Joining East Sussex College is an investment in your future. We are here to help you take a step closer to the career you really want, which is why finance shouldn't be something that gets in your way.

Depending on your circumstances and household income, you may be eligible for financial assistance to help with the cost of travel, compulsory visits and equipment/materials/kit and childcare.

So, if you are thinking about joining us, but worry that finances might hold you back, just give us a call. Our well-informed and friendly staff will advise you about the support which might be available in your particular case and what you need to do next.

16-18 Bursary and Discretionary Bursary

Students (or their families) who are in receipt of eligible benefits or have a low income, and are studying a course that leads to a government funded qualification, may be eligible for an award from the discretionary Bursary Fund towards the cost of travel including work placements, compulsory visits and equipment/materials/kit needed for their course. Eligibility criteria will apply.

Please note funds are limited and eligibility is no guarantee that an award will be made.

Students who are in care, leaving care, claiming Income Support or Universal Credit in their own name, in receipt of (ESA) Employment & Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment and (ESA) Employment & Support Allowance in their own name will be able to apply for the Bursary of up to £1,200 per year. The award will be dependent on individual needs as well as course.

Applications for support for September 2023 entry will open on 14 June 2023.


Students who are, or who have parents, in receipt of certain benefits may be eligible for free meals whilst at College.

Eligible benefits for Free Meals:

  • Income Support
  • Income – based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income – related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided that they are not entitled to working tax credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190-00, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • Working Tax Credit run – on – paid 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credits with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 per annum (after tax and not including any benefits you get - see below for self-employed)

Application for Free Meals is made on the Bursary application form.


Young parents under 20 at the start of the course may be entitled for help with childcare costs up to £160 per week whilst studying. The childcare provider must be Ofsted registered. You may also get help with the additional travel costs you have to pay so you can take your child from home to the childcare provider.

Find out more about Care to Learn at www.gov.uk/care-to-learn or by calling 0800 121 8989.

Studying first Level 2


Students aged 19-23 may be eligible for waiver of tuition fees and/or exam fees if they are studying their first eligible full level 2 qualification. Level 2 Entitlements are also available for students who are studying an Entry Level or Level 1 courses where this qualification is essential to continue study at level 2, in the same or a related subject area.

Studying first Level 3


Students aged 19 and over may be eligible for waiver of tuition fees and/or exam fees if they are studying their first eligible full level 3 qualification.

Unemployed and low wage waivers

Students who are unemployed and receipt of certain benefits, or students who are employed/self-employed and earn less than £20,319 annual gross salary, may be eligible for a waiver of tuition and/or exam fees. Note that students aged 19-23 may not be eligible if they are studying their first level 2.

Students 19+ who have already achieved a full level 3 and are studying another Level 3 course which is on the Free Courses for Jobs Offer may also be eligible.

Please ask for details.


Students aged 19 and over and studying on a course at Level 3 and above (excluding HE courses), may be able to apply for a government loan to cover some of the cost of tuition for courses. Students will not have to pay all the tuition fees upfront. The minimum loan amount is £300 and you apply online. Applying for a loan is not dependent on household income and there are no credit checks. Loans will be paid direct to the College on a monthly basis. Students will pay back their loan (plus interest) when they have finished their course and start earning more than £27,295 (changing to £25,000 for courses starting from 1 August 2023). Please note that if students withdraw from their course they will remain liable for the FULL course costs.

Students who take out a loan to cover tuition fees for an Access to HE course at College and then complete a higher education course, won’t have to repay the remaining loan outstanding for the Access to HE course.

Find out more at www.gov.uk/advanced-learner-loan.



Students in receipt of an Advanced Learner Loan and who need further assistance with their studies e.g. childcare and travel, may be eligible for a bursary award from this fund. Eligibility criteria will apply.

Please note funds are limited and eligibility is no guarantee that an award will be made.

Applications for support for September 2023 entry will open on 14 June 2023.



Students 19+ who are on eligible benefits or a low income and studying on course that leads to a government funded qualification, may be eligible for an award from the DLSF. Awards are available to help towards the cost of childcare, travel, compulsory visits, and equipment/materials/kit needed for their course. Eligibility criteria will apply.

This is not available to learners who are 19+ and undertaking courses that are eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan or for students undertaking Higher Education courses.

Please note funds are limited and eligibility is no guarantee that an award will be made.

Applications for support for September 2023 entry will open on 14 June 2023.



