Care leavers or care experienced

UWE Cares eligibility and how we assess you for support.

If you have lived in supported housing, local authority (council) or foster care for any duration before you turned 18 and you are a Home UK undergraduate student, you can access support from UWE Cares as a care leaver or care-experienced student.

How to apply for the UWE Cares bursary and accommodation support

  1. Step 1

    To be eligible for our financial and accommodation support as a care leaver or care experienced, you must:

    • be a Home UK undergraduate student
    • be able to evidence your status as a care leaver or care experienced
    • be studying your first undergraduate degree, studying at least 30 credits per year
    • be income assessed by your Student Finance body as having a household income under £25,000.

    There is no age limit for care leavers or care experienced to receive the UWE Cares bursary.

    Current students

    If you are a current student who wants to be assessed for the UWE Cares bursary and accommodation support, please email us at

    I don't meet the UWE Cares bursary eligibility. Can I still access support from UWE Cares?

    Any Home UK undergraduate student that has ever lived in care, for any duration of time, can access our non-financial support, which includes a designated point of contact, information, opportunities and events.

    UWE Cares support

    If you don’t meet the bursary eligibility and have experience of living in care, contact us at and we can assess your circumstances on an individual basis. 

  2. Step 2

    Please refer to our application guidance if you need help.

  3. Step 3

    If you are a care leaver or are care experienced, it's important that you let UWE Cares know you are coming to study with us at UWE Bristol. This helps us make sure you have all the info you need to access support and events when you begin your course. Email the team at

  4. Step 4

    The quicker you apply for student finance the better. This will help UWE Bristol to assess your eligibility for our UWE Cares bursary and for deposit waivers in UWE Bristol accommodation options.

    Checklist for applying for student finance

    • You need to be assessed by student finance as a care leaver - make sure you tick the care leaver box on your application.
    • Make sure your household income is assessed by Student Finance.

    Student Finance has created a short guide to applying for student finance as a care leaver (PDF). 

    You can apply for financial support from your funding body:

    Student finance care leaver definitions

    Student finance bodies will define you as a care leaver if:

    • you’re under 25 on the first day of your course
    • you’ve been in the care of or been given accommodation by the local authority (council) for at least 13 weeks before the age of 16
    • you haven’t been reconciled with your parents between leaving care and starting your course.

    If you're older than 25 years old, student finance bodies will not assess you as a care leaver. There is no age limit for our care leaver bursary, so if this sounds like you please email and we will assess your eligibility for our bursary independently.

  5. Step 5

    We will assess you for our support based on the eligibility criteria above. We will contact you by email if you need to send us any information.

  6. Step 6

    If you are eligible for the UWE Cares bursary, you will also be eligible for UWE Cares accommodation support.

    When you choose UWE Bristol as your firm choice on UCAS, you’ll receive an email from our Admissions team inviting you to apply for student accommodation.

    Applications for UWE Bristol's accommodation options will open on 10 June 2023.

    We will give you more information about applying for accommodation when you contact us.

You must complete all of the above actions to be assessed for the UWE Cares bursary and accommodation support.

Your legal right to support from your Council

If you have experience of living in care and are under 25 years old, you may be legally entitled to further support from your local council/local authority's Children's Services. This may include additional financial support. 

You can also get information and advice direct from Coram Voice's Always Heard service free:

Guidance for prospective students

If you're thinking about studying at university and you are a care leaver or care experienced, these resources can help:

Please tick the care leaver box on your UCAS application. This will help universities to offer you extra support.


"From the students we’ve spoken to at various universities, I’d say the support UWE offers is stand out excellent. Your students all spontaneously gave glowing feedback about the wonderful support they receive."

Children in Care, charity

Children in Care charity

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