Step four: funding available

Multiple funding opportunities may be available to support you throughout your time in mainstream college. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, it will give you a broad understanding of what is available and how to apply.

Tuition fees – in England, education is free up to the age of 19. Through completing an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP), this can be extended up to age 25.

Apprenticeships – 100% funded by the government aged 16 to 18; after this only 50% of costs are guaranteed. Additional funding for apprenticeships can be acquired through the National Apprenticeship Service to encourage employers to take on young people with sight loss.

Bursary fund – as a parent/carer if you are having difficulties managing the costs of full-time education, you may be eligible for the Bursary Fund Scheme.

High needs funding – after highlighting your requirement of attending a specialist college, you can apply to your local authority to submit a funding request to the Education Funding Agency (EFA). Social Services may contribute towards a place at a residential college if you need a lot of care support.

Disability Grants – this website provides a helpful list of available grants.

Alternative funding – you can apply for alternative funding from a variety of organisations to help support studying costs. For further information, check out RNIB’s list of grant awarding charities which may assist students with vision impairment.

Helpful tips

Apply early. For all funding opportunities, there will be a set amount available and once this has been allocated you may miss out.

Apply even if you’re unsure. Even if you’re not certain you will meet the criteria of the funding, it’s always worth making an application as your condition/ requirements may be considered as part of the terms of the funding process.

Ask for help. Speak with a representative from the funding provider to give you support on what is needed or required to make a successful funding application, they may be able to assist you further.

Keep posted. Always check for more funding options that may become available or new ones which didn’t previously exist but do now.

Go to the next step: ‘Step five: technology for your studies’

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