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Applications for 2014/15 available now!
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Special Support Grant

The Special Support Grant pays up to £3,475 depending on your household income and is intended to help with additional course related costs such as books, equipment, travel or childcare.

Entitlement is calculated in the same way as the Maintenance Grant but will not affect the amount of Maintenance Loan you may be entitled to receive. Jobcentre Plus or your local authority’s Housing Benefit section will not take account of the Special Support Grant when assessing any claim you make for income related benefits.


You may be eligible for a Special Support Grant if you:

  • are a lone parent;
  • have a partner who is also a student; one or both of you is responsible for a child or young person under 20 who is in full-time non-advanced education;
  • have a disability and qualify for the disability premium or severe disability premium;
  • are deaf and qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowances;
  • have been treated as incapable of work for a continuous period of at least 28 weeks;
  • are from abroad and are entitled to an Income Support Urgent Cases Payment because you are temporarily without funds for a period of up to six weeks;
  • are waiting to go back to a course having taken agreed time out from that course due to an illness or caring responsibility that has now ended;
  • are aged 60 or older.

To apply, print off the Application letter for Special Support Grant and send it to your Education and Library Board (ELB) along with evidence.


Some examples of the evidence you may send include:

  • a passport or birth certificate to prove your age;
  • a letter from your college or university;
  • a copy of your tax credit award;
  • a copy of a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions which show you receive benefit as a lone parent;
  • a letter, on company header paper, from a professional person who knows your circumstances and can confirm that you are a lone parent. A professional person can be, for example, a doctor, lawyer, teacher, police officer or minister of religion.

If you are not sure of your Education and Library Board’s address you can use our ELB address finder.

You should complete your online application to ensure you receive your full entitlement to Student Finance.

Please note, if you are eligible to receive a Special Support Grant you will not be eligible for a Maintenance Grant