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Are you worried about the costs of studying at college?

Apply for a College Bursary

The bursary fund aims to help students with the essential costs of participating in their study programme and therefore make education accessible for all. At St Brendan’s, our 16-19 bursary provides support with travel costs, course specific kits/trips and College meals, supporting families on lower incomes.

Students will need to do a new application for each academic year. Year 12 Students will be invited to apply for the next academic year after May Half term, so approved bursaries are in place for September. Applications from new enrolling students are given priority during September.

Who can apply?

If your parents/carers earnings are less than £30000 net per year, or they are out of work you could qualify. By net we mean the amount after tax, national insurance and pension have been deducted.

We accept applications from households where:

  • Parents/carers earn less than £30000 net after deductions. You may qualify even if your household receives additional benefits such as Universal Credit as our assessment is based on earnings only. 
  • Parent /carers are not working and are in receipt of non-working benefits such as Income Support / Job Seekers Allowance / Universal credit. 
  • Parents/carers are employed or self-employed and have a take home pay of less than £30000 after deductions but do not claim any top up benefits. 
  • Students that are in care or care leavers.

What can I get help with?  

  • Free Bus travel within the Bristol and West of England area or free College coach travel.  The choice of travel is up to you and you can choose the most convenient option depending on where you live
  • Help with compulsory course kits for subjects such as Art, Design, Textiles, Maths and Music Technology
  • Printing allocation for certain subjects such as Fine Art, Photography, Product Design and Graphics
  • Payment of compulsory trips
  • Course specific Music and singing lessons
  • Free College meals (eligibility based on Government Guidelines)

How to apply

New Students will be able apply after they have enrolled and have a live profile on our system (this could take a few hours). At the start of the new academic year, we are very busy assessing applications and there will be delays. Get your application in as soon as possible so that you are at the front of the queue. Applications are dealt with strictly in date order.

Existing students can apply at any time in the academic year.

All applications need to be submitted online using PayMyStudent. To create an account, students will need their Student email address. The link to apply is as follows:

Students will need to provide some basic details confirming who lives in the household and will then be asked to upload some documents providing details of household income. The documents that we need to see will be dependent on what type of income your family receives.

What documents do I need to apply?

This does vary depending on individual household circumstances. The PayMyStudent system will prompt you to upload the documents that we need to see.

If your parents/carers receive any of the following benefits we will need to see all pages of their most recent award letter. The document provided needs to be dated within the last year. 

  • Income Support
  • Employment Support Allowance (income based)
  • Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
  • Pension Credit  

If your parents/carers are in receipt of Child Tax Credit and or Working Tax credit we will need:

  • The latest Tax Credit award letter. This must be dated April 2023 or later. ALL pages must be provided. If only partial pages are uploaded, this is likely to delay your application. An example of a Tax Credit letter is shown below.

If your parents/carers are in receipt of Universal Credit you need to provide their last 3 monthly statements. We need to see the actual statements and not just the summary of payments. In order to obtain the statements you will need to:

  • Log in to your Universal Credit online account
  • Go to ‘Payments’
  • Click on the payment dates for the last 3 months and save each statement as a pdf or capture a series of screen shots if doing from a smartphone (pdf is better if you can) 


We need to see the whole statement from beginning to end. If doing via a screenshot this will involve doing several screenshots per monthly statement. A lot of applications are held up when only parts of the Universal credit statement are provided.

We need to have 3 months complete statements even if all payments are the same. An example of what we need is shown below:

If your household does not claim benefits but has an income below £30000 (after tax, national insurance and pension) we will ask you to upload:

  • Last 3 months full bank statements showing all transactions
  • Last 3 months pay slips
  • Latest P60
  • If self-employed we will need HMRC confirmation of income level in the form of SA302’s /Tax returns. 

Bursary for Vulnerable Groups

We also offer bursary support for students in defined vulnerable groups as per the guidance here:  16 to 19 Bursary Fund guide 2023 to 2024 academic year - GOV.UK (

We will ask for confirmation of care status from your social worker.  You could be eligible for up to £1200 to be used towards the essential costs of your studies (subject to terms and conditions). 

Partial Bursary (for students travelling by coach only)  

A partial bursary may also be available for students living in a household where net earned income is between £30,000 and £55,000 per annum. The partial bursary applies to coach costs only. The amount of the discount will take the total coach payments down to the cost of an annual First Bus Bristol bus pass (cost 2023-24 is £430) meaning a saving of around £470.

You will need to apply in the same way as a full bursary application, but will need to reflect household income level as over £30000. Please note that applications for a partial bursary will not be looked at until at least October 2023.

Please ensure that the instructions on the coach application form are followed. An initial payment will need to be made by BACS to secure a place and the first direct debit payment made. Further payments will be adjusted thereafter if a bursary application is successful.

Other information

All bursary awards are dependent on you meeting the St Brendan’s College expectations in terms of attendance, behaviour and progress in your studies. These expectations are made clear when you start at College. We have the right to withdraw bursary support if attendance goes below 90%.


If you have any questions or need any help with your application form please email: