Fee Waivers

Funding courses if YOU ARE receiving benefits

It can often be possible to study whilst in receipt of certain benefits. If you intend to study full-time at college, please contact student funding for further advice regarding the relationship between your benefit entitlement and other types of student support.

Detailed below are common examples of how it can be possible to study whilst on benefit.

• Part-time Fee Waivers

• Government Funded Programmes 

If you make an application to any of the above funds, your personal and financial circumstances will be taken into account to determine eligibility. Only students who are studying at a non-advanced level (up to SCQF Level 6) can apply to the above funds.


Part-time Fee Waivers

If you receive certain state benefits such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or DLA or if you receive Working Tax Credit you may not have to pay the tuition fee for part-time day or evening class courses.

If you are unemployed it may be possible to study part-time without it affecting your benefit as long as the course you undertake is less than 16 hours per week (some students under 19 years of age are restricted to the maximum of 12 hours per week).

Generally under Income Support and Job Seekers Allowance Regulations, study is restricted to 16 guided learning hours per week (ie. times when a staff member is present to give specific guidance towards the qualification). The unemployed person must remain available for work, be actively seeking work and willing to abandon the programme of study should an employment opportunity arise.

If you are interested in studying part-time whilst in receipt of benefit it is advisable to discuss your plans with a college Student Adviser or the Benefits Agency before committing to any programme of study.

If you are eligible for a Fee Waiver please drop into the Finance Department or download the Fee Waiver Form, complete and e-mail to coursefees@ayrshire.ac.uk along with proof of eligibility. Evidence can be photographed or scanned and must be clear. If you would like guidance on what is accepted as evidence please contact the Finance Department:

Ayr Campus, Dam Park, Ayr, KA8 0EU
01292 293439

Kilmarnock Campus, Hill Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 3HY
01563 523501 Ext 8177 

Kilwinning Campus, Lauchlan Way, Kilwinning, KA13 6DE
01294 555331

To sum up course fees will be waived for certain courses where a student meets one of the following criteria:

1. You or your immediate family are in receipt of one of the following:

• Income Support

• Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

• Income Based Jobseekers Allowance

• Working Tax Credit (not Child Tax Credit)

• Housing Benefit

• Pension Credit

2. You are in receipt of one of the following:

• Carer's Allowance

• Severe Disablement Allowance

• Incapacity Benefit

• Disability Living Allowance

• Attendance Allowance

• Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

3. You or your family's income in the previous tax year is equivalent or lower than the threshold.

• Households with only one person £8,282.00

• Households consisting of a couple without children £12,395.00

• Households with dependent children £18,977.00. You must provide proof of this income.

4. You are an asylum seeker or you are the spouse or child of an asylum seeker (as defined in the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999)

5. You are in the care of a Local Authority and living in a foster home or children's home

6. You are a state school pupil undertaking college activities that form part of the school curriculum

For further information and guidelines regarding entitlement to a Fee Waiver you can contact our Student Finance Team on 01563 523501 Ext 4062 or email coursefees@ayrshire.ac.uk