Free College Meals

Free College Meals

The Government Free College Meals scheme is available to Learners who are from low income households but is different to free school meals, so Learners may not be eligible for a free meal at college even if learners received a free meal at school.

Eligible learners will receive credits on their college ID cards to spend at any of Dudley College food outlets. The daily meal rate is £2.41 for each timetabled day in college, the credit is a daily amount and is not rolled over so any unspent credit will be cleared from ID cards and each day will start again with £2.41.

To be eligible for free meals Learners must be:

  • Aged between 16 and 18 years on 31 August 2021 or
  • Aged over 19 who are continuing on the same study programme (19+ continuers) you started before you turned 19 or
  • Have a valid Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – no income evidence is required for leaners with an EHCP however a copy must be provided to prove eligibility.

In addition to the above Learners or their parents must be receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC))
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after someone stops qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 pa

Learners can apply for free college meals, by completing a 16/18 bursary application form. All applications require recent income evidence so an assessment can be made, any application received without necessary evidence will not be processed.

All bursary and hardship fund forms are available to Dudley College learners via the student MyDudleyCollege dashboard, alternatively a direct link can be emailed to learners. Links requests should be emailed to the a student finance team at