Going to university - care leavers
We will make sure that you have support to apply to go to university including being able to visit university open days and any interviews that you have.
Funding Higher Education
All young people applying for Higher Education need to make an application through the student finance system which is designed so that no money is required upfront to start at university. The finance available is a maintenance grant which does not have to be repaid and a maintenance loan and a tuition fee loan which do have to be repaid.
Loans and grants from Student Finance England for living costs are means-tested. For young people leaving care it is highly likely that you will be classed as independent and so will be eligible for the maximum amount of financial support available through the student finance system.
Many universities have student support officers assisting care leavers in higher education.
Most higher education institutions will offer their own financial support through bursaries and scholarships. Each institution will have their own eligibility criteria but this often includes care leavers. Bursaries and scholarship payments do not have to be repaid. Your personal advisor will help you to find any grants, bursaries and scholarships that you might be eligible for and will help you to apply.
Bursary for Higher Education
We will pay a Higher Education Care Leaver’s Bursary of £2,000 per year. Usually this is paid to you each fortnight but if you would like it paid to you in a different way please talk to your personal advisor.
We do expect you to get a job during the summer holiday so that you are able to meet your own living costs and so that you have a bit of extra spending money when you are at university studying.
We will support you to do a budget plan.
If you would like to stay living with your carers whilst going to university then this will need to be agreed in your Pathway Plan. We would still expect you to apply for the maintenance grant and loan to pay towards your rent.
If you want to live independently in student halls or a student house then we will look at whether there is any shortfall between your maintenance grant, student loan and your accommodation and living costs. If there is any shortfall in what you need then we will provide the funding that you need.
We will make sure that you have somewhere to live in the holidays. This might be back with your previous carer if that is what you and they want, or giving you money to be able to rent somewhere either in your university town or back in Herefordshire depending on what you would prefer. This will need to be planned and agreed in advance in your Pathway Plan.