If you’re a school leaver aged 16 to 18, you will not normally have to pay tuition fees or examination and registration fees. You may also be eligible for additional support, depending on your financial situation.

You may need to pay for items such as stationery, personal expenses during educational visits or hairdressing kit (though you may be eligible for financial assistance for the kit).

Level 2 and Level 3 courses will also normally be free of charge to apprentices, or apprentices aged 16 to 23 in the case of Level 3.

If you are aged 19 or over you may need to pay a fee. This can vary, but for a Level 2 or 3 diploma you are normally looking at around £3000. There may be a requirement to purchase uniform and kit, which can be anywhere from £150-200.


If you’re aged 19 or over you may be eligible for a Government-funded Advanced Learner Loan , which can be used to cover the costs of your tuition fees. It's easy to apply for, doesn’t take your household income into account and doesn’t involve a credit check.

To be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan you must:

Be aged 19 or over at the start of your course

Be studying an eligible course to Level 3, 4, 5 or 6 (including QCF Certificates and Diplomas, Access to Higher Education, A-Levels (maximum of four), Advanced and Higher apprenticeships)    

  Be a resident in the UK (meeting Student Finance England nationality or residency status)

You won’t have to pay anything back until you are earning over a certain threshold a year and the loan will be written off after a certain time period has elapsed (both vary depending on the type of plan you get). Interest on the loan will be at the rate set by the Student Loans Company, which will be lower than anything available from the high street.



If you need help with college fees you could consider a Professional Career Development Loan.

It is a commercial bank loan that you can use to help pay for work-related learning.