A Professional and Career Development Loan could help students pay for learning that could lead directly to employment. It is a bank loan, so students will have to pay it back once they have left their course. No interest is payable for the period students are in learning.

Find out more about PCDLs at www.gov.uk/career-development-loans or call National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.


Students must be studying or have studied at East Sussex College in Eastbourne, Lewes or Newhaven and need financial assistance to take full advantage of educational opportunities available to them. A range of awards are available (up to £150) to assist with the cost of materials, trips, books and equipment.


This fund is available to provide assistance to current students who are experiencing financial difficulty in coming to College and who do not qualify for help from other funds such as the DLSF. Awards range up to £100 to assist with things as books, uniform, equipment, visits and travel.


Staged Payments – for courses of over 12 weeks and £200, students can pay in instalments. Please contact the College for more information: 030 300 39699



Unizone is a unique Season ticket for students studying in or around Brighton areas.

More information can be found at:

Brighton Unizone gives you unlimited travel to all stations below:

The Brighton Unizone is available for the following periods:

  • Weekly: £20.80
  • Monthly: £79.90
  • Quarterly: £239.60*

*You can add days or weeks to your quarterly ticket to match your term dates. Fares are valid from 5 Mar 2023 until further notice.

To qualify for a Unizone ticket you must have a National Union of Students (NUS) Extra card or a TOTUM (Current cost for one year £14.99) and a valid 16-25 railcard or 16-17 saver (Current cost for one year £30).

Present your valid NUS/TOTUM card with your railcard at one of the staffed stations within the Unizone area to purchase one your ticket. You must present your cards during all ticket inspections. You cannot buy Unizone tickets online, at ticket machines or on the train.

16-17 Saver

You can get a 16-17 saver if you are 16 or 17. It will give you 50% of most rail fares and can be purchased online at www.16-17saver.co.uk. The current cost is £30 for a year.

A 16-17 Saver gets you 50% off most rail fares every day of the year with no time restrictions and no minimum fare.

You can use 16-17 Saver discounted tickets to travel across the National Rail network, except on ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper services.

You can buy discounted tickets up until the expiry date of your 16-17 Saver. If you buy a discounted Season ticket before the expiry of your 16-17 Saver, you can continue to use this Season ticket for up to 4 months after expiry.

16-25 Railcards

You can get a 16-25 Railcard if you are aged between 16 and 25, or you are a mature student.

Mature students must:

  • Be attending a recognised college or university, for over 15 hours a week, at least 20 weeks a year. Unfortunately, Open University, distance learning and part-time courses do not qualify.
  • Have the mature student section of the 16-25 Railcard application form completed by their College or University.
  • Have an NUS/TOTUM card or College/University photocard as proof of identity.

Railcards can be purchased online at www.16-25railcard.co.uk or at any staffed Ticket Office. The current cost is £30 for a year.

The railcard will give you 1/3 off a range of tickets as well as other discounts.

TOTUM card

The card will give you access to a range of student discounts as well as free ISIC (International Student Identity Card). You can choose from a 1, 2 or 3 year card. Current cost for 1 year is £14.99.

You must be 16 or over and studying in Further or Higher Education to be eligible for an TOTUM card. The card is available to students, studying full time or part time, your course needs to require you to study at least 10 hours study weekly for a minimum of 12 weeks.

TOTUM cards can be applied for online at: www.totum.com


The 3i-D card is available for students 11-19 who live and study in East Sussex. It is an ID card which can be used as ID on the buses ensuring you pay the fares you are entitled to. With it you can purchase the Freedom ticket for £17.50 which gives you unlimited travel on nearly every bus in East Sussex for 7 days in a row, including weekends.

For more information and to apply online go to 3i-d.co.uk. As part of the online application process, you will be prompted to select a verifier. Please select any of the options listed as the whole admissions team check all applications. The code you will need is SUS468.

Please call bus and train companies for more detailed information.

The information above is correct at time of publication (May 2023) but is subject to change.

Contact Us:

Tel: 030 300 39699
Opening Times: 09.00-16:00 Monday-Friday
Eastbourne/Newhaven: Eastbourne.Admissions@escg.ac.uk
Eastbourne/Lewes/Newhaven Financial Assistance: Ebnlewes.Bursary@escg.ac.uk
Lewes: Lewes.Admissions@escg.ac.uk
Hastings: Hastings.Admissions@escg.ac.uk
Hastings Financial Assistance: Hastings.Bursary@escg.ac.uk