Care leavers

UWE Cares eligibility for care leavers and how to get assessed for support. Care leavers are students who have experience of living in supported housing, local authority or foster care.

What you need to do

  1. Step 1

    Please refer to our application guidance if you need help.

  2. Step 2

    If you are a care leaver, 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.

  3. Step 3

    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.
    • You must be eligible for and taking out both the full tuition fee loan and full maintenance loan from Student Finance England, Student Finance NI or Student Finance Wales to be eligible for the UWE Cares bursary. 
    • You must be income assessed by your student finance body, and have a household income of under £25000.00 to be eligible for the UWE Cares bursary. 
    • You must tick the box that consents to share your information with UWE Bristol, otherwise we will not be able to assess you for our UWE Cares bursary. 

    The charity Become has lots of fact sheets to help care leavers apply to university. Please read these for further information and guidance.

    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.

  4. Step 4

    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.

    Accommodation opens at the end of March. The sooner you apply, the better.

    If you want to view the choices of student accommodation, please look at UWE Bristol’s accommodation options.

  5. Step 5

    We'll need to assess your eligibility and see that you're a care leaver for you to access the UWE Cares bursary and deposit waiver in UWE Bristol accommodation.

    You don’t need to apply for the bursary as it is part of our assessment. The University will assess you based on your student finance, and will contact you by email if you need to send us any information.


    If you’ve lived in foster care or supported housing as a young person, you’re eligible to access the UWE Cares pastoral support package. This includes a designated point of contact for queries, information and help to access specialist support services like wellbeing, careers and study support, events, opportunities and our regular newsletter.

    Finance and accommodation

    You may be eligible for the UWE Cares bursary and a deposit waiver in UWE Bristol accommodation if you meet the above criteria. 

    You must also:

    • be entering year one of your first undergraduate degree, studying at least 30 credits per year 
    • be assessed by student finance as having a household annual income of under £25,000 
    • not be in receipt of a full or part sponsorship (for example from an employer) for your tuition fees.

"It's nice to know someone has your back should you need help and that people really do care. Don't be afraid to make use of the UWE Cares service as it is here to help you."

Josh, care leaver

Josh care leaver

How we can help

Find out about the ways that UWE Cares can support you, from careers and social events to finance.

Types of support

If you don't meet the criteria

If you don’t meet the above criteria but have experience of living in care, contact UWE Cares by emailing We can look at cases on an individual basis.