Care Leavers

Each year, thousands of care leavers go on to achieve amazing things at university. Applying to university is a big step for anyone, but if you have been in care, you may have extra questions or concerns.

Universities and colleges recognise this and often provide additional support to young people who have spent time in care to make the process less daunting, so don’t be afraid to get in touch and ask what help is available – from choosing a course to applying to university and settling in.  

Read on to learn more about the support available on your journey to higher education and the start of an amazing future! 

Support for care leavers

Universities offer varying packages of support for care leavers, and sometimes this support is extended to care experienced students.

It’s best to check directly with the university about what help and support they offer. You can visit their website (or type the university name plus ‘care leaver’ into your internet browser to find the pages more easily). 

You can also compare the support that’s offered by different universities on the Propel website (run by Become, the Care Leaver charity). 

Support could include: 

  • having a named contact who can help you apply
  • help with your UCAS application
  • signposting to the financial support that’s available 
  • support when you’re getting ready to move in
  • the offer of year-round accommodation 


Some universities offer pre-entry support for care experienced students, which can include taster days, summer schools, and one-to-one meetings with members of staff and students who are studying subjects they are interested in.

Some universities are even able to offer some academic support to help with studies!

The earlier you contact the universities, the more you can access support and the greater your chances of being successful in getting into university and having a smooth transition. 

Where can I get more help and support?

  • Coram Voice – Am I a care leaver?
  • UCAS Care Leavers – Information about making your application.
  • The Complete University Guide – A guide to what support you can expect as a care leaver.
  • Propel – Compare support available for care leavers at different universities.
  • Unite Foundation – Information on the scholarship scheme available to care leavers.
  • Standalone – Support and advice if you’re not a care leaver but are estranged from your parents and are considering university.

Are you a care leaver?

Are you wondering what support and advice might be available to you as you look to move from school to college, or university, or on to a training programme?

The Kent & Medway Care Leaver Progression Partnership has a host of useful information on what’s on offer to care leavers.

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