What is Discretionary Learner Support?
If you’re aged 19 or over, on a further education course and facing financial hardship, you could get Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) to help with costs. DLS can be used to help pay for:
- childcare (if you’re 20 or over - if you’re 19, apply for Care to Learn instead)
- accommodation and travel
- course materials and equipment
- other hardship needs
Am I eligible?
To get Discretionary Learner Support (DLS) you must be:
- 19 or over
- studying at a learning provider funded by the Skills Funding Agency (check with your college)
You can claim if you also get other grants and funds, including:
- Professional and Career Development Loans
- Care to Learn (although you can’t get DLS for childcare costs)
- New Deal for Lone Parents
- Disability Living Allowance
You can’t claim if you’re:
- getting full student finance for higher education
- on a learndirect course
- on a New Deal programme (except New Deal for Lone Parents)
- on an apprenticeship training scheme
- on a work-based learning course
- on an Adult & Community Learning course
- an asylum seeker aged over 19
How do I claim?
Apply directly to your learning provider - each has its own application process.
Speak to your student support services to find out what’s available and for help with applying.