In England, the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) fund FE courses. They publish
fee assessment guidance on who they will allow to be charged a 'home' fee:
- EFA funds eligible students who are aged 16-18 years (excluding
those who are on Apprenticeship courses) on 31 August in the funding
year in which they start their course; and
- SFA funds students who are aged 19 years or over (and those who
are on Apprenticeship courses, aged 16-18 years) on 31 August in the
funding year in which they start their course; and
- a 'funding year' runs from 1 August in one year to 31 July in the calendar year which immediately follows. If you are 18 years old on 1 August prior to when your course starts (eg your lectures begin on 1 October) but you become 19 years old before 31 August then you will be funded by SFA not EFA.
If you are aged 19 years or over, and studying a FE course (or aged 16-18 years and studying on an Apprenticeship course) at a FE college in England in the 2015/16 academic year, then under the SFA rules you are eligible as a home student if you come within one, or more, of the categories outlined below.
SPECIAL NOTE regarding your 2016/17 fee status:
The SFA has changed the eligibility criteria for 2016/17 onwards, by publishing a new set of Funding Rules. Currently, this means that fewer categories will exist from 1 August 2016:
- However, we have not yet amended the information below to take account of these changes. Do not rely on the categories below if you want to determine your likely fee status for the 2016/17 academic year.
- A slightly revised set of the new Rules (Version 2) has now also been published by SFA. The provisions of categories 5, 7, 8, and 9 [below], were not included in Version 1. However, in Version 2 the provisions of category 9 (for asylum seekers) were reinstated and, we understand, will now be retained for 2016/17.
- Additionally, the provisions of categories 2, 3, and 6 [below], are now also likely to remain in place but with slightly stricter requirements added to them.
However, as in previous years, it is very important to keep an eye out for further changes in the run-up to the beginning of the new academic year. We will update our category information (below) for 2016/17 as soon as possible, so please keep checking this page.