Help with summer rent if you're a care leaver student

Last updated: 8 June 2017

If you've been in care, you can apply for up to £105 a week towards your accommodation during your summer holidays from college or university. This money is called a 'Care Experienced Accommodation Grant'.

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

You may also be able to get help with your living costs at university.

Who can get the grant

You can get a Care Experienced Accommodation Grant if you:

  • have been in the care of a local council - this includes foster care or kinship care
  • are aged 26 or under on the 'first day of the first academic year' of your course
  • are studying an 'undergraduate' course at college (HND or HNC) or at university

You can't get this grant and Housing Benefit - you would need to choose one or the other. You can get advice about which option is best for you from Citizen's Advice.

You can't get this grant for the summer before you start university or the summer after you graduate.

How to apply

You'll be sent an application form for this grant in your second term at university. You'll need to re-apply for the grant every year.

If you don't receive this application form, contact the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) on 0300 555 0505.

Find out about call charges on the GOV.UK website.

Where you live

You can apply if you plan to stay in:

  • any type of rented accommodation, for example student housing, social housing or privately rented
  • with former foster carers or kinship carers
  • with friends or relatives

The money will be paid directly to the person who owns your accommodation.

What you'll need

What you'll need to apply will depend on your circumstances:

  • if you live in social housing or private rented accommodation - you'll need a copy of your rent contract
  • if you live with your former foster carers or kinship carers - you'll need a letter from them saying that they don't get paid to provide accommodation for you
  • if you're staying with a friend or relative - you'll need a letter from them that explains the living arrangement

You can send scanned copies of your documents online by logging into your SAAS account.

If you can't send the documents online, send them by post to:

Student Awards Agency Scotland
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3UT

What happens next

After you've applied, you can check your application's progress on 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 the grant

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 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.