Advanced Learner Loan

What are they?

Advanced Learner Loans are similar to Higher Education loans. These loans are available to students aged 19+ studying at Level 3 or Level 4, including RQF Certificates and Diplomas and Access to HE Courses. Any courses applicable to these loans are marked.

You can apply for a loan to meet the upfront costs of your qualification fees. This is paid directly to the College on your behalf. For more information speak to our Course Advice Team on 01273 667704 or visit the government website:

You do not pay the loan back until after your course is complete and you are earning over a certain amount.

Do I qualify?

To qualify you must be:

  • Enrolling on an eligible course at Level 3 and above which includes: A-Levels, Access to Higher Education Diplomas, other Diplomas and Certificates
  • Aged 19 or over on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age-limit).
  • Studying with a college or training organisation in England approved for public funding.
  • Living in the UK on the first day of your course and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this.

How to apply

Check that the course you wish to apply for is eligible. If you are unsure please contact us for assistance.

We can provide you with a 'learning and funding letter' to assist with your application. This is required to prove the course you wish to apply for is eligible. Receiving the loan does not depend on your income.

If you make the decision to take an Advanced Learner Loan, then you can apply either online here or via a paper-based application. You will need to set up an account and provide proof of identity.

You can print the paper application off from the government website or pick up a copy from our Student Centres/Admissions offices.

Once you have finished your course you will only start to repay the loan when your earnings are over a certain amount. Click here to find out more about the income thresholds for repaying.

Making the right choice

It’s important you consider your own circumstances and look into all options for paying for your course before choosing to take out a loan. 

You can get independent financial advice from the Money Advice Service.

Making the right choice

Access to Higher Education courses

If you take out an Advanced Learner Loan to study an Access to Higher Education course and go on to complete a higher education qualification, your Advanced Learner Loan could be 'written off', making your access course free.

Terms and conditions apply so please check with Student Finance England.

Access to Higher Education courses