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Care Leavers and Estranged Students

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Here at Staffordshire University we're committed to supporting students who come from a care background as well as those with little or no family support. We’ve signed up to the Stand Alone Pledge to publicly declare our support for estranged students. We'll provide you with support and guidance throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We support UK undergraduate students who either:

  • Have experience of living in supported housing, have been looked after by a local authority or been in foster care.
  • Are permanently estranged or separated from their parents.

Who is defined as a Care Leaver?

A young person under the age of 25 when they enrol onto a course at Staffs who:

  • Has spent at least 13 weeks in care (e.g. foster care or childrens home) since the age of 14 and were in care on their 16th birthday.


  • Was privately fostered until the age of 16 or were ‘looked after’ until they were subject to a Special Guardianship Order.

If you’re not sure if this applies to you or are unsure what you may be eligible for please email the Student Support & Experience Team 

Who is defined as an Estranged Student?

A young person under the age of 25 when they enrol onto a course at Staffs who:

  • Has no communicative relationship with either of their living biological parents AND
  • Has been assessed as estranged with Student Finance

If you've not yet been assessed by Student Finance and would like support with this please  email the Student Support & Experience Team 

How will we support you?

We’re committed to helping you succeed with your studies. Our aim is to help you settle in and make the most of the many opportunities Staffs has to offer.

Before you start your studies

We’ll support you with:

  • Help with the UCAS application process and advice during your transition to University.
  • Help arranging accommodation for the whole year, including university holidays if you require it.
  • Advice on who to contact at the University if you need advice on finance, learning or disability support and everything else between.

During your studies

We’ll support you with:

Dedicated Advice

There are many complex challenges that we as a University recognise you may be facing which may be different from other students. Commencing a course at University is both an exciting and stimulating experience, but can also be a time of anxiety and confusion. We can offer ongoing support and impartial advice, and can signpost you to other University and external support services in order to meet your needs during this time.

For further advice and guidance contact the Student Support & Experience (Money & Guidance) Team.

Careers support

  • Access to our Careers Connect Team. Our advisors can help you with everything from CV building and interview training, to getting work experience and temporary jobs from our recruitment and employment agency, Unitemps.

  • Access to the Employability Fund, which provides support towards things like travel to interviews. You can apply to the Fund for up to 6 months after you graduate.

  • The opportunity to apply for a job as a Student Ambassador and other jobs advertised through Unitemps and our Students' Union.

  • On-going careers support even after you graduate.

Accommodation support

  • Accommodation that suits you, including guaranteed accommodation on site for 365 days a year.

  • On-site support through our Residence Life Assistants who can assist with any queries and will be on hand to help you settle into living in halls of residence.

  • Support to find good standard affordable private housing through our own lettings’ agency, Greenpad.


Our bursary offer for you...

You’ll receive a bursary for each year you study with us, providing certain eligibility criteria is met.  If you qualify for ‘home’ fee status and meet the eligibility criteria set out below * you’ll be entitled to a £1000 bursary from the University.  The bursary is paid to you in November and March.  This is on top of your normal undergraduate student funding package from Student Finance England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

*Students commencing courses in academic year 2023/24 will get a bursary worth £1,000 for each year they study and pay full tuition fees.

Am I eligible for a bursary?

To receive the bursary, you must:

  • Be an undergraduate ‘home’ fee status student, studying at Staffordshire University *, on a full-time or sandwich course, paying the full tuition fee either yourself or through a sponsor (such as the NHS for some health courses).
  • (*If you are studying at a franchise college or university please contact your college/university directly to enquire about any bursaries they may offer e.g. South Staffordshire College, City of Stoke Sixth Form College, Burton and South Derbyshire College, CECOS College, Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group etc)
  • Have met the definition criteria of a Care Leaver or Estranged student as detailed on this page
  • Be 25 or under when you start the course.
  • Be entitled to funding for fees and living costs from Student Finance England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • Be in receipt of the full tuition fee loan or comparable funding. 

How do I apply for a bursary?

If you ticked the box on your UCAS application or indicated during online enrolment you’re a care leaver, we’ll contact you to confirm your eligibility for the bursary.

Similarly, if you indicated during online enrolment that you’re estranged from your parents we’ll contact you and ask you to set up a consent to share with Student Finance so we can confirm this.  

Student Finance Information on Estrangement 2024/2025:

If you have not done so already you need to complete a Confirmation of Estrangement Form to confirm that you’re irreconcilably estranged from your parent(s).  To be considered irreconcilably estranged from your parents, you won’t have had any written or verbal contact with either parent and this is unlikely to change. Usually, for a period of at least twelve months, but Student Finance will consider all cases.

What support will I receive after I graduate?

As a Staffs Alumnus you’ll be eligible for the following:

  • Alumni discount of up to 25% against a range of postgraduate awards (conditions apply).  
  • Access to IT and Library membership for an annual fee
  • Lifelong access to our Career Studio where you can access help with applications, interviews and career planning