Care leavers

UWE Cares eligibility for care leavers and how to get assessed for support.

What you need to do

  1. Step 1

    Please refer to our application guidance if you need help.

  2. Step 2

    The quicker you apply for your student finance the better, as this will help us assess your eligibility for financial support through the UWE Cares bursary and 365 accommodation.

    If you’re applying for student finance as a care leaver, you’ll also want to be assessed as an independent student. The charity Become has lots of fact sheets to help care leavers apply to university.

    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.
  3. Step 3

    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.

  4. Step 4

    We’ll need to assess your eligibility and see that you’re a care leaver for you to access the UWE Cares Bursary and 365-accommodation support.

    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, you’re eligible to access the UWE Cares pastoral support package. This includes a designated point of contact for queries, help to access other services like health and wellbeing, careers and study support, social events, drop-ins and our monthly newsletter.

    Finance and accommodation

    You may be eligible for the UWE Cares Bursary and 365-day accommodation support if:

    • you’ve been in the care of or been given accommodation by the local authority (council) for at least 12 weeks between ages of 11 and 16, or
    • you’ve lived in local authority (council) supported housing between ages 16 and 18 and
    • you haven’t returned to live with your parents since leaving care or supported housing.

    You must also:

    • be entering year one of an undergraduate degree, studying at least 30 credits per year
    • be entitled to funding for fees and living costs from Student Finance England, Wales, or Northern Ireland
    • be entitled to and be taking out the full tuition fee loan or comparable funding
    • 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.

    There’s no age limit, so care leavers of any age may be able to access the UWE Cares Bursary and 365-day accommodation if you meet the above eligibility.

"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 look at cases on an individual basis.