Wider benefits will also be considered on an individual basis.