COURSES could be axed at Huddersfield Technical College because of a cash crisis.
The national Learning and Skills Council has proposed cutting £900,000 from the college's budget for the next two years.
It is planning to cut the money it gives colleges for students aged 19 and over.
The LSC is instead focusing its cash on courses for 16 to 18-year-olds.
College bosses have just heard the shock news and are now reviewing all provision for students over 19.
This means some courses could be cancelled.
College principal Chris Sadler said the news came out of the blue.
He said: "This is a massive blow. Courses and staff at risk have already been told about the possibilities of course closures.
"But, as yet, no final decisions have been made."
The college will review courses using LSC guidelines - giving them either high, medium or low priority.
Mr Sadler said that over the past two years the college had lost cash for 3,000 students aged over 19.
He said the move would undo several years of work to encourage mature students into education.
He added: "The Government's own life-long learning policy is under threat, owing to the way it manages college money for students 19 and over.
"The college receives most of its cash from LSC and it is difficult for us to resist these pressures.
"The college has tried to cushion cutbacks as much possible. We still plan to keep any course reductions to the absolute minimum.
"If courses have to close and any issues of continuation arose we would endeavour to allow those students to complete their courses."
Mr Sadler has arranged talks with the LSC.
Students on the City and Guilds creative studies programme were told on Wednesday that their course was at risk.
Despite reassurances, the students - most aged between 20 and 65 - are worried about whether they will complete their qualifications.
Sandra Tremaine, 62, of Rawthorpe, is in her first year of the creative studies soft furnishings course.
Her 62-year-old husband, David, is a second-year student on the creative studies upholstery course.
Mrs Tremaine said: "Most of us do it because we get a lot of satisfaction out of it. But there are young people who are hoping to make it into a business.
"It's not just pupils who will be affected either. The staff could be made redundant.
"It's very disappointing. It's not the college's fault - but I'm disgusted."
Second-year upholstery student Karen Davis is also angry.
Ms Davis, 49, from Halifax, is partially sighted and said the course had helped her gain friends and confidence.
She added: "It gives us friendship and camaraderie.
"I am furious, not just for students but for the staff who are wonderful.
"It's not the college's fault. Prime Minister Tony Blair promised education, education, education.
"Where is that now?
"We are not prepared to go without a fight."
Students are planning to write to Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman to demand action on the issue.