The question “what is an advanced learner loan?” is one we hear quite often. The scheme is targeted at helping adult learners (i.e. those aged 19 and over) manage the cost of further education at Level 3 and above. You can apply for a loan to study BTECs, NVQs, Access to HE courses and professional qualifications. The loans are similar to that available in Higher Education and are administered by Student Finance England.

So if you are aged 19 or over, live in England and are thinking about further education or training, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for all or part of the course tuition fee.

About the loan

The loans themselves have been designed to be completely transparent and accessible to as many people as possible. Here are the key facts:

• The loans are not means-tested

• There are no credit checks

• You can be unemployed and still apply

• Loans are suitable for most Level 3 courses* (and above)

• You can have up to four loans either at the same time or one after the other

• You can either take out the full cost of the tuition fee or you can pay all or part of the fee yourself

• Additional fees, such as registration and exam fees are not covered by the loan

• A Newbury College bursary is still available for transport and childcare costs, and exam and registration fees – speak to a member of the Information Services team

• Money is paid directly to Newbury College

• Loan repayments only begin once you earn £21,000 or more.

*Check with Information Services when applying for your course.

How to apply

The loans are administered by Student Finance England. All applications need to be completed online or by post (if you can’t apply online). You will need a copy of your ‘Learning and Funding Information Letter’ that we give eligible students before they apply – speak to the Information Services team for more information. You will also need your National Insurance number to complete your application.

NB – Make sure, when you apply online, you click on the purple 'Further education' box on the right-hand side as per the image below.


Apply for student finance button

If you apply online, your confirmation is usually sent out within a couple of weeks. You can usually apply from May onwards if you are starting a course in September of the same year. 

Who is eligible*?

• Anyone aged 19 or older on the first day of your course

• Students must have been in the UK for three years prior to the course start date

• Students must be UK nationals or have ‘settled’ status

*Please note that eligibility is determined by criteria set by Student Finance England not by Newbury College. Discuss your eligibility with our Information Services team before you apply to a course.

How is the loan repaid?

The loan is repaid when you finish your course and earn more than £21,000 per year. The monthly repayments are based on how much you earn, not the amount you’ve borrowed. It is set at 9% of any income over £21,000. For example, if you earn £22,000 the repayments would be £7.50 per month (£1,000*0.09=£90, £90/12 months=£7.50) or £30 per month if you earned £25,000 (£4,000*0.09=£360, £360/12 months=£30).

Level 3 entitlement for 19-23 year olds

If you are aged 19-23 and do not currently have a first full Level 3 qualification, you may be eligible for entitlement. This scheme entitles you to remission on the cost of your tuition fees. Contact Information Services team for further clarification.

Need further assistance?

Make an appointment with the Information Services team on 01635 845000 or visit some of the following websites:


Published in News

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Newbury College is one of four further education colleges in the UK to achieve a 100% student satisfaction rating in this year’s National Student Survey.

The survey was undertaken by over 300,000 students across the UK from 155 higher education institutions, 190 further education colleges and 13 alternative providers. The survey takes place each year and the results, announced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) today, help universities and colleges further improve the education service they provide.

Commenting on the results, Principal and Chief Executive, Dr Anne Murdoch said: “We are delighted to be one of four further education colleges to score highly in terms of student satisfaction. The result, which surpasses this year’s benchmarked score of 88%, is testament to our hard work and determination and supports our aim to provide an outstanding level of further and higher education in the West Berkshire area.”

More data and details of the results can be viewed on the HEFCE website.

The other three colleges were Richmond Adult Community College, St. Mary’s College in Blackburn and Trafford College.

Read more on this story in the Times Education Supplement (TES).

Published in News