Help with living costs if you're a care leaver student

Last updated: 8 June 2017

If you've been in care, you can apply for £7,625 a year to help with living costs at university. This money is called a 'Care Experienced Students Bursary'.

You don't normally pay bursarys back. If you leave your course you may have to repay some or all of the money.

You can also apply for money to help with your accommodation costs during the summer holidays.

Who can get the bursary

You can get a Care Experienced Students Bursary if you:

  • have been in the care of your local council - this includes foster care or kinship care
  • are or were aged 26 or under on the 'first day of the first academic year' of your course
  • have applied for or are returning to study an 'undergraduate level' college (HND or HNC) or university course

If you're on a placement as part of your course you may be able to apply for this bursary. Call 0300 555 0505 to find out what you're able to apply for.

How to apply

To apply for this bursary select the 'Care Experienced Student Bursary' box when you're applying for student funding.

Find out more about applying for student funding.

You need to re-apply for the bursary and other student finance every year of your course.

If you get the bursary you won't be able to apply for a student loan.

What happens next

After you've applied, you can check your application's progress by going to your online account.

If your application is successful SAAS send an 'award notice' to your online account. This will tell you how much you will get.

If you don't get this bursary

Find out how to appeal if your application isn't successful on the SAAS website.

Some universities offer financial support for care leavers and funded student accommodation. Contact your university's advice and support service for more information.

You can also try other sources of funding to help with your living costs.

Once you've started your studies, there is support and money available to help you if you have a financial emergency at university.

Further support

You can get support and independent advice from Who Cares? Scotland or Propel.