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Finance and Welfare

There are a range of funds you can apply for to help you with course related costs. Funding applications are assessed using guidance issued by the Government and most are based on personal circumstance such as income thresholds. The Student Finance Team can assist you with financial matters and help you to apply for any appropriate grants or awards that are available.

Payment of fees must be arranged prior to course commencement.  Please contact any Campus Reception to arrange payment of your course fees or to confirm evidence of your proof of funding application or proof of your funding entitlement has been uploaded to the online admissions portal.  Proof of funding entitlement should also be forwarded to studentfinance@nrc.ac.uk.

For further details and assistance, please contact:

Student Finance Team for Ballymena, Coleraine and Ballymoney
028 2563 6230

Student Finance Team for Newtownabbey, Larne and Magherafelt
028 9085 5000 ext 1249

Alternatively email studentfinance@nrc.ac.uk


All Ireland Scholarship

The All Ireland Scholarship Scheme which is funded by JP McManus provides financial support to high achieving students from low income households. The scholarship offers students financial support of £5,500 per annum for the duration of their course.

The scholarships will be awarded to the top six performing Level 3 Extended Diploma students in Further Education Colleges.  Applicants must have been in receipt of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) at the time of examination, and due to commence an undergraduate course in university in the academic year 2023/24.  The deadline for receipt of applications is 4pm on Thursday 31 August 2023. For full details of eligibility criteria and application form visit CCEA website.

Education Authority - Further Education Grants

Are you aged 19 or over? Not sure how you will support yourself in College? Further Education Grants are available for full time and part time Level 1,2 and 3 courses.  Find out more at Education AuthorityNI.

The following is a brief list of support available but is dependent upon your age, the level of study you are undertaking, your and/or your family’s circumstances. Other criteria may also apply. Important points to note are that some of the sources below have closing dates and therefore applying late may mean that you are unable to access financial assistance. If you are unsure what financial assistance may be available to you, please contact the Student Finance team.

Source Details

Care to Learn Scheme
Northern Regional College Reception or Student Finance Office - Ballymena or Newtownabbey

If you have care of a child then you may be able to get help with childcare and travel costs. This fund is administered through the College.  The child carer must be a registered childminder, preschool group, day nursery, out of hour’s school club or other registered provider. Costs are subject to a weekly maximum. Age Range: For students aged between 16 and 20 at the start of the course.

Northern Regional College Reception

This award is means-tested on household income and students may receive payment of £30 per week. You could get EMA if:

  • You are aged between 16-19 years old on 1st July prior to the start of your course
  • You have not already received the maximum allowance for EMA
  • Your household income is £20,500 or less, if a younger sibling is in the household the threshold is £22,500
  • You are doing at least 15 hours of guided learning at the College
  • You meet the residence and nationality rules set out for EMA
  • Other eligibility criteria apply to the scheme and this is detailed in the Application Pack which may be obtained from the College.

EMA is for students on FE courses only. Age Range: For students aged between 16 and 19 on or between 2nd July and 1st July.

Further Education Part-time Assistance

Means-tested tuition fee costs and a means-tested grant for books and related costs. There is a closing date for applications which is usually the end of September so please contact the Education Authority as early as you can.  Late applications will not be considered.  Age Range: Students must be 19 or over on 1st July.

Further Education Full-time Assistance

This is a means-tested grant for full-time students and usually has a closing date. FE grants range in value depending on household income. There is a closing date for applications which is usually the end of September so please contact the Education Authority as soon as you can.  Late applications will not be considered.  Age Range: Students must be 19 or over on 1st July.

Travel Pass
Education Authority www.eani.org.uk

Other criteria and age restrictions may apply and you should contact your local Education Authority for further information.  Applications Forms must be completed online on the Education Authority website.  Age Range: Students must be under 19 on 1st July and on a full-time FE course.

