New information and resources for Estranged and Care Leaver students


We’ve now published important updates, new information and resources to better equip you when giving advice and talking to students who qualify for student finance as estranged from their parents, or who are care leavers.

Estranged students

A student may qualify as estranged if they have little or no contact with their parents and this isn't likely to change.

They may be estranged if:

  • they’re living with friends, in supported accommodation, or with other family members (aunts/uncles/grandparents)
  • they’ve only ever known one of their parents and they’re now deceased
  • they don’t have a relationship with their biological parents and may not have received any emotional or financial support over a length of time

They may also qualify if they have very limited contact with their parent(s) for specific reasons, such as keeping in touch with a sibling.

Care leavers

In relation to student finance, a care leaver is defined as a young person who meets all of the below criteria:

If they started their course on or after 1 August 2018, they can apply for student finance as a care leaver if:

  • they’ve been in the care of, or been given accommodation by their local authority
  • they were in care for at least 13 weeks
  • their time in care ended after they turned 14

If they started their course before 1 August 2018, they can apply for student finance as a care leaver if:

  • they’ve been in the care of or been given accommodation by their local authority
  • they were in care for at least 13 weeks
  • their time in care ended before they turned 16
  • they have not reconciled with their parents since leaving care

A student’s application will always be assessed according to their own individual circumstances.

We’ve created a short guide to applying for student finance as a care leaver which you can pass to students.

Important information for students who qualify as care leavers

And we’ve done the same for applying for student finance as estranged.

Important information for estranged students

The Confirmation of Estrangement Form is also available.

Confirmation of estrangement form