Funding Support

There are several options available to help reduce financial barriers to learning. Our teams are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

ACL receives funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency to deliver courses to Essex residents. This funding could cover some or all the costs of your course depending on your circumstances or prior achievements. A few examples are below but please come and talk to us so we can see what you may be entitled to.

Help Hub_illustrations_Page_2
  • Maths and English courses including GCSEs could be free if you don’t already have a C/4 grade or equivalent
  • Essential Digital Skills programmes could be free for those with basic IT skills assessed below level 1
  • If you are unemployed or earning a gross annual income of £18,525 or less you could be eligible to complete a level 2 accredited course without charge
  • The new level 3 entitlement means that adults without a full level 3 qualification like a Diploma or A-Levels could undertake an accredited course that’s fully funded from the National Skills Fund
  • Advanced Learner Loans are available for courses at levels 3 to 6 and are only paid back once you start earning £27,295 a year (before tax and other deductions)
  • Support with travel costs, childcare and course materials including books, laptop loan and WiFi could be available whilst you study if you have either a gross household income of less than £30,000k per annum (not including house shares, or where rent is paid separately) or a personal gross income of less than £18,525 per annum
  • If you are in receipt of certain benefits or earning a gross salary of less than £18,525  you could receive a 50% discount on non-accredited courses
  • In addition to the above we have a dedicated team that provide financial advice and guidance to learners during their course should they need it

Accredited courses

Accredited courses (Qualifications and Skills for Employment)

The Discretionary Learning Support Fund can assist learners who are studying accredited courses with ACL. It can be used to help with the cost of course fees (up to 75%), childcare, study resources including compulsory books, and travel costs.

Non-accredited courses

Non-accredited (Creative and Cultural Learning)

The CL Bursary Fund can assist learners who are studying non-accredited courses with ACL. It can be used to help with the cost of course fees (provided you have paid the full fee), childcare, study resources, and travel costs.

Advanced Learning Loan Bursary

The Advanced Learning Loan Bursary (Advanced Learning Loans)

This fund is for learners who are on a Level 3 course or above and have taken out a Advanced learning loan. It can be used to help with the cost of childcare, study resources including compulsory books, and travel costs.

If you require a paper copy, please contact us or email the student finance team. Please hand your completed forms and supporting evidence to your local ACL reception.

For full information, please read our financial guidelines.

Group of adults/students writing down notes in a classroom

Claim forms

Please be advised that you cannot complete a travel claim form or a resource claim/order form until you have applied to the Discretionary Learner Support Fund and been successful.