Access to Learning Fund
Northern Regional College Student Finance Office - Ballymena or Newtownabbey

The College Access to Learning Funds are available to assist students dealing with financial hardship. Assistance from the Access to Learning fund is means tested and students must have explored other sources of funding before applying. Application forms for the Access to Learning Fund are available from reception. If you are currently in receipt of any benefits you should check with the benefits office before applying for financial assistance as this may affect your benefits.  Age Range: Students must be 18 or over on 1st July prior tot he start of the course and meet the residency regulations

Higher Education Assistance Full-time Grant/Loan

Students undertaking HNDs, degrees and foundation degrees etc may apply for help from Student Finance NI for assistance with a tuition fee loan, a maintenance loan and a maintenance grant. Student Finance NI will carry out the financial assessment and decide how much funding is available to you.  Age Range: Students aged 18+

Higher Education Part-time Grant/Loan

Part-time Higher Education students, who are studying at least 25% of an equivalent full-time course, can apply for financial help. This is a means-tested grant for tuition fees and books and materials. Loans are not based on income and are repayable. For more information, check Student Finance NI.  Age Range: Students aged 18+

Childcare Assistance for Higher Education Students

Full-time students with children may qualify for extra financial help on top of the standard student finance package. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get:

  • the Childcare Grant (to help with childcare costs)
  • the Parents’ Learning Allowance (to help towards course costs)
  • help through the Support Funds (if you’re in financial difficulty)
  • Child Tax Credit

Age Range: Students aged 16+ and studying Higher Education courses

Dinner Tickets (Free School Meals)
Education Authority

Other criteria and age restrictions may apply and you should contact your local Education Authority for further information.  Age Range: Students must be under 18 on 31st July and on a full-time Further Education course

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) for Higher Education Students

DSA is designed to provide the help and assistance you may require for your studies as a direct result of a disability. This can include a long-term health condition, physical disability, mental-health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.  Age Range: There are no age restrictions for DSA however students must be completing a higher education course 

Prince's Trust Development Awards
0800 842 842
Text 'Call Me' to 07983 385418

You could potentially receive a grant of £175 to help with fees, equipment and tools.  You must apply before you start your course.  Age Range: For students aged between 16 and 30 at the start of the course.

Higher Education Bursary - Widening Participation

Northern Regional College’s vision for widening participation is that any eligible individual in its catchment area should be able to gain access to, and succeed within, higher education, irrespective of their personal or social background. At Northern Regional College, we don’t want financial considerations to stop you from applying to the College. Equally, we want to ensure that you have the financial support you need while you are here.

The College Bursary Scheme provides bursaries of up to £250 per year for students with household incomes of less than £19,203. There will be no limit to the number of bursaries available – every student who meets the eligibility criteria will receive one.

Are you eligible for a College Bursary?

If you can answer 'yes' to the following questions, it is likely that [BC1] you will be eligible for a Bursary.

Is this your first full-time higher education programme?
Is your household income less than £19,203 per year?
Are you in receipt of a full maintenance grant?
Have you consented to share information through the PN1 Form?

Care leavers should note that they will qualify for a maximum bursary as long as they receive the maximum government maintenance grant, and that their household income will not be relevant as they will have been assessed independently by Student Finance.

How and when do you apply?

The Student Loan Company (SLC) will automatically assess you for a College Bursary when you apply for a Maintenance Grant/Loan. We advise you to apply to SLC by the end of August, if possible, as processing your application takes up to 6 weeks. This would allow your bursary to be fully approved for the payment date in Semester 2 providing your attendance is satisfactory and you are making academic progress.

How and when will I know if I am going to receive a Bursary?

The SLC will inform those students who are entitled to a bursary outlining the details of payments and confirming bank details. Payment will be subject to the College successfully confirming your attendance.

Important information for continuing students

Students’ entitlement to a Bursary will be reassessed at the beginning of each academic year. There are several reasons for this, the most important being that your financial circumstances may have changed, and therefore, your eligibility.

Previous Study

For additional information you may wish to contact:

Further Education Finance Queries

Education Authority
1 Hospital Road, Omagh
028 8225 4546

Higher Education Finance Queries

Student Finance NI
0300 100 0077