16-19 Bursary Fund

The 16-19 Bursary Fund aims to help 16-19 students overcome any financial barriers they may face to attend a sixth form or further education college (including students on Prince’s Trust and T Level courses) and has two elements:

Discretionary Awards

Available to students who face the most financial barriers to participation and aim to help towards things like food, books, travel, and in some exceptional circumstances hardship payments.

Vulnerable Bursary

Available for young people in the defined vulnerable groups: care, care leavers, young people in receipt of Income Support or Universal credit, and disabled young people in receipt of Employment Support Allowance who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments. If a student meets the criteria, they can get support of up to £1,200 per academic year.

Apply via Pay My Student
New for 2023-24

Apprenticeships Care Leavers' Bursary

Care leavers who started their apprenticeship programme before the age of 25 can access an individual payment of £3000, which will be paid in instalments over the course of the first year of apprenticeship.

Find out more

Free College Meals

Available for all 16-19 students who meet the eligibility criteria and for those who are aged 19-24 who have a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) or Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) and meet the other eligibility criteria. In 2023/24 the daily rate for free college meals is £5 per student per timetabled day in college, to be spent in the college canteen.

Find out more
Free college meals


The Care to Learn scheme can help young people under the age of 20 years with childcare costs. Students can get up to £180 per child per week and payments go directly to the childcare provider. Applications can be made on the government portal by visiting Apply for Care to Learn funding (education.gov.uk). For more information, please phone 0800 121 8989, email C2L@studentbursarysupport.co.uk, or visit direct.gov.uk/caretolearn.

Find out more

Honeypot Nursery

The college operates an internal nursery, Honeypot Nursery, which can provide childcare to students for timetabled study time. Students will have to apply to Honeypot Nursery direct for a childcare place. Once a place has been agreed, the student can apply to Care to Learn for financial support towards their childcare costs.

Honeypot Nursery

How to apply!

Bursary Application Process

To make an application for financial support in 2023/24, students can either apply online by completing an application on the online bursary portal called Pay My Student or download a copy of the Bursary Application Form.

Alternatively, you can request a paper copy from us by calling 023 9238 3131 or emailing info@copc.ac.uk and we will post one to you.

Please note, you will need your student number to be able to make an application via Pay My Student. New students can find this on their enrolment letter, existing students should use their existing student number.

Students will need to apply as soon as possible, as there is no guarantee that funds will be available even though they might fit the eligibility criteria. (This does not apply to the 16-19 Vulnerable Bursary).

Apply via Pay My Student Find out more about Enrolment

Eligibility & Income Evidence

The table below shows the required proof of household income to attach to your application, as this is an assessment of household income, so you will need to give details for all adults in your household.

FundIncome thresholdHousehold Income Evidence
Free College Meals (FCM)

In receipt of a Means-tested benefit

  • Universal Credit - take home pay must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits, you get)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The” guarantee” element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
16-19 Discretionary Hardship

Household income Up to £35,000

  • Last 3 (or less if claim has been made recently) full Universal Credit statements showing take-home pay and payment.
  • All pages of a tax credit award notice showing finalised income for 2022/23 and dependants
  • P60/Last 3 months or 12 weeks of pay slips
  • Welfare benefits letter showing current and active claim
  • Latest verified accounts of self-employment e.g.,latest submitted tax return
  • Pension statement
  • Details of income from all other sources e.g. shares, investments, savings, rental income
16-19 Vulnerable Group
  • In Care
  • Care Leaver
  • Receiving (PIP) or DLA) in your own right as well as ESA or UC in your own right
  • Receiving IS or UC because you are financially supporting yourself and/or someone who is dependent on you and living with you, such as a child or partner.
  • Written confirmation of your current or previous looked after status from the relevant local authority – must be on corporate letterheaded paper and signed or sent by email from the local authority.


  • Copy of benefit award notice (e.g., DWP letter or Universal Credit statements) and additional documentation to confirm independent status e.g., tenancy agreement, child benefit letter – must be in the student’s name and address.


If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your application and would like to appeal this decision, please refer to our appeal policy.

Find out more

Policies and Guidance 2023/24

Please find links to relevant polices below:

Student Bursary Policy 2023-24 Attendance & Punctuality Policy 2023-24 Student Code of Conduct 2023-24

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