Studying at Step into Learning is hugely rewarding, and we do not want money worries to hold you back. The Step into Learning team is here to give you any advice you need. There are lots of different sources of funding if you need help.

Course Fees 16-18

You might be eligible for free tuition fees if you are aged 16-18 on 31st August, in the calendar year your course starts.

Course Fees 19+

If you are aged 19 or over, there may be ways to reduce your fees or get rid of them altogether and take a free course. You could be eligible if you are taking a course up to and including Level 2, unemployed, and in receipt of one or more of the following-

  • Job Seekers Allowance including National Insurance Credits only
  • Employment Support Allowance (all categories)
  • Universal Credit

You will also be eligible if you are unemployed or earning less that £338 per month individually, or £541 as a household and receiving state benefits other than the above, if the course is directly relevant to your employment prospects and the local job market requirements.

You could be eligible for a free course whether you are employed, or unemployed and come under one of the following;

Level 2 Progression

You are 19-23 years old, and progressing on to your first full Level 2 (this applies to learners who have not yet achieved a first full Level 2 and require lower level qualifications at Entry/ Level 1, excluding Maths, English and ESOL to enable them to progress).

Legal Entitlements

You will receive your course for free if the following applies-

You are 19-23 years old studying your first approved full Level 2 qualification
You are 19-23 years old studying your first full approved Level 3 qualification
You are 19+ and do not hold a GCSE grade C in Maths or English, as part of the legal requirement you can receive Maths or English Functional Skills free of charge excluding ESOL.

You are 19+ ,as part of the legal requirement, you can receive Essential Digital Skills approved qualifications up to and including Level 1.

Low Wage Learners

Learners who are employed, eligible for co-funding, but cannot contribute towards the cost of co-funding fees as they earn less than £17004.00 annual gross salary, are entitled to free courses. To claim this fee remission you will need to provide evidence of your income via a wage slip within three months of your start date, or a current contract of employment which states your current gross monthly or annual salary.

Advanced Learner Loans

Advanced Learner Loans are here to help any student aged 19+ to cover course fees for Level 3 and above, so you do not have to worry about paying for your course upfront. There is no means testing or formal credit check, and once you are approved, your fees are paid to Step into Learning automatically. You only need to start paying back the loan once you find full time employment and earn over £26,725 per year. To qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan, you must be aged 19 or over at the start of your course, be a resident in the UK for three years, have not previously had a loan to do the same course, subject or level and be studying a course at Level 3 or above.

Applying for a Loan

When you have a confirmed place on a course, you can apply online for a loan at This link also has more information on the Advanced Learner Loan scheme, including information on the amounts available and the collection of repayments. The Advanced Learner Loan helpline is contactable on 0300 100 0619 if you need extra help.

Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund

Students aged 19+ and who are eligible for the maximum Advanced Learner Loan can also apply for extra financial support from the Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund. For more information, please contact Step into Learning.

Would you like more information?

If you would like more information on any of the courses listed on our website or you just want to have a friendly chat with our team, then get in touch with us today.