THE mounting cost of education is not only hitting students hard but, in the face of Government cuts, colleges are also having to find new initiatives to help learners financially.

Following the rise in tuition fees up to £9,000, some school leavers have decided against attending university and have opted for a different route.

In Warrington, there is a wide range of alternative courses on offer, which can help increase students chances of gaining employment - some even have scholarships and grants to help support learners while they study.

Financial help to the tune of £2,000 is also available for eligible students studying at Warrington Collegiate’s University Centre in 2014 to 2015.

Students can apply during their first year on the programme and the scholarships will be awarded in the summer term, based on their performance.

Mark Harris, curriculum director for Higher Education, said: “Securing this funding makes studying higher education locally even more affordable. Tuition fees at Warrington Collegiate’s University Centre are lower than university.”

Decades ago there used to be only two options for college leavers - get a job or head to university but now the range of choices is more varied.

So if the thought of hefty student loan debt is too much to handle, then don’t forget to check out the other options available that might be better suited to achieving that dream job.

Scholarships are also available to students studying in further education.

Warrington Collegiate has recently launched two £1,000 arts scholarships for students in creative and performing arts.

Students applying to the Arts Centre to study creative and performing arts in September are eligible to apply for the scholarships.

Stephen Musa, curriculum manager for creative and performing arts, said: “We want to support young people who want a career in the arts by providing funding alongside their qualification to help them develop their skill and take it to the next level.”

Although the majority of students go on to study at university after completing the course, some have gone on to secure a job straight-out of the classroom.

While Priestley College does not offer courses which are specifically for full-time adult learners, for those who are over 19 by September 1 and want to continue their studies, there is no charge.