Finance and Funding Information

We may be able to help you cover the costs of studying at Gateshead College.

If you are struggling to cover the cost of coming to college, we may be able to help.

Funds are available to assist financially disadvantaged learners through one of two Government-backed bursaries – Higher Rate and Discretionary alongside Free College Meals.

What is a Higher Rate Bursary?

If you are aged under 19 years old on 31st August 2023 and fall into one of the categories below, you may be eligible for a Higher Rate Bursary worth up to £1,200 per academic year:

  • Classed as a ‘Looked After’ child by the Local Authority
  • Have been ‘In Care’ and now classed as a ‘Care Leaver’
  • Receiving Income Support or Universal Credit in your own right
  • Receiving both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments in your own right

Students are not automatically entitled to £1,200 per year. We will assess your application to identify an actual financial need. It may be the case that you receive a reduced amount or no award at all.

You may receive a monthly amount paid into your bank account, towards your meals and general college expenses. College will also look at helping you with other costs such as kit/uniform/books. You may request that college provide you with travel support providing you live more than 2 miles away, but this cost will be deducted from your Bursary.

What is a Discretionary Bursary?

If you do not qualify for a Higher Rate Bursary, you may still be entitled to discretionary funds to help with the cost of coming to college.

We will need to see your parents/carers’ income if you are aged between 16-18 at 31st August 2023 or 19-24 with EHCP.

To be eligible for above you:

  • Must meet residency criteria
  • Have a gross annual household income below £35,000 couple or £30,000 single including any Working Tax Credit/Universal Credit or
  • Be in receipt of the following benefits Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance/Income Related Employment and Support Allowance/Universal Credit/Guaranteed Pension Credit.

We may be able to give you help towards the following:

  • Help towards travel costs - if you live over 2 miles from your college campus.
  • Help towards equipment/kit/uniform/books – may not cover full costs but will be a contribution towards.
  • Help towards course costs - you may have additional expenses whilst at College so you may qualify for up to £450 for the year if you are NOT eligible for travel costs. Those eligible for travel costs will receive partial award for course costs.

Free College Meals

You will be eligible to support towards the cost of food while you are at college. If you are aged under 19 on 31st August 2023 or 19-24 with EHCP and meet the criteria below.

A food allowance of £3.75 will be available each day that you are timetabled to attend, including work placements.

Alongside your age, and you (if you are living independently) or your parents/carers are in receipt of one of the following:

  • Income support
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 per year (after tax and not including any benefits received)
  • Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of less than £16,190 as assessed by HMRC. If in receipt of Working Tax Credits, you are NOT entitled to free meals, regardless of income amount.
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit

For more information please see 16-18 Info Booklet & Terms & Conditions.

Our online application system allows you to apply, access and view your bursary payments easily and securely. With the online portal you'll be able to see any upcoming payments and view your payments status.

In order to set up an account with PayMyStudent you need your Student Number. If you do not know your Student Number please contact us by email [email protected] or call 0191 4904627.

Visit our online financial support application system by clicking here

Childcare Support – Care to Learn

If you are under 20 at the start of your course and need help with childcare costs, you can apply to Care to Learn.

This scheme is not means tested and you just have to use registered childcare. For further information telephone 0800 121 8989 or go to to apply online. Please ask if you need assistance.

If you need help finding childcare provider you can contact your Local Authority.

Travel Information

For information about tickets available and discounts go to:

For students with disabilities or learning difficulties visit

Contact the Support Funds Team

For information about student funding contact:

Support Funds Team

Baltic Campus

Quarryfield Road



0191 490 4627

[email protected]


When you apply online, you will be asked to upload evidence of your/parents’ income.  

Your application may take up to 14 working days to process. We will email or write to you with a decision. Please ensure, where possible, that you submit your application in plenty of time before you start your course.  You need to ensure you can fund AT LEAST 2-3 WEEKS travel to college.   

You may also want to purchase your own equipment/kit/uniform before starting the course as awards will not be processed until you are confirmed as attending your course.

All eligible students have the right to request a review of the initial assessment. If funds are depleted, or the individual or the course is not eligible for support, there are no grounds for a review or appeal. Details will be in your notification letter.

  • You have been in, or currently are in, the care of the Local Authority - written confirmation of current or previous looked-after status from the relevant Local Authority.
  • Income Support or Universal Credit (because they are financially supporting themselves or financially supporting themselves and someone who is dependent on them and living with them such as a child or partner) – evidence of Income Support or Universal Credit award summary.
  • Recent payslips or P60
  • All pages of 2023-2024 Tax Credits Awards
  • Last 3 Universal Credit award statements showing all the sections including any income and deductions
  • Accountants statement or tax return for the most recent tax year (for those self-employed)
  • Recent State Pension/Credit award letter showing payments
  • All pages of a recent Income Support/JSA/ESA award letter
  • Bank statements clearly showing benefit going into account (only for those who cannot provide recent letter for above benefits)
  • Evidence of asylum - support letter from Home Office or Aspen Card

Examples of Evidence