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 as a child 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
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
- not be in receipt of a full or part sponsorship (for example, from an employer) for your tuition fees
- be receiving both the full tuition fee loan and a full maintenance loan from Student Finance England (gov.uk website), Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Finance NI or Student Finance Wales.
There is no age limit for care leavers or care experienced to receive the UWE Cares bursary.
If you are a current student who wants to be assessed for the UWE Cares bursary and accommodation support, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Please refer to our application guidance if you need help.
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 email@example.com.
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.
- 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.
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 England (gov.uk website)
- Student Awards Agency for Scotland
- Student Finance NI
- Student Finance Wales.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assess your eligibility for our bursary independently.
We will assess you as a care leaver based on your Student Finance assessment.
We will contact you by email if you need to send us any information.
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:
- from 21 March 2022 you can create an account and register your interest in UWE Bristol's accommodation options
- from 10 June 2022 you can select your preferences and submit your application.
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.
- Coram Voice can help you understand what you are entitled to.
- Am I a Care Leaver? flowchart.
- Search for your council/local authority's individual offer.
- Find out about your legal right to 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:
- UCAS guide about applying to university if you are a care leaver or care experienced.
- Call the Become care advice telephone line for help and advice about education, housing issues, money worries and more.
- Read the EaCES Handbook, which is written by Estranged and Care-Experienced Students (EaCES), to find out more about applying to university and the support you can access.
- Student Finance England short guide to applying for student finance as a care leaver.
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