Colleges will receive an extra pound;13 million this year to help with childcare, maintenance allowances and other learning support needs.
The Learning and Skills Council approved a 15 per cent increase in the Learner Support Funds this week, taking the global pot from pound;89m last year to pound;102m this year.
The key changes in the fund are a 20 per cent increase in support for adult learners and more help with childcare needs. There will also be cash increases of 10 to 20 per cent for education maintenance allowances.
All 17-year-olds in the 51 pilot EMA areas will be entitled to this support from the autumn. There is also a 5 per cent increase in access funds and residential bursaries.
The LCS circular outlining the changes confirms changes provisionally announced in April. Responses are due by September 12.