Learner Support Fund

Discretionary Learner Support Fund (Hardship) 19+ only

What is the Discretionary Learner Support Fund?

The Fund helps students who have difficulties meeting the costs of attending their course. The Fund is money given to the College by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. For eligible students, the Fund will usually meet part of your costs, but you cannot rely on the Fund to support your studies as we cannot guarantee your application will be successful.

The information below will give you an idea of what to expect if you are eligible to receive funds. Eligibility is based on you meeting the residency requirements and being on a means tested benefit, disability benefit or low income. Where possible, funds awarded by the college will be paid directly to the relevant third party. Please note that you must apply for any award by the deadline date (as shown on the application form) or your application will not be considered.

Application forms:

19+ Learner Support Fund Application Form

What will we support?

Student Grants

This grant is for equipment, books, uniforms, stationery and day trips for your course.

Fee Costs

Barnet and Southgate College fees

  • If you are applying for fees you will have to pay 0% of the total course fee at time of enrolment, because 100% of the fee costs will be covered.
  • If you have paid your exam fees you need to provide a receipt for refund of these costs to be made. Please note that re-sits of exams are not funded.
  • External fees for membership to professional bodies are funded.


An award of hardship will be made if:

  • You need to purchase an item of equipment due to your individual learning needs. Your application needs to be supported by a letter from your Study Support Assistant explaining the need, e.g. colour tinted dyslexia glasses. If eligible, 100% of the cost is covered.
  • If you need a one-off small sum of money to alleviate a specific need that is not covered by any other category of funding. The amount awarded will not normally exceed £100.

Who is eligible?

Students must be:

  • 19+ on the 1st September of the year of application
  • Enrolled on a course funded by the ESFA
  • a ‘Home’ student or a ‘European Economic Area’ student OR
  • a Home student for fees purposes OR
  • have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, or Humanitarian Protection, or Full Refugee Status by the Home Office OR
  • have applied for Asylum to the Home Office or have been refused and are being supported by NASS and have been resident in the UK for 6 months

This means that students on Adult and Community Learning, Higher Education courses and those in receipt of a 19+ Advanced Learner Loan are not eligible. Students on Higher Education courses should refer to the HE Handbook which can be found on your course page on iLearn (you will be shown how to access this once you start your course).

Additionally, it is the College’s policy that students must be:

  • Fully enrolled at Barnet and Southgate College, AND
  • Studying for a minimum of 3 Guided Learning Hours per week and 4 weeks per year, AND
  • On a Means-Tested Benefit or on a Low Income (household gross income of £21,000 or less per year).

Funds will not be awarded to students if they received any form of funding during the previous academic year and did not complete their course, unless they repay the funds received

Priority for an award will be given to students who are:

  • Disabled or have learning difficulties
  • Disadvantaged
  • On a Means-Tested Benefit
  • Students who are aged 19 years and are financially dependent on their parents/carers who are in receipt of a Means-Tested Benefit
  • On a low income or in receipt of Working Tax Credit and have a household gross income of £21,000 or less per year.
  • On income based job seekers allowance
  • On Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit

Getting Started – Application

In order to receive Discretionary Learner Support Fund support whilst studying at Barnet and Southgate College you need to:

  • Complete a Learner Support Fund Application Form (see above).
  • Take your completed application form, supporting documents and bank statement to the Admissions Advisors in Customer Services located by the reception area at each campus; they will check eligibility, all documents and give you a receipt
  • This must be done before the deadline date shown on the application form.
  • You will receive by post or email a letter to confirm whether you have been successful in your application.


  • The amount of the award and the timing of payments will be detailed in your confirmation letter.
  • Payments will depend on attendance of at least 80%. Where attendance is unsatisfactory, payments will be either withheld or reclaimed.
  • The College reserves the right to reclaim monies paid to students where information given on the application form is found to be false.
  • The College reserves the right to reclaim monies paid to students where the student has withdrawn before the end of the course.


Download the Learner Support Fund Guide


Learner Support Fund Enquiry Form