Financial Help

College can be affordable as we can provide financial support whilst you are studying.

16-18 years old additional costs

If you are 16 to 18 years old and studying a full time course, you will not pay for costs associated to the course. The college does have funds to help you with associated costs such as transport, meals and equipment, etc, whilst you study. Get your finance application form in as early as possible.

Student Finance Application Form

You can download the student financial support Student Finance Application Form 2022-23 (Alternatively a PDF version of this form can be found at the bottom of this page.)

For help in filling out the application form see our Guidance and Terms and Conditions 2022-23, if you are still unsure, call our friendly staff on 01325 503037, or email

Please note that if you are applying for financial help to the college, meals are based on different criteria, and will be assessed differently to the general financial support fund.

Transport assistance

Support with transport is for those students with a household income of below £45,000* and live more than 1 mile from the college. Assistance includes:

  • A contribution towards a free local authority bus pass for North Yorkshire students (16-18’s)**. You must apply directly to the North Yorkshire County Council school/college transport area on their website.  Please apply at NYCC.
  • Free Arriva bus pass for Darlington, County Durham, and Tees Valley Students**.
  • Travel grant for students either with their own car or who can’t use public transport**.

*subject to change

16-18 Bursary

A bursary is available for students that are aged 16 or over and under 19 on the 31st of August 2022 and have been defined by the Government as being a ‘vulnerable student’ and who meet the following criteria;

  • Currently in care or have recently been in care (a child aged 16 and 17 who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14).
  • Receive Income Support or Universal Credit in their own right (not parents)
  • Are disabled and receive BOTH Universal Credit (or ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (or DLA) in their own right.

The bursary supports students with up to £1,200 per year in the form of kits, essential equipment, and transport.

Clothing, equipment and kits

You can receive a contribution of up to £250 for help with the cost of clothing, equipment and kits for your courses such as hairdressing, beauty or catering kits and uniforms etc.  To qualify your household income must be below £45,000*

*subject to change

Free meals

To be eligible for free meals, a student’s parent(s) should be in receipt of one of the following: –

  • Income Support; Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance; Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Child Tax Credit, provided you are not entitled to Working Tax Credit, and have an annual household income (as assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) that does not exceed £16,190;
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit;
  • Working Tax Credit during a four-week ‘run-on’ period after they stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit;
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa

Students aged 16-18 who receive Income Support or Income Based Jobseekers Allowance in their own right are also entitled to free meals.

Support with childcare costs

If you are under 20 when you enrol on your courses you may qualify for childcare fees whilst you study through the Care to Learn Fund. For more details visit and follow the link for Care to Learn or call the helpline on 0800 1218989.

**These benefits are means tested and subject to conditions.  The level of support the college can offer students is dependent on the total funding received from government.

Vulnerable groups and the discretionary bursary – are conditional on the student meeting agreed standards of attendance and behaviour. Darlington College have an expectation that student attendance should remain at 90% and above. Failure to meet these standards will mean withdrawal of funds.

(**The college retain a small emergency fund from their allocation to support students who face exceptional circumstances during the year that impact on their ability to participate, even though they may not fit the above criteria)

For further information on all aspects of financial support contact our Student Finance Department on 01325 503037, or email

PDF document versions:

Student Finance Application Form 2022-23

Guidance and Terms and Conditions 2022-23

If you are a returning student and received a bursary last year, you will need to re-apply for your second year.