Further Education

19+ Advanced Learning Loans

Advanced Learning Loans are administered by Student Finance England (SFE), a service provided by the Student Loans Company. Advanced Learning Loans have been introduced by the UK government to help with the costs of a course at a college or training provider in England.

The qualifications obtained trough Advanced Learning Loans can help people to progress in their chosen career, or even move into a totally new career. The benefits of these loans can mean improved job prospects, career progression in your current job and higher wages.

Through the Advanced Learning Loan, the applicant can access only support to cover the tuition fee and is fully refundable after finishing the course and earn over a certain level (Threshold).  The amount you can get depends on your course, the fees charged by your college or training organisation and maximum amounts set by the government. You can take out a loan for the maximum amount to cover your fee or you can pay all or part of the fee yourself. The fee for your course will be set by your college or training organisation. They’ll confirm the cost and the amount that can be covered by a loan before you enrol.

You will not receive the loan it will be paid directly to your learning and skills provider or the local college/learning provider on your behalf.

Progress to Higher Education

If you did not gain the traditional qualifications required to progress to Higher Education when you were at school, such as A levels or Baccalaureate now you have the chance to apply for an Advanced Learning Loan and progress to Higher Education without any previous qualifications. Courses like Access to Higher education and Level 3 courses will give you the possibility to gain access to Higher Education.


Whether you qualify for an Advanced Learning Loan depends on your:

  • Your age
  • Your nationality and residence status
  • Previous study
  • Your course
  • Your institution

To apply you must be 19 or older on the first day of your course. There are no upper age limits to apply for an Advanced Learning Loan.

To apply, you must:

  • Be a UK / EU national or a family member of one;
  • An EU applicant must be ordinarily resident in the UK or elsewhere in the EEA and/or Switzerland for the 3 years immediately before the 1st September of the year in which you start your course (you can ignore any short absences, such as holidays).
  • Non-UK nationals must have settled status on the first day of the first academic year of the course – which could be 1 September, 1 January, 1 April or 1 July.
  • International students can also apply if they have been resident in the EU for the last 3 years or have been a resident in the UK for the 5 years prior to the start of their course, with an immigration status that allows them to stay in the UK, with no restrictions.


You may also be eligible if you:

  • Are a refugee;
  • Have humanitarian protection (as a result of a failed application for asylum);
  • Are a migrant worker;
  • Are the child of a Swiss national or Turkish worker who is working in the UK;
  • under humanitarian protection or a relative of someone who has been granted it;
  • not a UK national but you’ve lived in the UK for at least 20 years (or at least half of your life);
  • a serving member of the UK armed forces (or their spouse or civil partner or a dependent parent living with them);

If you are planning to access at any time later an undergraduate or post-graduate loan, those will not be affected by the presence of an Advanced Learning Loan.

Courses covered could include A levels, Access to Higher Education Diploma and Qualifications from level 3 to 6.

The institution you’re studying at must be in the UK and either:

  • publicly funded (paid for by the government); or
  • privately funded but running individual courses that receive public funding;