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Care leavers

Leaving care and entering higher education can be a challenge. We’re here to support you all the way, from applying through to graduation and finding a job.

Helping care leavers to apply

Here are just some of the ways we can help.

  • Application: we offer support for your UCAS application, including personal statements. We can also help you improve your interview skills.
  • Finance: we can get support from other organisations, such as securing benefits available to you.
  • Attend events: we help you attend our Care Leaver Summer School and subject-specific taster days. We can also help with the cost of attending an Open Day and/or interview if you're from Kent, Medway or Greater London.
  • Answer your questions: we can answer your questions about the transition from school or college into higher education.

On-course support for care leavers

Once you become a student, how do we support you?

  • Bursaries: we offer a Care Leaver Bursary (subject to terms).
  • Mentor: your undergraduate mentor provides confidential support and guidance and answers your questions.
  • Support from our Care Leaver Coordinator helps you to succeed in your studies.
  • Year-round accommodation: you are welcome to stay over university holidays. While some accommodation is used for events during the summer, you'll be able to live somewhere that isn't used or move to different accommodation.

According to The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, a care leaver is someone who has been in the care of the local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 16.

Financial support

What sources of financial support are available for care leavers?

Local authority bursary and support

A local authority bursary of £2,000 is available for all eligible care leavers entering higher education. Your local authority may pay this in a lump sum or in instalments.

Local authorities must also support you with accommodation and other costs related to entering higher education. You can discuss with your local authority what they offer alongside the bursary.

Undergraduate loans

Full-time undergraduate students can apply to Student Finance England for a tuition fee loan and a maintenance loan and grant for general living costs.

Whether you qualify for the grant will depend on your circumstances. You may be required to provide a letter from your local authority to confirm your previous care arrangements.

Care Leaver Bursary

The University of Greenwich provides young care leavers with a bursary of £1,000 a year for up to three years, plus £100 towards the cost of graduation. This bursary is not means-tested, but you must be in receipt of full student support. See eligibility criteria.

You may also be entitled to a number of additional awards.

Access to Learning Fund

This means-tested fund provides additional support for students who face challenging circumstances to help them remain and succeed in higher education. If you find yourself in difficulty, one of our finance advisers can help you to apply.