From next month colleges with students from the 20 per cent of postcodes that qualify will receive a special premium payment to recognise the extra costs they incur in complying with the Government's agenda of widening participation.
This is the first stage in devising a new funding element which will support colleges in attracting students from other under-represented groups.
David Wann, the council's diretor of funding and deputy chief executive, said:
"Colleges face additional costs in attracting, retaining and supporting students from socially excluded backgrounds."
The funding council has also moved to meet another long-standing complaint from colleges about the lack of transparency in the calculation of Government grant.
For the first time the grant letter for the year beginning in August will spell out full details of all colleges' calculations which will be made available to every college. The letter is due to be issued on April 26.