Financial support for 16-18 year olds

16-18 year old student at City and Islington College

If you’re aged between 16 and 18 and you are a British citizen, your tuition is free.

You might need to pay a small fee towards any materials you use on your course, but the course itself won’t cost you a thing.

As a student, you may also be able to access a range of financial benefits and discounts to help you while you're at College. 

16+ Oyster Card

If students live in a London Borough they must be 16, 17 or 18 years old on 31st August and studying on an FE programme to qualify for free travel on TFL bus routes.

Students living outside of a London Borough must be 16 or 17 on 31st August and studying on an FE programme to qualify for half price travel on TFL bus routes only.

Free schools meals

As part of a national scheme, disadvantaged College students are eligible to receive free meals, if you or your parent/carer receive of one of the following:

  • Child Tax Credit (gross income <£16,190)
  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Income Based/Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Pensions Credit (Guaranteed Element)

Or, if you are;

  • 19 years old on an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) 

NUS Extra Card

What you get: A wide range of discounts in shops and leisure centres, including Oasis, ASOS, Amazon, Odeon cinemas, Ticketmaster and Pizza Express. Using your student card could save you hundreds of pounds! Buy it for £12 from the Student Union. For more information visit:


Bursaries are for College related costs like travel and course books, materials, trips and visits.

Bursaries do not need to be repaid as long as you remain enrolled on a course at the College and maintain an average attendance rate of at least 90%. The bursaries on offer are:

Mandatory Bursary  

Up to £1,200 for students that fit the following criteria:

  • Currently ‘in care’ under either section 20, 22 or 31 of the Children Act 1989
  • An Unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC), under one of the above care orders
  • Been placed in foster care by the local authority
  • A ‘care leaver’. Hence, recently left the care of a local authority. Thus, you are aged 16, 17 or 18 and received care for 13 weeks continuously between the ages of 14-16
  • You (not another family member) are in receipt of Income Support or Universal Credit
  • You are a disabled young person and in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Discretionary Bursary

Up to £360 for students who aren’t eligible for a Mandatory bursary if:

Tier 1 - £360

You or your parent/guardian is in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pensions Credit (Guaranteed element)
  • You are in receipt of Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Tier ll - £270

Your parent/guardian is in receipt of:

  • Contribution Based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit (2017/18)
  • Child Tax Credit (gross income <£16,190)

Tier lll - £180

  • Your household income is between £16,191 - £25,000 per annum

To apply, you’ll need to visit the Student Portal: 

The college decides which bursary you are eligible for and pays you directly.  Contact our Student Finance helpline for more help on 020 7704 5539.​

Council bursaries

Many London boroughs offer financial support to young people who stay in education and training. The following council bursaries may also be available to you.

Contact your local borough council for more information about financial support available to young people in education.

Care to Learn

The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while you study.

What you get: You may receive up to £175 a week (deposits paid and holiday retainers). For more information please visit;

You need to be a parent aged under 20.You can claim this benefit as long as the other parent is not available to provide childcare (e.g. if they are working) and they are not claiming Childcare Tax Credit. 

College Nurseries

What you get: If you are a young parent the College has two nurseries which provide places for students’ children aged 2-5 years. The nurseries are based at the Centre for Business, Arts and Technology on Camden Road (N7) and the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

Want to know more?  View the GOV.UK page on financial support for 16-19 year olds